Review: Puss In Boots: A near purrrfect panto!

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Puss in Boots
Earl Gregory as Puss with Darren King as Mother Merry Marzipan in Kickstart’s Puss in Boots, on now at The Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City #PIB

On Sunday afternoon, I took my inner child to see Kickstart’s Puss In Boots at The Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City, and boy was my inner-child pleased.

This pantomime, tells the traditional tale of Puss In Boots, updated with lots of music easily identifiable to a young audience and humour that is topical, with a most underrated cast. This pantomime checks most of the boxes required for a traditional pantomime: a good fairy, an evil villain, a pantomime dame, the double entendre, the messy baking scene, audience participation, groan-worthy jokes and sing alongs.

Puss In Boots stars Earl Gregory as Puss, this musical theatre star had the unenviable task of holding his Spanish accent through his spoken lines as well as in song, all while dressed as a cat in massive boots. He has toured with Cats the musical, and so he is probably used to the costume, but played this role exceptionally. Pantomime dame Mother Merry Marzipan, played by Darren King delivered much of the humour in the form of often silly, sometimes clever puns, but his comic timing was perfect. The rivalry between the good fairy, Ilse Klink and the goblin-wizard, Michael Richard saw these two theatre stars have a great time on stage and allowed opportunity for Klink’s singing voice to take the spotlight.

Puss in Boots
Caitlin Kilburn as Selina Swiftclaw in Kickstart’s Puss in Boots.
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Behind the scenes, the brightly coloured and well lit set underwent a number of complete changes, all seamless.

A good pantomime must win its audience over, and this one had great participation from the audience, and although presented in two long acts (the first 75 minutes, the second 50) the audience, apart from a few very young children, stayed focused. Fun was had by one and all, and this well scripted panto, with plenty of shade thrown, truly entertained both children and adults alike. This is the best pantomime I have seen in years, and if you are looking for something to do with the family this school holiday, I can think of nothing I would recommend more.

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