Phylip Harries stars in Jack and The Beanstalk as Dame Tegwen Trott at Theatr Clwyd, as the theatre’s acclaimed rock ‘n’ roll panto returns with a brand new script by Christian Patterson, full of super slapstick, bonkers frocks and sparkling sets.

Directed by Zoë Waterman, Jack and The Beanstalk also stars, Adam Barlow (Squire Simon), Katie Elin Salt (Fairy Daffodil), Lynwen Haf Roberts (Poison Ivy), Jessica Jolleys (Jill Stinker), Ben Locke (Tommy Trott), Alice McKenna (Harriet/Villager/Cow), Peter Mooney (Jack), Elin Phillips (Shake) and Luke Thornton (Vac).

Jack and The Beanstalk starring Phylip Harries is at Theatr Clwyd 22nd November 2019 – 18th January 2020.

You’re back at Theatr Clwyd starring as the Dame in Jack and the Beanstalk, tell us about this year’s panto.

This year’s panto is the usual mix of colourful costumes, spectacular scenery, rocking songs, great acting and customary bad gags which we all love. The story is strong, and mixed in with some fab singing/dancing/comedy it’s going to be one of our best. We’ve got Jack and Jill, a stinky Squire, a flower power fairy, a poisonous Ivy, a domestic duo, a harp who sings, the Mold puppets, a little Tommy, and a fabulous old cow… no not me, I’m Tegwen Trott.

This will be your twelfth at Theatr Clwyd as Dame, what keeps bringing you back?

Actually this will be panto number 13 for me. I keep coming back because of the Mold audiences and some fantastic production values. Honestly, I love working at this theatre. It is very actor friendly, and they look after us with exceptional care and love. The work produced here has been and remains to be of the highest quality. Long may it last.

Has the role of Dame had to adapt to keep up with the changing world?

Great question. There have been changes over the years of course but mainly with gags and lines that don’t sit well with modern day audiences. And if I’m being honest that have never really belonged to any era. The Dame character is still popular in panto as well as all the other stock characters, although not so much a female playing a male role such as a Jack, a Dick or an Aladdin. I’m glad to say that our Jill is feisty and every bit as strong a character as Jack.

What are you looking forward to most about this year’s show?

I can’t wait to see old “victims” in the audience. What I mean is, every year I pick on a man in the audience who for rehearsal purposes we call “Brian”. I then set about to playfully pick on him throughout the night and generally have lots of fun with him. A lot of the men come back year after year expecting to be picked on. They can get quite miffed if I don’t. One year I had a “victim” give me a bottle of whiskey and another year Cled the Head as I called him because he was a local headteacher presented me with a bunch of roses.

What’s your favourite memory of Theatr Clwyd pantos over the years?

I have many special memories from the pantos over the years. Great friendships forged and lots of fun had. I remember having some people propose on stage and many funny characters heckling from the audience.

What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to see Jack and the Beanstalk?

Don’t forget to giggle, enjoy and singalong. But most importantly don’t forget to bring your umbrellas. You don’t want to get wet.

Main Image Credit: Phylip Harries in Rehearsal Theatr Clwyd c. Brian Roberts

Greg is an award-winning writer with a huge passion for theatre. He has appeared on stage, as well as having directed several plays in his native Scotland. Greg is the founder and editor of Theatre Weekly


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