Fee-fi-fo-fum! It’s time for Thame Players’ pantomime … not forgetting the Dame!

Tony Long as Dame DickWhittington Thame Players 2019

Fee-fi-fo-fum! I smell the blood of an Englishman. Be he alive, or be he dead, I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.”

So says the Ogre in Jack and the Beanstalk, a favourite amongst pantomimes, opening tomorrow at the Players Theatre Thame on Friday 2nd December.

The story goes back to the eighteenth century (and some research shows it goes back much earlier): The Story of Jack Spriggins and the Enchanted Bean appeared in 1734, but the version used today is based on Joseph Jacobs’ retelling in English Fairy Tales in 1890.

In Thame Players’ version of this well-known fairy tale, the hero is Jack, a poor country boy, who trades the family’s cow for magic beans. The beans grow into a towering beanstalk. When Jack climbs the beanstalk, he finds himself in the castle of an unfriendly Ogre. Jack is hopelessly in love with the Princess, and determined to defeat the Ogre, who is huge and threatening and wants to eat humans for breakfast, assisted by his henchman Stinkweed.  Of course, Jack outwits the Ogre, assisted by Sweet Pea, the fairy, and various other characters including Robin Hood and some of his Merry Men – and even the Brothers Grimm of fairy-tale fame!

Another of the characters we could not be without in any self-respecting pantomime is the Dame. In this production of Jack and the Beanstalk, the Dame is played by Tony Long and this year is special, because it will mark his 30th performance as the Dame. Tony took the role over when there was a vacancy in the early 1980s, created by the departure of Roger Smith, who had played the Dame for many years. Tony’s first Dame role was in Cinderella in 1984 and he hasn’t looked back since! He says, “Every year I go to the panto auditions and every year I wonder if someone else will show flair for the role and knock me off my perch. But while I’m still fit enough, I’ll keep auditioning and keep hoping to get the part.” He added, “For me the panto is the highlight of the year. I thoroughly enjoy all the roles I play but Pantomime Dame is without doubt my favourite.”

Thame Players’ Jack and the Beanstalk is co-directed by Colleen Tudway and Steve Lambell, themselves veterans of many a pantomime. They said, “We couldn’t be more delighted than to be celebrating Tony’s 30th appearance as the Dame in this year’s panto, he is always a big hit with audiences, and is without doubt one of the best exponents of the role. Long may he continue.”

The plot would not be complete without the Dame, and of course, the corny jokes which will have you groaning and laughing in your seat, the singing and dancing routines and all the elements we expect and look forward to every year … It all adds up to great family entertainment and audiences are guaranteed to have a brilliant time. – oh, yes, they will!     

Tickets are selling fast, so if you want to see Jack and the Beanstalk at the Players Theatre from 2nd December, act now to be sure of a seat – oh, yes, you should!   


Jack and the Beanstalk will be performed from Friday 2nd – Sunday 4th December and from  Wednesday 7th – Sunday 11th December at the Players Theatre, Thame OX9 2DP. Weekday evening performances are at 7.45 pm, performances on Saturdays and Sundays are at 2.00 pm and 5.30 pm. Tickets are £10.00 and £9.00. Book online atwww.thameplayers.co.uk  or from the Information Centre at Thame Town Hall (check https://www.thametowncouncil.gov.uk/visit-thame/information-centre/ for opening times) or call on 01844 212833.

Share this post with your friends

You may also like...

Get in touch

If you have any queries, please contact us and we will be happy to help.

Is this for you….Do you have an appetite for Catering? Jan heads up our catering team and is looking for some new volunteers to help feed our visitors and staff! Our Station Café at Chinnor serves customers with sandwiches, cakes, hot & cold drinks and takes orders for hot food, including probably the best sausage baps in Oxfordshire! –ed.As part of the team, you would be handling cash and using the card machine as well as helping to keep the café well stocked. In any quiet periods in between trains, you’d help keep the seating area in the marquee clean and clear away the used crockery and any leftover food, giving the tables a thorough wipe down.If you’d like to learn or already have café catering experience this role has your name on it. All we ask is a smart appearance and always service with a smile! We are running a ‘Find out more about Volunteering’ Drop-in Day at Chinnor station on Sunday 25 Feb 2024 from 11.00 to 16.00. It's exclusively for people who are wondering about volunteering. Find out more at: https://www.chinnorrailway.co.uk/article.php/274/help-to-run-our-railway ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
Hello Readers, Welcome to the 𝗙𝗲𝗯𝗿𝘂𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟰 𝗶𝘀𝘀𝘂𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗟𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗟𝗼𝗰𝗮𝗹 𝗠𝗮𝗴𝗮𝘇𝗶𝗻𝗲. How are your New Year’s Resolutions going? Did you take part in Dry January or Veganuary or have you opted for the popular “I will exercise more and shape up in time for summer!” If so, then give yourself a couple of nights off as we celebrate Shrove Tuesday on the 13th Februaryfollowed by Valentine’s Day on 14th, both of which are not occasions to be worrying about the waist line. For those of you who are adopting a plant based lifestyle I’ve included a Pancake Recipe suitable for vegans - see page 8. For those who love the Arts, check out our regular competition (page 13) where you can WIN TICKETS to a show at The Players Theatre, Thame. Half term starts the week commencing 12th February and South Oxfordshire & Vale of White Horse District Councils are providing the activities and events at venues across the area throughout this week. A dinosaur-themed week, multi-sports, yoga, boxercise and movie screenings are just some of the free and low-cost activities available for children and their families to enjoy this February half-term. For more information, view here: www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/school-holiday-activities. And whilst on the subject of events, if you’re hosting something locally or you’ve got a feel good story to tell then please do get in touch as I can help you spread the word within my printed magazine as well as online via social media. Look Local also runs a Leaflet Distribution Service so if you’re a local business who prefers this way of marketing your services then drop me an email and I can assist you. Until next month, enjoy reading..Click link to read: https://look-localmagazine.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Feb24_Issue135_28pg_ONLINE.pdf ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook
❗Appeal for stall holders❗We are nearly out of the long, cold winter and here at Florence Nightingale we are starting to look ahead to Spring and exciting, upcoming events to mark our 35th anniversary. We need stall holders to support us at our events this Spring and Summer.Do you know a talented face painter? Do you run fun games/activities for kids? Do you offer engaging arts and crafts activities?We need your help to make our community events great and raise as much money as possible for the Hospice, if you think you can help get in touch with Carla – carlagerlack@fnhospice.org.uk or call 01296 429975Please feel free to share or tag your recommendations in this post. ... See MoreSee Less
View on Facebook