Puss In Boots

Adapted and Directed by John Kelland

Performed on Wednesday 29 November - Saturday 02 December 2006 at Pentyrch Village Hall.

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Summary

This well known European fairy-tale about the ingenious cat and his master is believed to have been first published as far back as 1697 or even earlier. The original book was called Le maitre chat, ou le chat botte (The Master Cat or Puss in Boots) and written by Charles Perrault. This Hilltop Theatre Company version of Puss in Boots has been adapted by John Kelland. Gladys, her son Jack and his cat have been thrown out of home and have been travelling for days and miles from a remote and inhospitable land. They have no money, no food and have been informed by the King that the Ogre has woken after 5 years and demanded money from the King. Therefore, the King has had to demand more taxes from the people as he says he cannot beat the Ogre. The King says that whoever manages to defeat the Ogre will win his daughter's hand in marriage. The Fairy then enters with some magic boots, intended for Jack. However, the Jack's cat finds them and changes into Puss in Boots, who uses the powers of the magic boots to help Jack win the princess' hand in marriage and defeat the Ogre.

NODA Review of 'Puss in Boots'

 How to breathe new life into an old story, whilst maintaining the traditions and stock characters that everyone expects, is a challenge for any director of a panto. John Kelland and a strong cast achieved this with that old favourite ‘Puss in Boots.’ The stock characters were well realised and performed: Phil Davies on excellent form as ‘Gladys’ the Dame, obviously enjoying himself thoroughly in the role. A great cameo from Dai Williams (or was it Ray Winstone!? ) as the Ogre. Gail Alford as the domineering Queen, Sarah Jen Gazzard and Amie Harris as principal boy and girl. Able support from Richard Jones, a superbly audible Town Crier, Anna Constantinou as Polly, Helen Page as Tom, Heather Major as The Good Fairy, Steve Williams as the lugubrious Chancellor and Conor Brewer as the obsequious Toad. The ‘King’ however was not the usual hen-pecked husband, but by masterstroke of director’s invention was ‘King Elvis’, wonderfully impersonated by Martyn Lench, including some classic Elvis songs. Menna Davies acted and sang the title role beautifully.

 Add to this a chorus of engaging children and enthusiastic adults, well chosen songs, colourful costumes and a well designed set and lighting plot and you have a production that was obviously enjoyed by both a large audience and cast alike. A most pleasant start to the festive season.

 Reviewed by Tom Dyer on behalf of Frank Wooles.

 

Cast

Fairy                            Heather Major

Fairy Lights               Ella Powell

Fairy Tale                   Manon Griffith

Fairy Liquid               Alice Liney

Fairy Cake                 Ffion Cox

The Ogre                    Dai Williams

Toad                           Conor Brewer

Town Crier                Richard Jones

Gladys                        Phil Davies

Polly                            Anna Constantinou

Jack                            Sarah JÍn Gazzard

Scruffy Puss             Tomas Brettle

Tom                             Helen Page

Chancellor                 Steve Williams

Princess                     Amie Harris

Queen                         Gail Alford

King                            Martyn Lench

Puss in Boots          Menna Davies

Child 1                       Bethany Petersen

Child 2                       Rhys Degnan

Child 3                       Abigail Dawson

Child 4                       Lottie Wigg

Child 5                       Jessie Turner

Soldier 1                   Huw Williams

Soldier 2                   John Major

Courtiers/Ghosts  Carla Gambarini, Megan Hayward, Jenna Claridge

Mouse                      Elinor Brewer

Village People       Huw Williams, John Major

 

Production Team

 

Director/Producer                    John Kelland

 

Assistant Director                    Karen Claridge

 

Musical Director                       Robert Edmunds

 

Choreographer                        Victoria Graham

 

Stage Manager                         Wayne Brewer

 

Assistant Stage Manager      Raynor Phinnemore

 

Properties                                 Raynor Phinnemore, Nathan Brown

 

Set Design/Construction      Wayne Brewer, Raynor Phinnemore, Josh Cripp, Rhys Stapleton, Owain Davies, Huw Davies, Nathan Brown, Jan

 

                                                     Stapleton, Ros Jones

 

Lighting                                     Owain Davies

 

Sound                                        Greg Jenkins

 

Continuity                                 Anne Morris

 

Wardrobe Mistress                 Norma Bousfield, Anne Morris, Karen Claridge

 

Make Up                                    Karen Claridge

 

Business Manager                 Richard Jones

 

Front of House Manager      Bob Petersen

 

Front of House                       Members and Friends of Hilltop

 

Box Office                                Brenda Slaughter

 

Child Liaison                           Tracy Richards