Reaching for the Stars with a Bespoke Jack and the Beanstalk Pantomime Script

In December 2022, Matt and Reece at Bowtie productions got in touch with me to ask me to write a bespoke pantomime script for their first pantomime at the Blakehay Theatre in Weston Super Mare.

Weston Super Mare has a large commercial pantomime already, so they wanted to provide an affordable alternative for local families, and offer something akin to their light entertainment experience performing on cruise ships.

Here’s how I set about crafting a brand new panto, and see pictures of the results.

The Brief

The brief was to create a highly funny script with key moments plotted between Matt, Reece and I in the production meetings. It was to be an alternative to the big commercial pantomime round the corner offering tailored local gags and references.

The script also needed to cater to specific production elements that could be achieved within a non-traditional performance space. It was the first year the venue had featured a pantomime and the ambition was to build in bigger and better production elements every year.

Writing

My first step was to draft a concept treatment based on Matt and Reece’s specified ideas, character list, scenic elements and song choices. I then produced a detailed synopsis for the producers to consider.

One that was agreed, I wrote a full first draft and tweaked and implemented notes from the producers from that point until the rehearsal draft was completed in the summer.

Characters

We decided to feature a fairly traditional cohort of characters with Jack Trott as principal boy, Tilly Trott as the dame, Pat the cow, Princess Jill, King Dom, Fairy Cakes, and the villain Nightshade. There was also a pre-recorded role for the voice of Giant Blunderbore.

It was important to me that Princess Jill would take a keen role in the action, rather than being swept up and lost within Jack’s story. So it was King Dom who was kidnapped by Nightshade along with Pat the cow.

We also wrote in a b-plot where Tilly Trott and King Dom had in the past been passionate lovers, with a flame that reignited every time they saw each other when entering the stage. This allowed for some hilarious George Michael ‘Careless Whisper’ saxophone moments and a reason for Tilly Trott and Princess Jill to join Jack climbing up the beanstalk to the rescue.

Some of the characters went through different name incarnations before finding names the producers preferred. For example, Fairy Cakes started off as Mother Nature, and Fairy Evergreen. And Nightshade started off as Fleshcreep, and became Poison Ivy before settling on Nightshade.

Production

The production itself was a full two act pantomime including a brilliant inflatable beanstalk which appeared from the village well, and a very unique take on the giant.

I was thrilled when I got to see the video of the production, and it was such a joy to see the young audience so excited and engaged by what they were watching.

Production Pictures

What’s next?

I’m already booked to write a brand new bespoke Cinderella this year for a professional theatre, plus I’m lining up the premiere of a new Treasure Island script for amateur groups. More on that soon… 

There’s still plenty of titles to be added to my collection, like Goldilocks and the Three BearsMother Goose and Pinocchio. Get in touch if you’re interesting in a premiere! Plus there’s 15 existing titles already in my collection which you can request to read in full today.

Want to learn more about panto?

Sign up to my newsletter for regular blogs and insider advice on writing and producing pantomimes.

Oh yes I do!

Looking for a pantomime script?

Browse my selection of funny, flexible, family-friendly pantos today.

Oh yes I am!