Puss In Boots

Boots the Panto! By Paul Jenden. Directed by Susan Wilson. Music by Michael Nicholas Williams. Circa One to 23 December.  Photo credit: Stephen A’Court. ©Stephen A’Court

Ralph Mcallister reporte the Trolls are taking over Wellington. Royalty has been reduced to poverty.

Mrs Miller and son Arthur (get it?) are starving in Aro Valley.

Cats are struggling to survive the evil Gareth.


Here we go again.

Susan Wilson and her hugely energetic team bring this year’s pantomime to Circa and it doesn’t need a fairy godmother (even though we have one) to predict another major hit for the Christmas season.

Paul Jenden’s 2012 show has been revived and revised and will please most audiences ,with enough topical send ups ,singing, dancing and general cavorting to amuse children of all ages.

Sophie, Emilee, and Cameron report in

King Gav Puss and friends

My three accompanying me ,age range from 11 to 17 simply adored it.

Sophie (17)wrote:
“A hilarious play where the actors got all ages and genders of the audience involved for a night full of humour and cheers”

Emilee (14)said:
“An amazing piece of theatre enjoyable for all ages including the little ones.The plot was relatable and the actors had everyone in the audience laughing to no end.Overall an
awesome comedy and I would watch it all again”

Cameron(11) decided
“It was an enjoyable night that had lots of  things related to NZ which made everyone laugh”

Presentation was as slick as ever with the seven actors doing some excellent work.

The plot was unimportant ,a vehicle for gag , song and improvisation.

Gavin Rutherford’s dame is part of our theatrical history and surely he didn’t mean it as he ad libbed “I should have given up this dame three years ago” as he rushed madly offstage to return in more drag.

‘Audiences love him’

Audiences love him to bits and will continue to do so for as long as he chooses.

I thought of James O’Neill,Eugene’s father,who was locked in ,by public demand,to playing the Count of Monte Cristo long after his sword fighting days were over.

No risk of that with Rutherford whose serious acting skills are as versatile as they are memorable.

Michael Nicholas Williams sang along,danced at the keyboard and punctuated the zippy dialogue with aplomb and devastating timing.

The eighth actor Eric Gardiner who manages to stage direct the entire proceedings also showed that at age 77 he can hoof it with the best.

Many of the jokes escaped me ,put that down to some sound balancing problems ,my age and technological ignorance.

I feel the show would benefit from losing 15 minutes in the first half.

But the second half is a frenetic gem and was rightly received with huge roars of applause.

A hit,a palpable hit.

Ralph Mcallister


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