Jack and the Beanstalk (Cumbernauld Theatre)
The Pitch Poor Jack (David Ashwood) spends his time milking the curiously udderless Buttercup in an effort to help his mother (Calum Beaton) stave off the bailiffs. Forced to get rid of the old cow, Jack comes across circus entrepreneur Monbodo (Andy Corelli) who takes the beast and leaves Jack cupping his magic beans. Unsurprisingly, waking to find a huge growth during his sleep, Jack climbs the beanstalk to find Princess Stella (Pauline King), an evil giant (Chris Alexander) and enough riches to buy a canoe and move to Panama.
The Verdict Given Cumbernauld’s burgeoning reputation under artistic director Ed Robson, you can’t help but feel a little deflated at this year’s effort. No doubt youngsters will enjoy the imagination and energy of the cast, but the mischievous sense of fun that fuelled last year’s Cinderella is lacking here. Monbodo and Bingo the Clown (Chris Alexander), not in the original English fairytale, are welcome additions, and set pieces incorporating glow-in-the-dark fleas provide a little of the missing magic. Not a classic, but the little ‘uns will still be smiling. (David Laing)
Cumbernauld Theatre, until Fri 28 Dec