Hit the Jack Pot

Have you noticed how common the name Jack is in fairy tales? Jack and Jill. Jack the Giant Killer. Little Jack Horner.

This will be no surprise to anyone who’s seen the Autumn season at Jacksons Lane this year, as we’ve got two Jacks visiting us. Jack Frost will be taking over our theatre over half term in tutti frutti’s Jack Frost and the Search for Winter. Then in December, possibly the most famous fairy tale Jack of all will be taking over for our Christmas show in Jack and the Beanstalk.

But do you know why the name is so popular for these characters? Back in the Middle Ages, John was a very popular name. So popular that for a time in the 1300s, over a third of men were called John. Naturally, they needed to start using nicknames to avoid confusion.

The most common nickname by far was Jack. It became such a popular diminutive for boys called John, that it ended up being used as a slang word for ‘man’.* We can see vestiges of this use today, in  the phrase Jack-of-all-trades, as well as the Jacks in a deck of cards. By naming a character ‘Jack’, these storytellers were effectively creating an everyman protagonist

Since then, Jack and John have parted ways, with Jack becoming an independent name in its own right, and there are now more babies being named Jack than John. Jack is now one of the most popular names for boys in the UK. There’s no wonder why we still love a good story about our hero, Jack.

Now, being Jacksons Lane, we can’t let these Pocket Jacks go. So, we’re giving you the chance to hit the Jack Pot! If you purchase tickets to Jack Frost and the Search for Winter and Jack and the Beanstalk together, you’ll receive a 15% discount on your tickets to those two shows. Discounts will apply automatically in the basket. Ts & Cs apply**

Jack Frost and the Search for Winter runs from Thursday 27 – Friday 30 October

Jack and the Beanstalk runs from Wednesday 14 December – Sunday 1 January

*You can see this effect today, notably with the rise of terms like ‘Karen’ to describe a particular type of disagreeable person.

If you want to while away a rainy afternoon, we can definitely recommend looking up names that have become words (or eponym, to use the technical term). To start you off, we can give you a circus related one. The skin-tight garment often worn by dancers and other performers was named after the acrobat Jules Leotard, who would wear a tight body suit while he performed on the trapeze back in the 1800s.



** discounts will apply to the same number of tickets from each show. So, if you purchase two tickets to Jack Frost and the Search for Winter, you’ll receive a discount on two tickets to Jack and the Beanstalk, even if you have three or more in your basket. And vice versa.

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