"Jack and the Beanstalk" – Theatre 13’s 2013 production written by Helen Heron..
The story of Dick Whittington is not very well known in Germany, but in Great Britain everyone knows about the poor man who became Lord Mayor of London. That is why Theatre 13 decided to make this fairy tale a Christmas Pantomime for our audience of Germans and native speakers.
Our version really only uses the basic story of Dick Whittington, the poor boy who manages to become rich with the help of his cat, to emphasize the role of Comic Relief in the Traditional Christmas Pantomime. In all British Panto’s there are two supporting acts played by – normally very famous – comedians. In Theatre 13’s production, the ‘comedians’ also come to London as poor people. One of them is very sly (Lily) and one really quite stupid (Billy). These siblings have a connection to Dick and gain from his good fortune.
Dick comes to London with his cat. A wealthy father and daughter take pity on the boy and animal and give them shelter. Dick is allowed to work in the house and the cat is fantastic at catching mice. When the wealthy man sees Billy and Lily, he also offers them a job. After a while, a ship’s captain arrives at the man’s house and says he has trouble with mice. The man and Captain strike a deal that Dick’s cat should go on the boat with the Captain and that Dick would get money for each mouse the cat caught. Dick is sad to let his cat go, but sees that it makes sense.
Billy and Lily sneak on board the ship and travel to the Far East with the Captain and the cat. When they eventually arrive at the Sultan’s palace, Lily makes such an impression on the Sultan that he decides to marry her and Billy is appointed court jester. The cat helps free the palace from mice so that the Sultan sends half his gold and jewels to Dick, who is now a very rich man.
In the end, Dick is rich, marries the wealthy man’s daughter, and leaves the stage saying that he may actually one day really become ‘Dick Whittington, Lord Mayor of London’.