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Review: Puss in Boots

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Posted on: 20 December 2023

Review: Puss in Boots

by Lynette Watson

A dazzling Christmas cracker of a show bursting with glitz and glamour plus an upright, walking talking feline clad in magical red boots has arrived at Leicester’s Little Theatre, delivering their ever popular and always traditional pantomime. This year being – yes, you’ve guessed it – Puss in Boots.

This classic tale, adapted by the man of many talents, John Bale, follows the journey of two millers’ sons who have been stripped of their inheritance by the evil wizard Malavort (Joe Middleton). Having been left with only with their faithful cat, the poor eldest brother Tom (Simon Butler) struggles to gain the hand of Queen Camilla’s (Bale) daughter, Princess Lilly (Alice Marshall), in marriage. Pantoland collides with Catland in this beautiful, colourful show, as the Spirit of Catland (Natasha Carr) grants Puss with magical powers to save the day.

The entire cast ensure the pace never drops throughout. In true pantomime style, it’s packed with the usual corny jokes, clever plays on words, and a plethora of panto staples, including the ‘convenient bench’ making its annual appearance. It never fails to have the kids absolutely going mad… they loved it, cheering and booing from the start – their enjoyment was palpable!

In the title role, Rose Bale strutted around with confidence and her vocals were pitch perfect. Butler and Marshall made an endearing couple as Tom and Princess Lilly, and were well countered by the manic-laughing of Joe Middleton, suitably evil as Malavort.

Back to Queen Camilla, and John Bale revels in his role as the dame, superb as ever in the hilarious costumes that evoked applause at every entrance. His double act with Fusspot, the Lord Chamberlain (Russell Webster) was excellent. Their Torvil and Dean Bolero dance was one of the highlights of the show, beautifully passionate but utterly ridiculous.

The spectacular finale is a pure visual delight, and if you can only visit one pantomime this year, venture no further than The Little Theatre. It’s a fun-filled, festive family treat, and I guarantee you will love it.

 

 

Photos by Dave Morris.

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