Puss in Boots – An Adult LGBT+ Pantomime ★★★★ Wonderville | December 4 - 31, 2023

The "Above The Stag" crew have a history of putting on wild and wacky LGBT+ pantomimes, and this latest production carries on that gloriously outrageous tradition. Tim McArthur and Lucy Penrose have written a raunchy riff on the Puss in Boots story. In this version Puss has already killed the ogre threatening the kingdom of Nunsnatch, but his brother and fellow ogre (Adam Rhys-Davies) is now seeking revenge for his sibling's loss. His evil plan is to turn all members of the realm into cocks until he learns who has committed the murder. This fate befalls the prince (Connor McGrane) and this leads his boyfriend, Master Baker (Lucy Penrose), with his Aunt Fanny (played by Andrew Lambe who also takes on the role of the Queen) to set out to foil the Ogre's dastardly plot. They are joined on their quest by Puss and the plan is to undo the Ogre's spell with a magic flan. If this plot feels like it is spinning out of control, don't worry things get hilariously worse. There are lots of barbed comments about the current events and political folly, plus parodies of pop songs and some musical standards. There's "Like a Virgin" and, of course, we get Kylie Minogue's "Padam Padam" plus a great sendup of "At the End of the Day" from Les Misérables. All the usual panto tropes are covered: the tongue twister, the recipe and the singalong. While the show's comic capers provide some serious laugh-out-loud moments the ultimate musical moment has to be Lucy Penrose's show-stopping rendition of "I Will Always Love You." One of the hallmarks of the panto is the mixing of the traditional and the topical. At our performance, Oli Ross stepped in to play Puss and the writing was so up-to-the-minute that the show had a line about understudies getting their big moment. Here's an entertainment that will definitely meet your need for a seasonal panto fix. After enjoying Puss in Boots – An Adult LGBT+ Pantomime, all you'll need to do is scarf down a few mincemeat pies and pigs-in-blankets and the holiday experience will be complete.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Gaz © PBGStudios

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