Sunninghill Preparatory School. Dorchester. UK.

A GiantJack in the beanstalk Walter CraneJack in the beanstalk World TreeIn the palms of their hands . . .

By Ruth Meech


JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, Sunninghill School, Dorchester

THEY promised that they would bring us adventure and that is just what they did – in spadeloads and with so much more besides.

For almost an hour the young cast had their audience in the palms of their hands as songs, drama and a healthy dollop of slapstick blended together to tell the tale of hapless Jack. And, most impressively of all, no one forgot their lines – a huge undertaking for seven, eight and nine-year-olds who had to fit rehearsals in with a packed academic timetable.

The lynchpins of the show were Christopher Williams, whose Jack blossomed from brow-beaten wimp to save-the-day hero as the play progressed, and Alice Palm, a cantankerous old bat of a mother who had the audience either in fits of laughter or quaking in its boots.

Fran Hayes played the magical bean seller as an Arfur Daley character – shiftily opening her big red coat to show beans, instead of cheap watches, pinned to the lining – while Natasha Walker was a smashing front end of Daisy the cow, complete with fantastic model head.

But this tale wasn’t just about the main actors, and the supporting characters were brilliant to a fault. In the straw-strewn farmyard scenes, the children adopted the characteristics of the creatures they played with gusto, topped by wonderfully creative wire and paper mache heads.

When the giant appeared, depicted by highly skilled shadow puppetry and voiced by Grace Cairnes and Alec Dodds, the whole hall seemed to shake.

At the end of the show the parents – who had been given cones of popcorn to keep them quiet during the performance – clapped and whooped and demanded an encore.

Jack may have been the hero of the hour, but on the day all of the performers were stars.

About luckyme0

My First family, second marriage, bringing up my 18-year-old twins, boy, and girl. I am a third generation Humanist, who has some old handwritten information and notes; collected over many years. Someone may find the articles interesting, or helpful. They could bring back a little ‘reality’, after being ‘shocked’ and ‘brainwashed’, by some malicious group, or institution (REBT Therapy). People should know better, than to do this, to our very young, and the ‘obviously’ vulnerable! Go to easily accessible, non-superstitious knowledge that is not charlatanism! The blog has given me an incentive to order my thoughts, learn, and read up again, after a few non-thinking years of (very silly) imagination and passion. Why not, get your own key to a ‘door’, customise it to suit you, and it can be, all of your very own! Don’t believe, or be led by someone else’s; inherited, stupid, and a very likely (past, and not of today’s) ‘totally preposterous reality’s’. Only some interest in the ‘really big questions’, keeps life above the level of a farce, and very little else! KEEP THINKING! Some of the posts may need some correcting. Interests: REBT Counselling, Atheism, Secularism, Humanism, Psychology, Reading, Popular Science, School Ethos, Philosophy, History, Family, Parenting, Psychology, Horse Riding, Sailing, Rescue Boat Driver, Skiing (Teppichswinger), TV Documentaries, Motorbike Cross Country Riding, Volunteer Sports Stewarding, Writing, Primitive Man, Pre-history, Social Anthropology, British Humanist Association, BHA, Meaning of Life, The Big Questions, Where am I, What am I, Why am I, Hippie Love, Knowledge, Education, Globalisation. Favorite quote: “The world belongs to those who, at least to some degree, have figured it out.” Carl Sagan, ‘The Demon Haunted World’, ‘Contact’, and other famous books DVD ‘Cosmos’. The warning of another and horrendous, “Age of Superstition”. “Isn’t there something deeply absurd in the presumption that children ought to inherit beliefs from their parents. It can be deeply damaging, even lethally divisive. A ‘them’, with an ‘against us’, mentality” – Professor Richard Dawkins. “The will to believe is stronger than mere reason in the vast majority of people” – Dr J.Brown, Army Psychologist of the 1960′s. Humans will believe in almost anything, in fact, they seek it! Why? “98% of us, trained to be just good consumers, let’s train our children to be the 2% who have their very own creativity and discernment”; quote by a famous surreal artist. “The lack of reason brings forth monsters”. “Global interconnectedness is lethal against mass religion, nationalism, racism, and other destructive memeplexes. Let us connect everybody they hate it in restrictive regimes”; from the ‘meme learning group’, Richard Brodie’s book, ‘Virus Of The Mind’ (Richard Brodie a designer for ‘Microsoft Word’). Following on, J.Bronowski, and ‘The Ascent Of Man’ TV series, and a book with the last DVD in this series, ‘The Long Childhood’ being especially revealing. ‘Prehistory’ and the ‘Making of the Human Mind’ by Colin Renfrew, with P.Wilson’s, ‘The Domestication of the Human Species’, and Nigel Spivey’s, TV series and book, ‘How Art Made The World’, offers some further explanations. Latest reading: Jared Diamond
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