Brentwood Brewery hosts original pantomime Jack and the Beer Stalk, raising money for Warley-based charity SNAP

PUBLISHED: 13:45 14 December 2018

Cast of Jack and the Beer Stalk. Picture: Wendy Pike

Cast of Jack and the Beer Stalk. Picture: Wendy Pike

Wendy Pike

Like with any pantomime, there is always a dame, a likeable have-a-go hero and a few “he’s behind you” and cheesy sing-a-longs thrown in for good measure.

Members of the Shenfield Operatic Society. Picture: Wendy PikeMembers of the Shenfield Operatic Society. Picture: Wendy Pike

But those are pretty much the only similarities that the Brentwood Brewery’s very own pantomime had with any other you’ve seen before.

Staff and friends of the brewery in Ongar Road, Brentwood, came together to put on a free, hugely energetic and low-no-budget production of Jack and the Beer Stalk to entertain the community.

And not only did the brewery’s managing director Roland Kannor play the role of narrator, he was also solely responsible for the script (as well as the corny jokes).

Other roles featured in this adaptation of a classic tale was a hard-to-sell cow called Brexit, a lumberjack, played by Andy Webb, and a talking bottle of Brentwood Gold, otherwise known as Goldie, performed by Penny Hollington.

Goldie and Jack. Picture: Wendy PikeGoldie and Jack. Picture: Wendy Pike

The brewery’s own Statler and Waldorf Muppet Show theatre balcony critics, along with a host of extras, completed the cast.

The audience was taken on an entertaining journey which saw the fortunes of poor Jack (head brewer Ethan Kannor) and his rather eccentric mum (brewery manager Dean Beckwith) take a turn for the worse when Jack has one too many in the pub and sells the family cow, Brexit, for a bag of hops.

Miraculously, things do eventually turnaround for the family of craft brewers and the story culminates in a happy-ever-after ending for all.

Good Elf, Elf ’n’ Safety and Elf ’n’ Happiness were also behind the bar, serving adults who had purchased panto participation tickets with a variety of six different Brentwood ales at the appropriate moments throughout the show.

Participants singing along at the Brentwood Brewery pantomime. Picture: Wendy PikeParticipants singing along at the Brentwood Brewery pantomime. Picture: Wendy Pike

The majority of the audience though, which included lots of families, enjoyed the brewery panto for free.

Included in the participation ticket price was a donation to Warley-based charity Special Needs and Parents (SNAP).

The charity had a stall at the Brewery’s Christmas Beer Festival on Saturday, December 8, as the panto took place.

SNAP volunteers were kept busy selling the charity’s Christmas cards and raffle tickets as well as running games and competitions for children of all ages.

There were mince pie flavoured ice cream samples to try in the short interval, supplied by J W Ice Cream Company, specialist alcoholic ice cream makers based at Chafford Hundred.

The company also had a popular stall at the festival, serving ice cream tasters and selling individual tubs from their extensive range.

Earlier in the day, members of Shenfield Operatic Society visited the brewery with their musical director Alli Smith to sing Christmas carols to festival goers and to promote their latest show, All Shook Up, which runs at The Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch, January 30 - February 2.

Along with lots of popular, traditional carols, the group gave a hearty rendition of The Twelve (Brentwood) Beers of Christmas.

Brentwood Brewery managing director Roland Kannor said: “I’d like to thank everyone who came along to support our panto and Christmas Beer Festival.

“Not only was Jack and the Beer Stalk a lot of fun to put on but it helped to raise a little money for SNAP charity, one of the local charities we always like to support where we can.”

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