Video: Panto Jack's back in town

Fe-Fi-Fo-Fum - the cast of this year's Regent pantomime were in town today to launch Jack and the Beanstalk.

IPSWICH: Fe-Fi-Fo-Fum - the all-star cast of this year's Regent pantomime were in town today to launch the fifth Christmas extravaganza - Jack and the Beanstalk.

The star-studded cast includes Coronation Street favourite Ken Morley - Reg Holdsworth - CBBC's James Mackenzie, and former boy band Blue singer Antony Costa.

There were plenty of boos and hisses, cries of behind you and various pieces of panto business as the production team, led by producer Barrie Stead, got everyone in the pantomime spirit.

He said that a good, clean script with clever jokes and a strong cast that appealed to all ages was the secret to the Regent's panto's success.

“This year is no different. We have a terrific, larger-than-life panto dame provided by Ken Morley, a fabulous leading man Antony Costa who plays Jack and a terrifically evil villain Fleshcreep - portrayed by CBBC Raven star James Mackenzie.”

The show also sees the return of comedian and magician Carl Johns who played opposite Brain Blessed in Peter Pan in Ipswich in 2005 and newcomer Carina Gillespie, who spent the summer playing Linda Blair in Edinburgh with Antony Costa in a new musical Bloodbath.

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Ken Morley's character Reg Holdsworth was last seen departing The Street for the Betterbuy store in Lowestoft although Ken says he hasn't come from there today as Reg has moved onto bigger and better things - working the tourist trail in Emmerdale.

Ken Morley is a huge fan of pantomime, who of the longest standing traditions in English theatre, and he says that it remains wonderfully popular because it is adaptable enough to reflect the spirit of whatever time it is performed in.

“Panto is an ancient art form and it works because it takes the Michael out everything. Spitting Image worked in a similar way and had a tremendous effect on politicians. Also it only happens once a year, so it has that novelty value - it's not something you see every day of the week.”

The show is also promising a fantastic animatronic giant which is not being revealed until the opening night.

The show runs from December 19 2009 to January 10 2010. Tickets can be booked on 01473 433100 or online www.ipswichregent.com