I had my first experience of a Chipping Norton panto last year and loved it. They have the most amazing reputation for putting on the best pantomimes and so I was really excited to be invited along again this year with my eldest. It was a great opportunity for the two of us to have treat night out together.
All photo credits: Josh Tomalin
Chipping Norton Theatre have a jam packed line up of family friendly performances throughout the year and the panto is always a highlight. It’s such a lovely theatre to watch any performance. Being small means all the seats are great seats and a very immersive experience as you’re so close to the action.
This year’s panto, is a twist on the classic tale of Puss In Boots. You’re transported back to 1950’s East End London which is in the grip of the baddy, King Rat. The cast take you on a fast and furrious family friendly adventure to save the day.
The panto is wonderfully interactive with plenty of audience participation and had everyone including my son and myself in stitches. No stranger to the world of pantos, Ian Crowe who plays Pat M’Bloomers the dame was hilarious. King Rat played by Rowan Talbot was suitably evil and with the small size of the theatre even managed to catch my son’s eye and give him a wink while he was playing with the live band. Talking of the music, the songs are catchy, fun and varied in style and really bring everything together. The actors are musically multi talented too with the loveable Jack the Cat played by Anna Tolputt even joining in on the sax.
No panto would be complete without a fairy or a love story and ‘Puss In Boots’ had them both. Tiffany Treacle played by Lucy-Jane Quinlan had a great East End London accent and everyone was routing for her and Archie Buckle, played by Nick Pack, to get together.
Fairy Bowbells played by Jessica Brady made sure all the panto rules were followed, getting us to boo the baddies and cheer the goodies.
Chipping Norton Theatre have a knack of combining everything that makes a perfect panto from a hilarious dame to a dastardly villain, a love interest story to all the slap stick comedy and fantastic sets and costumes. In the words of my son, “it was AMAZING.” Puss In Boots the pantomime will give you all that and more, so go on and book before all the tickets have gone.