Puss in Boots

Date 28th January 2016
Society Westovian Theatre Society
Venue Pier Pavilion South Shields
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Peter Lathan
Musical Director John Hudson
Choreographer Lisa Miller


Author: Foster Johnson

This latest production from the Westovians proved to be an absolute cracker. 

The format for a pantomime is as we know set, and to entertain an audience you have to bring a vibrancy and enthusiasm to it rather than churn out the same tried and tested material.  Well this Company has always had the ability to do so, and this show was no exception. Yes, the costumes were a little “tired”, but this did not detract from a production that simply rattled along with great tempo, and the two hours of its run flew by in the twinkling of an eye. The audience laughed from start to finish.

To achieve such a success, all the components of the show had to be in tune with each other and it worked a treat. The scenery, sound and lighting were simple but effective. The scene changes and use of props were smooth from a well-drilled team, whilst the band, under the direction of John Hudson, was excellent and not overpowering.  His choice of music was clever and matched each scene perfectly.  It was not just a case of using every popular song of the day.

As for the cast, what adjective can be used to describe them?  Perhaps it is best summed up as extremely talented.  When each component adds to the success of the total package I prefer not to single out any individuals, but the principals were exceptional.

We had Rachael Walsh at her imperious best as the evil Wisteria, David Hopper as the outlandish and outrageously funny Dame Doris, Mel Hogetts as Dame Doris’s simple son, Rory (what a bundle of fun and energy), Andrew Dawson as the other heroic son Jamie, Erin Atack as his love interest, Princess Fiona , James Jobling as Felix, and last but not least the “evergreen” Iain Cunningham as King Crumble.

These were well supported by the small but effective chorus line-up and group of young dancers.