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Panto is everything you expect – and more

Puss in Boots, Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, Saturday, December 6, 2pm.

THE cat's whiskers – this fantastic feline caper has something for everyone this festive season.

A boisterous cast brought a smile to everyone's faces as Puss in Boots – the traditional tale of Jack the Miller's son – set the scene for seasonal good cheer.

Jack, played superbly by Bradley Clarkson, won fans among children and adults alike as the lovable hero of the tale, who sets off to find fame, fortune and love with the help of his magical cat, Puss, played perfectly by Helena Blackman.

Pantomime favourite James Nickerson returned for his ninth Bury season, stealing the show as Nellie 'Where You Been?' Gwyn, with an elastic face and caustic wit, keeping the cast and audience on their toes.

Spectacular special effects, including a volcano which erupts from the centre of the stage, captured youngsters' imaginations, while the fearsome ogre Cromwell, played wickedly well by Mark Stratton, created delicious drama by transforming into a hideous bear and a terrifying green dragon.

Cromwell drew boos aplenty as the villain who stole the English throne from King Charles I, while his sinister sidekick Hench, played expertly by Dennis Herdman, also filled his role with relish.

The athletic cast were bursting with energy, while the cats captured children's imaginations as they prowled the auditorium before and during the production.

Abi Newberry was impressive as the exiled King Charles II's daughter Princess Caroline, who falls in love with the irrepressible Jack.

With all the traditional ingredients, such as a sing-a-long and plenty of chances for children to play their part, this festive production is thoroughly entertaining and funny, with everything you would expect from the Theatre Royal – and more.

JO THEWLIS

n Puss in Boots is at the Theatre Royal until January 18. Tickets cost 6.50-23.50. To book, call the box office on 01284 769505 or go to www.theatreroyal.org

 
 
 

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