David Walliams has co-created a brand new retelling of a classic fairytale, starring as the Giant in Jack and the Beanstalk: Ever After.
In Walliams’ version, the Giant didn’t die after falling off the beanstalk, but escaped with a concussion and no way back to his home. Stuck in a human village, he’s forced to seek help from the unlikeliest of sources – all the while attempting to outsmart the villagers.
Read on for our guide to the cast and characters in Jack and the Beanstalk: After Ever After.
David Walliams plays the Giant
Who is the Giant? The Giant from the fairytale Jack and the Beanstalk – but not as we know him. In this version, the Giant is only concussed from his fall, and strikes up an unlikely alliance with Jack as he attempts to get home.
David Walliams said of his character: “If you think about it when you see or read the original story, the giant is evil just because he’s the giant. It’s alright for Jack to go into the giant’s castle, rob him then chop down the beanstalk and kill him. Everyone’s happy with that. So myself and the Dawson Brothers wanted to turn that on its head a bit. It’s quite fun thinking about it in a more modern context.”
Where have I seen David Walliams before? Co-creator of Jack and the Beanstalk: Ever After, Walliams is known for his children’s books, writing, and role as a judge on Britain’s Got Talent. He’s previously acted in Little Britain, Stardust, Big School, Gangsta Granny, and Run Fatboy Run, among other projects.
Sheridan Smith plays The Woman with No Name
Who is The Woman with No Name? A mysterious giant killer who usually wears an eyepatch.
Sheridan Smith has revealed that when she first read the scripts, she imagined the Woman with No Name speaking with a West Country accent, which she committed to do during filming: “Sometimes I do sound a bit like a pirate. David [Walliams] just said, ‘Just do whatever your instincts are.’”
She added: “The Woman With No Name is actually called Janet. David told me that she’s quite mysterious. She likes having this persona but she’s quite a loner. She goes from village to village saying she’s this amazing giant slayer. And she smokes a pipe.”
Where have I seen Sheridan Smith before? Known for her stage and on-screen roles, Smith has starred in Cleaning Up, Isolation Stories, Funny Girl, Cilla, Gavin & Stacey, The Huntsman: Winter’s War, and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.
Eddie Karanja plays Jack
Who is Jack? The young titular hero of our story, who joins forces with the Giant to try and get home – while outwitting the angry villagers.
Walliams said that while he was “really proud of Cinderella,” his first After Ever After special, Jack and the Beanstalk had a different, “more real” feel given its focus on a child, Jack.
“For this one putting a kid at the centre of it gives it different emotions – I wanted it to feel more real. You feel for Jack,” he said.
Where have I seen Eddie Karanja before? This is the newcomer’s first major on-screen role.
Blake Harrison plays Dodgy Dave
Who is Dodgy Dave? The market seller who first sold Jack the magic beans from the original story.
“As you can imagine from his name Dave’s wares aren’t necessarily as advertised,” Blake Harrison said of Dodgy Dave. “Effectively he’s just a conman that is trying to make a quick buck or a few gold coins which is the currency in Titchington. He sells anything from fireproof twigs to talking gravel and invisible hats. If anyone has got any complaints he will try to refer you to the very very fine fine fine print that you may or may not be able to read.”
Where have I seen Blake Harrison before? You’ll recognise Harrison from his work in The Inbetweeners franchise as Neil, but he’s also starred in A Very English Scandal, the Dad’s Army remake (as Pike), and in the recent World on Fire.
Jocelyn Jee Esien plays Pat
Who is Pat? Pat is Jack’s hard-working mother, who is initially cynical about Jack’s magical wares.
Jocelyn Jee Esien said of her character: “She’s almost a bit of a wicked mother in the beginning. Or you think she is. There’s a lot of push and pull with her and Jack. She’s hard working so she’s always tired. She’s always cooking and he’s always coming back with so much drama. She doesn’t need the drama.”
Where have I seen Jocelyn Jee Esien before? The British actress has starred in Little Miss Jocelyn, The Hustle, Turn Up Charles, The Midnight Gang (with co-star David Walliams), and Upstart Crown, playing innkeeper Lucy.
Ashley McGuire plays Mayoress
Who is the Mayoress? The Mayoress of the village where Jack lives, and where the Giant finds himself stranded.
Where have I seen Ashley McGuire before? McGuire played Mandy Harris in off-beat comedy This Country, and has starred in EastEnders, Malory Towers, Wanderlust, and Bridget Jones’s Baby.
Daniel Rigby plays the Baker
Who is the Baker? The local baker and initially one of the angry villagers keen to see the end of the Giant.
Where have I seen Daniel Rigby before? The actor is known for roles in Eric & Ernie, Flyboys, Big School, Flowers, Sick Note, and Undercover.