Jock and the Beanstalk (3 stars)

Jock and the Beanstalk

The Pitch Somewhere in rural Scotland in days of yore, Jock (Iain Johnstone) has some issues. Perhaps the greatest of these is his flatulence, which takes no prisoners, regardless of his circumstances. But moreover he wouldn’t work in a barrel of yeast, and between himself, his long suffering mum (Fiona Steele) and his rapidly expanding posterior, there’s just not the room at home for all three. So off he sets on a series of adventures, where wealth, popularity and fulfilment might await him, but for his constant need of the cludgey.

The verdict Wee Stories profoundly scatological take on Jack and the Beanstalk gives us a feckless and insensitive central character, who nevertheless contrives to remain amusing through most of its 70 minutes. There’s an inventive minimalist cottage, castle and khazi set from Gary Swordy and Caroline Fearon, and some lovely gags about perspective in the Giant’s (Andy Cannon) castle. So too, the silent movie sequence at the denouement, and music seemingly borrowed from Harry Nilsson all add to the effect. Johnstone and Cannon’s production has a pretty grown up message about filial responsibility at its centre, and if at one or two points it’s a little repetitive, there are three beguiling performances to enjoy. (Steve Cramer)
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, until Sat 23 Dec

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