Puss In Boots is gleefully eclectic but it needs a bit more work

5 Dec


The classic fairy story about the super-smart cat who secures wealth and title for his low-born, down-at-heel master has been slightly out of favour in panto circles recently. But, thanks to Shrek, the bewhiskered character has remained a popular figure.

There is a hint of the Dreamworks franchise about a few elements in Susie McKenna’s production – the ogre’s wall-shattering first entrance in particular. But, this being pantomime, there is also gleeful eclecticism – including allusions to Downton Abbey, Take Hart, Bob The Builder and Les Mis.

There’s lots of entertainingly vivid character work. Kat B has both the name and charisma to play Puss, while Sharon D Clarke brings major vocal chops to the part of Queen Talulah The Hoo Ha and Josefina Gabrielle revels in the boos as evil witch Evilena. In the dame role of Nettie Knowall, Stephen Matthews dispenses gobbets of wisdom (‘Never take a laxative…

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