It’s refreshing to see that while many of the bigger budget pantomime companies have grown somewhat jaded over the years, smaller theatres are making up for it with a great deal of hard work. And Puss in Boots is no exception.
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The story is a simple one, based on the famous fairytale, in which the town of Musselburgh is held to ransom by a wicked witch. Princess Fiona (Kim Shepherd) is determined to find a hero to save the day, a task in which she is aided by a magical Puss in Boots.
There’s clever writing, and equally clever choreography. There are catchy tunes, some good voices and some appalling jokes. It all adds up to a great little production.
Writer Philip Meeks and director Tim Licata have produced something that meets all the criteria of a fun-packed pantomime, while Francis Gallop adds clever staging and a set design that works incredibly well.
Although Act Two dips a little at the start, all the members of the cast apply themselves fully to push this hi-energy production along at break-neck speed.
Casting is spot on. The kids took simpleton Rory (Ross Allan) to their hearts. And as for Rumbletum; where did they manage to find a real ogre? Wysteria the witch (Isabella Jarrett) has just the right amount of presence and evil intent to produce enthusiastic boos and hisses, while the amazing Kim Shepherd has a voice that belongs on a bigger stage. So, everything is there in terms of production, sound and talent. But, more importantly, silliness and fun is high on the agenda, along with plenty opportunity for younger members of the audience to shout things at those onstage.
Run ends January 5.