Latchmere Theatre, London SW11
Opened 28 November, 1991

The first hint of this production's values comes in the programme credits: musical co-director is the lovely Russell Churney of Julian Clary fame. Kjartan Poskitt's cheap'n'cheerful version bowls merrily along with a company of six, propelled mostly by Debbie Holden's irrepressible Sally – a kids' TV presenter manquée who manages to get the most inhibited audience doing the actions to the closing number.

The story's only contemporary topspin is Jack's meteoric rise (with the help of the magic harp stolen from the Giant) as a pop star; for the rest we're in familiar territory – one-person pantomime cow, gags about Children McNuggets and all. The Giant, though nowhere near big enough to wear the socks we've seen earlier, is nice and grobbly with glow-in-the-dark eyes. Given a larger, more seasonal audience (when are we going to get some proper wintry weather?) with more than one small child in the front row, this'll probably be a modest corker.

Written for City Limits magazine.

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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