Review of Jack and The Beanstalk at The Everyman Palace
Review of Jack and The Beanstalk
This year The Everyman Palace propelled the well-loved fairytale of Jack and The Beanstalk into the 21st century with its vortex to another universe, star wars characters, a mad scientist and its many cultural and social references to The Young Offenders, Tick Toc, Corkonians and much more. We were delighted to be invited along to prepare a review of Jack and the beanstalk from our family experience.
While the performance has plenty of laughs, it’s main strengths lies in the special effects. These captured the imagination in particular of the younger ones with beans growing from a well to a large beanstalk, a fantastic giant and a large lovable Corkonian Goose. If you have smaller children, this is the panto for you. The Everyman Palace claim to be Cork’s Favourite Panto and throughout the performance you will always be reminded that this is a panto produced and performed by proud Corkonians for Corkonians.
It was full of all your usual Panto traditions while cleverly embracing the 21st century. Overall Jack and the Beanstalk is a fun-for-all show with plenty of entertaining mayhem, musical numbers and a lot of positive energy. The favourite saying in our house at the moment is “Give me Peace, Love and Chakras.
Panto Cork Opera House 2019 – Peter Pan
Panto Cork Opera House 2019
It is that most wonderful time of the year again and Panto always kick starts our celebrations in this house as it is ideal for a night out during the cold winter days to come. Following on from the box office record breaking successful Aladdin last year in The Cork Opera House we eagerly awaited Peter Pan, Panto Cork Opera House 2019 and we were not disappointed.
While the traditional story of the adventures of a boy who never grew up, Wendy, Tinkerbell and of course captain hook was apparent, the original storyline and its characters were merely embodied in one-line gags. I cannot remember the last time I laughed so much. Nanny Nellie was outstanding and Smee, Captain Hook’s Sidekick, certainly gave her a run for her money. During the sing off between Captain Hook and Nanny Nellie, I managed to take a breath to notice many of the audience wiping tears from their eyes!
Featuring jokes involving local characters and political reference in the tradition of the pantomime society to entertain the adults, there were also many social and musical jokes especially for the younger audience and my ten year old boy was falling out of his chair at times in laughter. In today’s world of screens and technology it was a wonderful to see him enjoy such an art performed and staged as its professional best and I know I will have an eager panto buddy for many years to come.
The special effects and set really brought the show to life. While Peter Pan and the Darling Children flew over the London skyline, Nanny Nellie took to the skies in a car with spectacular impact. From the choreography, to the singing, to costuming and stage setting, the show was mesmerising. It was truly a brilliant production. Alot of dates before Christmas are sold out but the team at The Cork Opera House have confirmed that there are many dates still available in January so don’t miss out, it could be the best €27.50 (Family Pass €90-€120) you’ll spend on any kind of fun this Christmas.
Discover…Fota Island Resort
In 2015, 65,000 excited visitors saw the big man himself in Wish at Fota Island Resort and this year with “Discover” they hope to welcome 75,000 visitors. Even though it is one of the most successful and largest experience for Santa in Cork if not Ireland you do not feel these crowds, that you are being herded through or better still that you are not the most important guest to see Santa! Fota Island have stuck to their principles and at all times provides a five star experience for each and every guest no matter how big or small!
In previous years it has been voted the Best Santa Experience by readers of Primary Times, and it also came out on top in a vote by listeners of The Ray D’Arcy Show. It is easy to see why because rather than becoming complacent in their success or dolling out the same as last year they have turned the whole thing on its head and offers an exciting and enchanting new experience to delight returning and new visitors alike.
So last Sunday we checked in at the Alpine Lodge and then ventured into to see Santa first which was perfect as we had very little delay (not that a delay would have mattered as the kids were very well entertained by Santa’s Elves to get us in the festive mood). After a magical stroll to Santa’s house we were greeted by a warm fire, an elf on hand to help with the photos, and Santa himself in the jolliest of moods displaying his usual encyclopaedic knowledge of what all children want for Christmas and their hobbies.
Santa knew Saoirse and Shanea love Irish dancing while Thomas is a keen hurler. The children were star struck and even our little 7 month old who is often strange with others sat on his lap in wonder and Santa seemed to be an old pro with babies… These are the most magical moments you will remember forever as a family.
Santa joyfully instructed his friendly elf, Pudding, to take a photo and hand over some presents but before we were off he whispered to the children not to open the presents till they get to the car as they were magic and may disappear…..
It was great to see Santa so early because after that we travelled around at our own pace. No one’s calling you on or holding you back. In our own time we skipped down Candy Lane as instructed by an eager elf and when I say we skipped oh boy did we skip as my eight year old daughter full of the joys of Christmas ensured we did so. Now for the adventure!
We drank some shrinking juice and entered a teleporter which was no amateur model. The teleporter had a lot of buttons to push and switches to be turned on before we arrived at our final destination, The North Pole, which was by far the greatest surprise of all. For those of you who have only dreamed about the North Pole, it is just as you would imagine, quaint and colourful little houses with interesting Christmassy places to visit. A Christmas helter skelter takes centre stage of this enchanting wonder land of fun. We received snow cones and hot chocolate while we were entertained by all the elves busy at work but eager for us to join them. There is a reason why Fota Island carry out auditions with such high standards for their elves as they must be the bubbliest and happiest creatures who seem love their roles.
We finally dragged the children away from the magic of the North Pole by coaxing them with some promises of more fun in the market but in order to get back to Cork we had to venture through a special tunnel which created enormous excitement and shrieks of delight as our teeth and skin changed colour, we presume we were just returning to normal size…
After about two hours since the start of our journey we are finally greeted by the fresh air and dark skies of Fota Island golf course in order to end the evening with the Christmas markets, ready for more hot chocolate and a go on the merry-go-round. There is also an opportunity for hot food or a chance to pick up some Christmas gifts if they are not too tired after all that excitement.
A friend of mine recently informed me that she loved Discover at Fota Island because with one older child and two teenagers Discover is a rare experience for Santa in Cork that they will all enjoy and she does not want to give up these moments. I think that’s why it stands out the most as it is truly a place for both young and old. Discover will wrap around you like a soft fleece blanket and protect you against these cold winter days filling you with a warm fuzzy feeling inside. It is a place where for a brief few hours’ adults can be children again and together with their little ones discover all the joys of this magical time and beautiful moments that will last a lifetime….
PS. It is perfectly suitable for buggy’s which come in handy if not just to carry the presents(which were as always top quality)!
Cinderella..Christmas Pantos in Cork
Christmas Pantos In Cork
It is that time of year, oh yes it is…. Christmas always starts in our house with the panto and what better panto than the all time favourite story of Cinderella! This year’s Christmas Pantos in Cork Opera House, Cinderella is family panto of the classic kind, made up of the usual suspects including Fairy Wanda, the slightly old and under-qualified fairy godmother as the panto dame, a clumsy and shy price charming, sweet little Cinders and two very rude and nasty ugly sisters aka Booty and Licious.
It’s a colourful lively production with gorgeous quaint sets, great costumes and plenty of comical audience interaction with the usual topicality, campness, bling and current pop songs. You know the kids are loving it when they are giving it welly, jumping out of their seats to warn poor Cinderella and hopping up to sing and dance every five minutes. They were exhausted by the end of the first act.
Cinderella was your picture perfect princess and Fairy Wanda pulls off a neat bit of magic in the scene just where Cinders prepares to leave for the ball with her rags turning into a beautiful gown right in front of our eyes which wowed the audience before raising the bar further with a flying full size horse to take her by carriage to the ball.
My favourite scene without giving too much away was a comical conversation between the barron and fairy godmother at the ball which took the form of well-known songs.
All in all its two-and-a-half hours of wholesome family fun for smallies as well as older kids as it captures all imaginations and plenty of comedy to keep the adults entertained!