We don't normally talk about the start of pantos as they usually follow a similar format of introductions and exposition. But there again, pantos don't usually start with checking out last year's reviews...
Some pantomime conventions are kept in but the dodgy casual sexism, racism, misogyny and homophobia, which can creep into shows, are out.
So. That title. This is a story mashup. But rather than call it Beanstalk 2 we have Lee Kyle as Andrew the giant. Andrew is the son of the giant killed by Jack. Hal Branson plays Jack, so his character killed the Giant's Dad. So far so good. The pair of them then stumble over Cinderella (Hannah Walker) who is being bullied by ugly twins Salt and Pepper (both performed by Sammy Dobson) as they have been invited to the Prince's ball.
How do you get twins performed by one person? Use a large television screen for one character if they both need to appear and ensure that they have very different personalities. Salt is the abrasive chav. Brilliantly observed in terms of speech and attitude. Pepper is the more thoughtful goth. You kind of know that she’ll come good at the end. The differences in these two characters is an indication that this is a fresh story, credited as written by the cast, that isn’t shunted onto a set route by previous takes on the tale.