Pat Hamilton reviews Puss In Boots

Puss In Boots
by Chris Shinn and Julie Petrucci
performed by Waterbeach Community Players
directed by Julie Petrucci

A visit to Waterbeach Panto is guaranteed to provide an evening of pure enjoyment for young and old alike.

The welcoming and cheerful FOH staff compensate for the slightly less than adult size seating - the venue being a junior school hall - but, as the lights go down, any discomfort evaporates and all attention is centred on the stage.

This group is very fortunate to have the talented services of Julie Petrucci and Chris Shinn who write their scripts. Their knowledge of local performers and technical crew provides a solid basis for a story devised to entertain and delight.

Traditional Pantomime should have Goodies, Baddies, girls dressed as chaps and gents dressed as ladies plus a lively chorus of townsfolk and courtiers - this show had them all.

A musical introduction from MD Shirley Randall and percussionist James Morgan led into a Flash on stage right and we were welcomed by a beautifully costumed Fairy delightfully played by Vicki Green who set the scene and introduced us to the townsfolk of Begonia.

The (almost traditional) story of Puss in Boots progressed interspersed with lively songs and audience participation. Lots of Boos for the baddies and Cheers for the goodies especially when good triumphed and all was happy ever after.

There were extremely strong performances from the principal characters. David Morris (Nick) and Martin George (Knack) were provocatively evil inviting the appropriate reaction from the audience to much effect - as did Chip Colquhoun who was a truly grotesque Ogre.

The love interest, penniless Jim and Princess Lisa looked lovely and were delightfully played by Samantha Allen and Katherine Maltby.

The Royal Court of Begonia were nobly governed by Queen Beatrice (Rosie Wilson) and Lord Chancellor (James Windle).

Leading the comedy and audience participation were Dame Delia Doughneeder - superbly played as always by Chris Shinn with Paul Lockwood as her delightfully simple sidekick, Bob The Job. Their appearances were welcomed and enjoyed with much amusement.

But, without any doubt, the most stunning performance was that of Puss, played by Kayleigh Orrock. Everything about her characterisation was purrfect. Her feline appearance, gestures and delightful singing voice were faultless. This talented young lady also choreographed the WCP regular speciality UV sequence.

There was exceptional support from the dedicated behind the scenes and FOH team -Scenery, Lighting, Special Effects, Costumes and Make-up all contributing to an evening of fun, laughter and smiles.


Waterbeach Theatre Company
All performances at
Waterbeach School
Cambridge CB25 9JU

Phone: 01223 880023

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