Jack and the Beanstalk

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Jack and the Beanstalk is an old English fairy tale, often dramatized.

The original story

According to Wikipedia[], "Jack and the Beanstalk" is an old English fairy tale, possibly originating from a wide-spread archaic story nowadays classified by folklorists as ATU 328 The Boy Who Stole Ogre's Treasure. It has appeared in many versions, with various titles, but the most commonly reprinted today is the one Joseph Jacobs's version of it in English Fairy Tales (1890).

Translations and adaptations for the stage

The story has become the basis of numerous traditional British pantomimes, wherein the Giant is a villain, Jack's mother the Dame, and Jack the Principal Boy.

South African English versions

Jack and the Beanstalk, a one act South African version was written by Michelle Botha and Thomas Barlow.

Jack and the Beanstalk, a pantomime version by Janice Honeyman and Ralph Trewhela.

Jack and the Beanstalk by Glynn Day.

Jack and the Beanstalk, with Peter Noble as Jack 26.6.1992

Jack and the Beanstalk, a puppet version by Teatro dei Piccolo ('Theatre of the Little People') and Keith Anderson.

Afrikaans versions

Jan en die Boontjierank ("Jack and the beanstalk"), a puppet version in Afrikaans, adapted by Tine Balder from the English nursery-tale as written down by Joseph Jacobs. Unpublished, but a copy of the original typed text is held in the archive of the Drama Department at the University of Stellenbosch.

Jan en die Boontjierank by Nerina Ferreira, a translation of the English pantomime by Janice Honeyman.

Jan en die Boontjierank, an original pantomime text by Francois Toerien, 2006.

Performance history in South Africa

1967: Jan en die Boontjierank (a puppet play in Afrikaans) directed by Tine Balder for UTS Stellenbosch with students of the special puppet course course she ran at the University.

1968: Jan en die Boontjierank (a puppet play in Afrikaans - the Balder version) performed by SUKOVS, opening on 29 June at the Stadskouburg ("Civic Theatre") in Bloemfontein. Directed by Tine Balder with Paul Eilers, Rentia Human, Johan Botha, Mees Xteen, Maryann Johnston.

1980: A pantomime version presented by the Arts Theatre Club at the Guild Theatre, written and directed by Pam Emslie, musical direction by Mavis Woods, with Marjie Craib, Geoff Latham, Karen Evans, Norma Fegan, Lauren Germiquet, Sandy Marsberg, Amra-Faye Ball, George Mountjoy, Cathy Pulford, Don Titford, Drummond Marais, Graham Archer, Alan Emslie, Denise Archer, Lou Holcombe, Neil Emslie, Peter Wakefield, Colin Smithies, Michael Rees, Warrick Turner, Ingrid Coetser, Caroline Rich, Pat Titford, Susan Davis and Byron Naude.

1984: Jack and the Beanstalk (the one-act South African version by Michelle Botha and Thomas Barlow), produced at the Intimate Theatre by Children's Theatre in 1984, with Kevin Feather (Pixy), Michael Brunner (King), Sue Kelly Christie (Mother), Drummond Marais (Jack) and Mandy Wildman (princess).

1986: Jack and the Beanstalk , performed in the Baxter Studio, written and directed by Glynn Day, with John Dennison, Pippa Duffy, Joey Wishnia and Patrick Walton. (Chad Abrahams, James Plaatjies, Annette Hamilton, Liana Collet, Bronwyn van Graan, Matthew Roberts??).

1988: Jack and the Beanstalk , performed in the Baxter Studio, written and directed by Glynn Day, with Paul Buckby

1991: Jan en die Boontjierank the pantomime produced by PACT, directed by Francois Swart with Tobie Cronjé, Antoinette Kellermann, Henriëtta Gryffenberg, Hélène Truter and James Borthwick.

1992: Jack and the Beanstalk performed with Peter Noble as Jack (26.6.1992)

1999: Jack and the Beanstalk staged by the People's Theatre in June 1999 as their first production in the new Thabong Theatre at The Civic, directed by Jill Girard and Keith Smith, with Isadora Verwey, Francois Theron, Izak Taljaard, Vicky Friedman, Rochelle Palm, Grete Lochner, Warren Arends and Hinor Shushan.

2003: Jack and the Beanstalk, the pantomime version by Janice Honeyman and Ralph Trewhela, staged in December in the Nelson Mandela Theatre at The Civic as a pantomime, written and directed by Janice Honeyman, with Francois Schreuder, Val Donald Bell, Tobie Cronjé, Basil Appollis, Tessa Denton, Bronwyn Evans, Philip Godawa, Jeffrey Sebogodi, Byron-Lee Olivato and James van Helsdingen.

2006: Francois Toerien's text presented by the University of Stellenbosch Drama Department, directed by Toerien, starring Roeline Daneel, Mbulelo Ntlanga, Philip Lotz, Andrea Winckler and others. Stage manager, Tyron Hensel.


"Jack and the Beanstalk", in Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_and_the_Beanstalk


Teater SA, 1(1), 1968.

NELM:Collection: FLETCHER, Jill: 2005. 75. 19. 49).

Photograph of the cast (1984 production), The Rand Daily Mail, 12 July 1984.

PACT Info, (1) and (2), 1992.

Barrow, Brian & Williams-Short, Yvonne 1988.

The Citizen, 23 June 1999.

The Citizen, 11 November 2003.

Arts Theatre Club archive held by George Mountjoy.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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