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REVIEW: Jack and the Bean Pie (Oran Mor Summer panto, Glasgow) [Pantomime]

Updated: Jul 25, 2023

Oran Mor, Glasgow

4 July 2023


Not reviewing - just there for fun. And a pie!


Oran Mor Glasgow Summer panto Jack and the Bean Pie Andy McGregor pantomime

This year's annual summer panto at Oran Mor is 'Jack and the Bean Pie' by one of my favourite writers, Andy McGregor.


The panto run fell during my holiday and so I hadn't planned to review it at all... However the stars aligned and I was able to make it to the opening show.


I can't let it pass without a few comments!


"It’s the annual summer festival in Sprout-Town-Upon-Brie and everybody expects the somewhat deranged Farmer Frank to walk away with the ‘Best Pie’ award like he always does.


But a plucky new contender, Jack McKack has other plans. She has created a Bean Pie that is even tastier than a Fray Bentos special. Fearing for his title, the devious farmer steals the pie, kidnaps Jack’s mum and sets about attempting to unlock the secrets of the wondrous pie of beans.


But Jack, alongside her new aging pop-star friend Farty Pellow, won’t give in easily and sets off on an epic adventure to rescue her mum and – more importantly – get her pie back."

The cast of Oran Mor Glasgow Summer panto Jack and the Bean Pie Andy McGregor pantomime Rebekah Lumsden Richard Conlon Fraser Boyle Rachel Flynn. Photo credit: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

Starring some of Scotland's finest panto stars, this year's summer panto at Oran Mor is pie-mendous (sorry). I love that the panto references the very environment where so many Glaswegians eat so many pies throughout the year as part of the 'A Play, A Pie and A Pint' programme. There were plenty of in-jokes and pie digs, and it's trademark Andy McGregor to come up with something so meta.


🎟️ Much like the 'A Play, A Pie and A Pint' offerings, the summer panto ticket includes a voucher for a drink and a pie as well as the show. At £20 a ticket you won't find many better deals for food and entertainment this summer.

Richard Conlon in Oran Mor Glasgow Summer panto Jack and the Bean Pie Andy McGregor pantomime. Photo credit: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

There is no doubt the Oran Mor summer panto - like all 'A Play, a Pie and Pint' productions - is budget theatre. But that does not mean low value. The sets are basic but perfectly functional and it really is amazing what can be achieved with the help of excellent sound and lighting.


Jack and the Bean Pie has all the panto basics covered from the over-the-top dame, to the evil villain, the plucky princess and her dashing 'love interest'. There are spooky bits "it's behind you!", plenty of pies, a sharp script, great songs and fantastic actors.


Fraser Boyle is brilliant as the Panto Dame and chief chaos-maker, Jill McKack. Fraser writes and stars in pantomimes across Scotland and was recently nominated for 'Best Dame' by the UK Pantomime Association. It's easy to see why; he's a natural.

Fraser Boyle and Rachel Flynn in Oran Mor Glasgow Summer panto Jack and the Bean Pie Andy McGregor pantomime. Photo credit: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

I was so impressed by Fraser in last years summer panto and here again he rules the roost as the funny, confident, mischievous and mad mama.


What makes a fabulous panto dame is that sense of danger, that twinkle in their eye that says no-one, whether audience member or fellow cast mate, is safe from ridicule! Fraser constantly scans the crowd and stage just waiting to pounce on any slip-ups. It's lethal and he's superb at it.

The cast of Oran Mor Glasgow Summer panto Jack and the Bean Pie Andy McGregor pantomime Rebekah Lumsden Richard Conlon Fraser Boyle Rachel Flynn. Photo credit: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

Also back after a star turn as the wee bear in last years show, Rebekah Lumsden shines as Farti Pellow. I find her every facial expression, every word, every movement hilarious. Rebekah leaves her heart on the stage - she performs with passion and total commitment.


My husbands still talks about "the wee angry bear" over a year later as being the best thing he's ever seen, but 'Farti' is right up there! I've only seen her perform twice, but I get the impression that everything Rebekah does will be memorable. What a total star.


(Also I've seen "Farti" live on stage from the front row of a theatre and can confirm the fake tan / makeup to be spot on.)

Rebekah Lumsden as Farti Pellow in Oran Mor Glasgow Summer panto Jack and the Bean Pie Andy McGregor pantomime Fraser Boyle Rachel Flynn. Photo credit: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

Rachel Flynn has a gorgeous voice and she's perfect as the only remotely sane character, Jack. Rachel deals with the on-stage antics and chaos admirably, never breaking character and always maintaining the perfect panto princess smile. What a skill!


Rachel is a beautiful performer, skilled singer and dancer - I hope to see her sparkling in one of the big pantos at Christmas.

Rachel Flynn and Rebekah Lumsden in  Oran Mor Glasgow Summer panto Jack and the Bean Pie Andy McGregor pantomime. Photo credit: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

For all those musical theatre fans out there thinking there surely cannot be a show about pies without some kind of Sweeney Todd reference, you would be correct!


I applauded with delight when the cast broke into a Sondheim-esque number featuring the deranged farmer (Richard Conlon) and plenty of blood - my absolute highlight of the show. Bravo!

Richard Conlon and Fraser Boyle in Oran Mor Glasgow Summer panto Jack and the Bean Pie Andy McGregor pantomime. Photo credit: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

Playing at Oran Mor Glasgow from 4 to 23 July, Jack and the Bean pie is rude, riotous and ridiculous.


For £20 you'll have a laugh and a pie. And possibly a pint if you want. A great way to escape the summer rain and see some fantastic comic actors have a lot of fun in an intimate venue.

The cast of Oran Mor Glasgow Summer panto Jack and the Bean Pie Andy McGregor pantomime Rebekah Lumsden Richard Conlon Fraser Boyle Rachel Flynn. Photo credit: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan
 

⚠️ Please be advised this panto is not a child-friendly production! It is aimed at an adult audience and does contain some strong language and adult themes. Age recommendation 14+


📅 Playing at Oran Mor now until Sunday 23rd July (an extra show has been added on Sunday 23rd July due to popular demand).


 

📸 Production Photos: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

 

🥧 A review of Oran Mor Summer panto 2023: Jack and the Bean Pie by Andy McGregor, Glasgow July 2023 pantomime 🥧


📧 For media and review requests contact Lisa_InTheTheatre@outlook.com

💗 To see more pictures and watch my videos follow @Lisa_InTheTheatre on Instagram


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