Get ready for lots of fee, fi, fo – and fun!

Panto season at the Assembly Hall Theatre kicks off this Saturday December 10 when the cast of Jack and the Beanstalk take to the stage. Eileen Leahy finds out more…


The Assembly Hall Theatre has a history of putting on some brilliant pantomimes at Christmas and this year is no exception as it stages that festive classic Jack and the Beanstalk.

Cliff Parisi – who formerly played the role of Minty in Eastenders and can currently be seen on our screens in Call The Midwife – is the show’s big star and is cast as evil villain Walter Waltzer. Cliff has also starred in ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here as well as BBC Two’s Celebrity Antiques Road Trip and been a contestant in the 2022 series of Celebrity Masterchef.

The 2022 pantomime also stars James Peake as Dame Trott and CBBC’s Stewart McCheyne as Simon Trott, and is being brought to the council-run theatre by the award-winning Little Wolf Entertainment and will be directed by Mikey Powell.

He tells the Times that he’s ‘hugely excited’ about staging the show, which runs until December 31 and will include both BSL Signed and relaxed performances as well as matinees.


“We are hugely excited to work with Little Wolf Entertainment for this year’s panto, the work they do in the theatre world is unparalleled so to have them with us will be so much fun.


“Cliff Parisi will also be a fantastic and hilarious star who, along with a full supporting company, will bring so much energy, laughs and joy to the Assembly Hall’s Christmas offering this year. Tunbridge Wells is in for yet another festive treat!”

As you’d expect, the classic Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale has been given a good old-fashioned panto makeover with super-sized costumes and giant-sized jokes which will ensure audiences are kept laughing over the Christmas period.

Mikey afforded us a sneak peek of how the storyline goes, telling us that Dame Trott and her family – who have been ice cream sellers at the local fair for donkey’s years – get into a pickle when the ginormous giant puts their rent up.

As a result the Trott family are forced to sell their beloved cow Pat for just a handful of beans… but can Jack get his head out of the clouds for long enough to save the day?

“It’s a show that will be full of marvellous moo-sic, cow-ntless costumes and an udderley ridiculous Dame with giant-sized jokes!” laughs Mikey.

We’ll see you down the front for all the fun and frolics – oh yes we will!

Jack and the Beanstalk tickets start from just £27 for adults and £17 for children.

Circle Members, groups and schools are all eligible for discounts – all details on the Assembly Hall website.

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