REHEARSALS are in full swing for the staging by Holybourne Theatre of this season’s pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk.

The first of four shows begin at the end of January for this traditional take on a family favourite, featuring the gregarious dame Dotty Dimple, her brave and bright son Jack, his daft brother Simple Simon, and their cow Buttermilk. They all live in fear of the giant Buster Gut-bucket, who is assisted by the wicked witch Picalilli, his henchman Rancid the ratman, and a pair of bungling bailiffs, Snatchet and Scarper.

And then, of course, there are the magic beans which grow into a giant beanstalk leading up to the giant’s castle in the sky.

Battling the forces of evil and helping the mortals is the good fairy Sugardust together with a chorus of singers and dancers from the youth theatre who appear in various guises from villagers and fayregoers to the giant’s minions.

With song, dance and a bags of laughter, mischief and mayhem, this show is expected to appeal to people of all ages.

Holybourne Theatre has been staging its annual pantomime since the 1960s, entertaining audiences from Alton and the surrounding villages for more than 50 years. As a community theatre, every show is run by a massive cast of volunteers both on stage and off and the pantomime involves nearly 100 people from costume, prop making and scenery painting to lighting, sound and acting.

This year’s pantomime will involve a cast of 12 adults and 30 children.

The show dates are January 30 (2pm), January 31 (2pm), February 6 (2pm & 7pm), February 12 (7pm) and February 13 (2pm & 7pm).

Tickets, priced £7.50 (£6.50 members) or £25 for a family of four, are available from Waterstone’s in Alton or online at