IT is not often that you might consider the work of Python, Abbott and Costello and Family Guy in connection with pantomime, but this Jack and the Beanstalk is a case in point.
The UCH show Jack and the Beanstalk opened last week and runs until January 5, starring George McMahon, Leanne Moore and Keith Duffy among a superb cast. The Fair City star says that writer Karl Harpur has re-worked the classic tale and has “really given us a panto for everybody in the audience, from kids right up to adults.
“A lot of the time over the years panto has become this thing that almost patronises kids, the humour in it is so diluted and weak and Karl has really worked hard to change that perception,” says George.
“His writing is in the style of Monthy Python and Abbott and Costello - good set piece comedy - right up to Family Guy, quick witted sharp humour. There is a lot of that American sitcom style dialogue, as well as the heart and charm of the actual fairy tale itself. It is a panto for everybody in the audience.”
George and Leanne have acted together on many occasions and he says there is “no acting required” for the romantic leads.
“It is very hard not to have chemistry with someone as beautiful as Leanne,” he smiles.
“She is an absolute sweetheart to work with as well, we know each other inside out,” he adds.
The Limerick lass says that ‘Mondo’ is “so much fun”.
“He is one of those people who I have yet to see in bad form. It is infectious, it goes through the cast. It is our third panto together so it is becoming a bit of a tradition.”
McMahon talks about the camaraderie between the cast, which also includes Richie Hayes, Myles Breen and Richard Lynch as being “really strong”. It is an occasion he wouldn’t miss, despite not being “the strongest of singers or dancers, but I do a good job of faking it and make up for it with effort and enthusiasm and a smile”.
“I have done panto every year of my adult life - I don’t know Christmas without doing panto,” he laughs.