A supermarket, a beanstalk and a whole lot of laughs at Eastwood Park Theatre

From left: Ross Mann (The Farmer), River City's Sarah McCardie (Jack's mum), Kim Allan (Alice) and  Joshua Aitken (Jack McJack) star in the original Christmas show, Jack and the Beanstalk II: Return of the Farmer. 'Photo: ''Mark F Gibson
From left: Ross Mann (The Farmer), River City's Sarah McCardie (Jack's mum), Kim Allan (Alice) and Joshua Aitken (Jack McJack) star in the original Christmas show, Jack and the Beanstalk II: Return of the Farmer. 'Photo: ''Mark F Gibson

Eastwood Park Theatre’s Christmas show, Jack and the Beanstalk II: Return of the Farmer, is now under way – but it isn’t your usual panto outing.

A twist on the traditional tale, the story centres around Jack McJack, who is now living a life of fame, fortune and fanciness.

He owns Giffnock’s most successful supermarket and everything is going his way – until the trickster of a farmer who gave him his magic beans returns and demands his share of the profits.

In the hilarious new tale he recalls the story of his heroic trip to the top of the beanstalk, before facing the farmer in an epic showdown.

Scottish actor Kim Allan plays Alice in a cast that includes Joshua Aitken. who plays Jack McJack; Ross Mann, as The Farmer; and River City’s Sarah McCardie, who takes on the role of Jack’s mum.

“Alice is kind of underestimated, especially by her boss at the Giffnock supermarket,” Kim explained. “But she’s really smart and the one that comes up with all the plans.”

“Alice is not your usual panto damsal in distress, she’s very kick ass and is the one that does a lot of the fighting and ends up saving the day. She isn’t the love interest either which is good.

“She is great fun to play and a great character.”

Kim continued: “The story plot is great fun as well.

“There is the usual panto boos and ‘it’s behind you’ and audience participation, but it’s a cross between a Christmas show and a pantomime and it works really well.”

With just four actors in the show, there is a lot more work for the cast than normal.

“The rehearsals have gone really well. They were hard work but still a lot of fun,” Kim said. “There are just the four of us in the show but there is still music, dance and laughs, and the drama of a traditional pantomime.

“I think that audiences are really impressed to see us take on additional characters.

“It adds another element to the show – a kind of what are they going to do next?”

Kim is no stranger to treading the boards at Eastwood Park Theatre...

“My earliest memory of the Eastwood Park Theatre was being four years old and running up and down the seats and just being a little terror!” she laughed.

“My mum and dad met in an am-dram musical production of Hello Dolly there and I was often around the theatre.

“When I came to the theatre for rehearsals I got a weird, feeling,” Kim continued. “Everyone was asking if I was okay, but it was just a caseof deja vu! It’s great to be back here in the theatre.”

Aside from theatre work, Kim has also graced both the big screen and small screen.

She’s previously starred in Netflix’s hit film ‘Outlaw King’, ‘Outlander’ and the Channel 4/Netflix series ‘Lovesick’.

Kim played Isabella Macduff, Countess of Buchan – a significant figure in the Wars of Scottish Independence in the movie – an expereince she said was “incredible”.

“It was such an amazing experience, utterly incredible,” Kim said.

“I’ve been on stage, TV and small low budget films before, but nothing like on this scale.

“It was really big on set –you have all the crew, the cast, the horses, the carriages.

“For one of my scenes, we had to get a specific sunset for the coronation scene and it had to be perfect. If you don’t get it, you have to reset everything. It’s a lot of pressure and adreneline but it was fantastic. Everyone was a joy to work with and I’m lucky to have been part of such a great film.”

Catch Kim and the rest of the cast on stage in Jack and the BeanstalkII: Return of the Farmer at Eastwood Park Theatre until Sunday, December 30. Book tickets now by visiting www.eastwoodparktheatre.co.uk.