April 2021

Thoughts on the HAMS pantomine, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’

One of HAMS entries in the Oxfordshire Drama Network (ODN) Winter Festival 2021.

Read what some of the cast thought about their experience and then click on the link at the end of the article to watch it.

Katherine Miller, Director and Producer “As a first time Director and beginner video editor I was extremely pleased with how the pantomime came together. It’s difficult to know how things are going to look before you start, so we tried a couple of experiments on Zoom to see what happened (some of it was fabulous and some things don’t translate to the screen as I had hoped) but hats off to the cast who created costumes from whatever was in their wardrobes and made the best of a very unusual way to do a performance, particularly our young HAMS members who really gave life to the story and made it fun to watch.

It was a unique opportunity to be involved with this production and I hope people enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it.”

Cody Sandland, played Bert, a Market Trader “Performing in Jack and the Beanstalk was such an amazing experience and one that I learnt so much from”.

Meabh Foster, played Jill, “I really enjoyed the experience of being in a virtual pantomime of Jack and the Beanstalk. Not only was it a brilliant distraction from lockdown but it also helped me gain a new perspective of drama online (acting virtually). I want to be an actress when I am older, so this was really a unique and valuable experience for me. I played Jill in Jack and the Beanstalk (Jack’s girlfriend). It was great fun working on Zoom and overcoming technical difficulties e.g. the time lag, imagining the background without it being there etc. We rehearsed once a week for an hour and a half running through various scenes. Once we were happy with the scene we then recorded it, ready to put into a virtual pantomime with all of our other recorded scenes. It was so nice to watch it back and see what we had created! It was a great show to be in!”

James Dyer, played Jack, “It was cold. It was wet. We were in national lockdown 2 and the winter-brightening rehearsals of last year (Our Day Out) were a distant memory. There could be no HAMS production, this year! – WHAT?



Enter from stage left – The Film Festival.

The Oxfordshire Drama Network decided in the autumn that the show must go online, and member societies were invited to submit entries for a friendly film festival of creative works to be aired early in the new year. I signed up straightaway and was really pleased to get the role of Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk, HAMS’ first ever panto.

Rehearsals and filming all took place on Zoom with the usual comedy additions of “turn your microphone on” and “your camera’s gone funny”. Add to that, a make-shift green screen (that was white), unbearable jokes and hastily assembled (but terribly professional) costumes and I give you the recipe for – the most fun you can on Zoom. Each week, we assembled online to rehearse and film the next part and to admire behind the scenes production work that had magically taken place on the days between. My favourite things about being involved in this production were the contact with friends every week, the laughter over shared jokes and seeing the finished product complete with special effects and synchronised(ish) singing: The Only Way is Up!

We hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it and look forward to seeing you next year, for a live production of whatever comes next!”

  • Click here to view Jack and the Beanstalk on YouTube.

All the best from HAMS!.

Contact us by email: info@thehams.co.uk

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