There is no better way to prepare for Christmas than by shouting your heart out at a man in a monstrous wig and lumpy dress.
This year’s extravaganza offers some well-known faces and catchy songs, including an array of numbers from The Greatest Showman.
Former Blue singer Duncan James stars as Jack and nails a great vocal performance as well as offering a likeable hero. A masterful performance also comes from super-villain Cess Pitt, as played by ‘Britain’s Best Baddie’ Lawrence Boothman, who is equally hated and loved by the audience.
Morgan Brind commands the stage as Dame Trott and assaults eyeballs with a great selection of costumes - at times mimicking a greenhouse, swiss army knife and full English breakfast. Richard Brindley gives an adorable show as Jack’s dim-witted brother Simple Simon and Peter Kenworthy’s King Dominic is similarly charming.
The musical numbers in the panto are on point, with numbers from Michael Jackson and Dolly Parton, along with the expected Blue songs and Greatest Showman bangers.
The show is, of course, peppered with local references and frightfully familiar Derbyshire accents and stereotypes throughout.
With its bouncing energy and a whole heap of panto silliness, Jack and the Beanstalk has the arena buzzing with excitement from start to finish.
It’s also great to see that after a bit of a shaky beginning, the velodrome has fully found its feet as a theatre space.
Jack and the Beanstalk is running at Derby Arena until January 5. Tickets range from £13.50 to £31.50. Call 01332 255800 or visit www.derbylive.co.uk for more information or to book.