Puss in Boots
by the Hurst Children’s Theatre Group
South Holland Centre, Spalding
Saturday, January 25 – 2pm show
The great things about pantos is the scope they give you to mess about.
Yes, there’s only a handful of them and you have a basic plot to work to, but the bits and pieces along the way are all yours... and that’s where the Bourne-based Hurst Children’s Theatre Group came into their own with this production.
I am sure in the original story there were no singing fleas – played here so adorably by the very youngest members of the group.
And if the giant was actually about four foot nothing back in the day, I was certainly unaware.
And Gollum! I’m sure Tolkein’s slimiest character wasn’t in the original, but he gave us all plenty of laughs on Saturday.
But what I liked most of all was the insistence from the start that this wasn’t real and that all the young actors never pretended it was.
From the hilarious peasants, doing whatever they were told in the hope that they might progress to become villagers in the next production, to the giant getting his “Fee, fi, fo, fum” rhyme wrong and having to be corrected by other members of the cast.
Another break from tradition was the lack of “He’s behind yous”, and there were only a few “Oh no he isn’ts” thrown in at the end for a laugh.
The only adult in the show was absolutely hilarious – who doesn’t love a pantomime dame with a moustache, screaming in a falsetto and handing out sweets?
And the good old singalongs were in abundance too, with old time classics such as “Me Ol’ Bamboo” and “Underneath the Armpits(!!) to the Dean Martin classic “How Do You Like Your Eggs”, reinstated to fame by the Chris Evans Breakfast Show.
All in all, a great afternoon of family fun.