I watched Alison Hammond star in her dream job at the Big Brummie Panto at the Hippodrome

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Brummie queen Alison Hammond is starring in Jack in the Beanstalk alongside the city’s Panto King Matt Slack at Birmingham Hippodrome - here's our review

She’s our Brummie Queen who dazzles TV audiences presenting top shows including This Morning and Great British Bake Off.

Now Alison Hammond has returned to Birmingham to star at the Spirit of the Beans with the city’s Panto King Matt Slack in Jack in the Beanstalk at the Hippodrome - and told how she’d landed her dream job before the curtain went down.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

It’s being hailed as a Giant Pantomime Spectacular - and it’s no wonder. Birmingham Hippodrome has built up a reputation for producing the best regional pantos in the UK - and this is the best one yet!

This show is absolutely huge. From the moment the curtain goes up there are some massive stage effects - with a particularly, not to be missed, enormous beanstalk growing right up from the ground in the stalls to the ceiling high above the gods with Jack (played by Brummie acting star Alexanda O’Reilly) climbing up it.

Alison Hammond stars in panto at Birmingham HippodromeAlison Hammond stars in panto at Birmingham Hippodrome
Alison Hammond stars in panto at Birmingham Hippodrome

This is Matt Slack’s 10th panto for the Hippodrome. So if you haven’t got around to seeing him previously, you really should get to go and see him this time as Jack’s elder brother Jake. You’ll be laughing out loud all the way through the show.

Alison received a huge Brummie welcome when she first appeared on stage - and got so excited she performed a trademark TikTok with the ensemble. One highlight was the special twist as she performed the Dirty Dancing hit I’ve Had the Time of My Life - the one where Patrick Swayze lifts Jennifer Grey - with Matt Slack (you’ll have to go and see it to find out what happens!).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Jack in the Beanstalk panto at Birmingham HippodromeJack in the Beanstalk panto at Birmingham Hippodrome
Jack in the Beanstalk panto at Birmingham Hippodrome

She also paid tribute to her late mum and shared memories of their trips to the Hippodrome to see musicals like West Side Story. Alison proudly told the audience: “I love this theatre.” There’s a named seat for her mum in the stalls.

Another star of the show is former Eastenders star Samantha Womak who used to play Ronnie Mitchell. She stars as Mrs Blunderbore and, as you can imagine, Matt has a few gags about the TV soap - and does some impressive impressions of all the stars she’s worked with over the years.

Matt Slack in Jack in the Beanstalk panto at Birmingham HippodromeMatt Slack in Jack in the Beanstalk panto at Birmingham Hippodrome
Matt Slack in Jack in the Beanstalk panto at Birmingham Hippodrome

The hilarious camaraderie between Matt and fellow panto regulars Andrew Ryan (panto dame extraordinaire) and Lazy Cow Doreen Tipton (playing a Lazy Cow with some surprisingly impressive vocals) is not to be missed - they really do have panto entertainment off to a fine art. 

The plot loosely follows that of Jack and the Beanstalk, but it’s the fun filled antics of Matt Slack and co that really make this a must see production for the family this Christmas. The music scenes are hilarious and the children loved the frivolity and crazy capers. Jack and the Beanstalk is on at Birmingham Hippodrome until January 28. For more information and tickets go here: Birmingham Hippodrome panto

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.