David Walliams And Sheridan Smith Are Starring In A Jack And The Beanstalk Adaption
This Christmas, David Walliams is treating us to an extra special festive treat. Following the success of last year's Cinderella: After Ever After, which explored the hilarity of married life for Cinderella and Prince Charming after they their "happy ever after", this year, David has written and stars in Jack & the Beanstalk: After Ever After!
Like Cinderella: After Ever After, the special begins where the classic English fairytale ends. We see the formation of an unlikely friendship between Jack (Eddie Karanja) and the Giant (David Walliams) as they attempt to outsmart the The Woman With No Name, the baddie played by Sheridan Smith.
The official synopsis reads: "We all thought Jack had put an end to the Giant but guess what? The Giant is concussed but very much alive and stuck on Earth with no way back to his house in the sky. Jack must think on his feet and outsmart the angry villagers to get the giant home. Along the way, both characters discover their inner self belief and overcome their fears to help one another."
"It's a continuation but the main thing is we've invented this character called The Woman With No Name who is a giant hunter," David explains. "We needed a new threat to the giant. We wanted the giant to be in danger."
David and Sheridan have a long history of working together. They starred in Michael Grandage's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Noel Coward Theatre in London in 2013. Three years ago they joined forces for another Christmas comedy for Sky called Ratburgers.
"I just thought 'well, we're never gonna get her but we might as well ask her.' And, amazingly she hadn't worked for a long time so she said 'Yeah,'" said David, jokingly.
"I think she's the most popular actress in the country, by a long way, and she's also the most talented I can't think of a single role she can't play. I mean, she's even planning to play me soon! She's gonna play me AND Matt Lucas. And I think this is fun to see her in a role that's a little more over the top."
Sheridan added: "It's quite fun because I never get to play parts like this, and David always casts me as the baddie and they are the fun parts to play.
"I love getting to dress up and be daft, and David's stories always have a lot of heart. I think David's a genius, I think he's a modern Roald Dahl."
For Sheridan, Jack & the Beanstalk: After Ever After is her first acting project since giving birth to her first child, Billy, in May during the national lockdown. "It was a bit of a scary time. But he's amazing now, he's six months and he's gorgeous. He saw David, dressed as the giant!"
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One of the most exciting aspects of Jack & the Beanstalk: After Ever After are the sensational costumes. "I just love being transformed. There's something very exciting about looking in the mirror and you see something or someone else as an actor," David told Tyla.
"I had these amazing rubber hands, which were like gloves, and they worked a treat and I love my boots, my boots are quite slippery, I had these freshly made boots, and we were filming in the mud and the boots have no tread on them whatsoever."
Sheridan said: "I liked my eyepatch because it doubles as a catapult, which is very cool. I also had a leather, kind of Matrix coat thing that I found quite cool too but they didn't let me keep it though!"
In the special, Jack is played by newcomer Eddie Karanja. The young actor received heaps of praise from his co-stars for being an absolute treat to work with. "I fell in love with him, he was so sweet, he just wanted to learn," Sheridan gushes.
"It's lovely when you see kids like that because it was his first telly job and to see his enthusiasm and really wanting to learn, I was so impressed. I'm a big fan of Eddie, my little mate!"
With many Christmas pantos cancelled this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but David says Jack & the Beanstalk: After Ever After could fill that void and become the extravaganza the entire family can come together and enjoy. "This is not done in a panto way, but obviously, it's a story that's familiar through pantomimes. So, if you don't get a chance to go pantomime everybody sort of scratch that itch for you as a kind of fun thing you can enjoy as a family."
There are also some real-world reference weaved into the script to make the adults chuckle too. David said: "It was only right that we should put in references to what is going on right now. Like 'there's a giant on the loose, we've got to go into lockdown,' 'are the pubs still open?' There are jokes like that which are probably going to be more appreciated by the grownups."
Jack & the Beanstalk: After Ever After airs Wednesday 23 December at 8pm on Sky One
Featured Image Credit: Sky One
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