The current run of Jack and the Beanstalk by the Lakeland Players is entirely sold out, with the production receiving rave reviews.

Audiences have lauded the comedy, singing, dancing, and the timeless gags that characterise a truly special pantomime experience.

There was a surprise visit from The Tumbling Paddies on its opening night as the even younger ‘Rumbling Laddies,’ came onto the stage introduced by the iconic voice of BBC Radio Ulster, Hugo Duncan.

The youthful talents of Oran McCaffrey, Jake Kennedy, Brian Óg Tolan, Conan Boyle, Dara Doherty, Tristan Reid, and Theo Reid captivated the pantomime enthusiasts.

The Rumbling Laddies regaled the audience with their rendition of the hit song ‘The Way I Am,’ eliciting delight from the spectators. The surprises didn’t end there; Jethro (Barry Gibson) thrilled the audience by announcing the arrival of the hugely popular Tumbling Paddies.

Reflecting on the unexpected encounter between the Tumbling Paddies and the Rumbling Laddies, Stephen Kettyles, the director of Jack and the Beanstalk, said: “The boys weren’t expecting them”.

“The band came up to the green room, had a great time with them, met the children, and, I think, some of the older ones were more excited than the children. They had a great time backstage with them.”

Describing the electrifying reaction during the performance, Kettyles expressed: “The cheer that went up when the real ones came out, it was brilliant, and everybody is talking about it. You couldn’t go too far with something like that.”

The ripple effect of the performance extended far beyond the theatre, as a recording shared by Friends of Knocknagor PS PTA, where one of the young stars attends school, went viral on Facebook, amassing more than 50,000 views.

The Lakeland Players have a history of hosting special guests, including country singer Nathan Carter, who made a pre-recorded appearance in a previous pantomime.

Stephen Kettyle took a moment to commend the dedicated cast and crew, emphasising the volunteer-driven nature of the production.

“We are delighted with the reaction from the audience, and I want to mention the dedication of the people behind the scenes; they make

such a big show. Everybody is a volunteer.”

The dedication of the entire team was evident in the months of hard work leading up to the performances. Rehearsals commenced at the end of October, with adult performers dedicating twice a week and youth performers once a week.