Puss in Boots, this year’s choice by the 20-years-old Creakes Drama Group, is a dark tale of two-timing skulduggery yet it fills North Creake’s village hall with a production that is colourful and sparkling, writes Peter Bird.
Such is the strength of this group that more than 50 members are involved in its staging either on stage, in the chorus or behind the scenes.
The well-known fairy tale is about Jack, the lately deceased miller’s third son − and a stepson, who is only left a cat in his stepfather’s will.
But it is a cat with attitude. A sleek, scheming feline determined to make something of his new master’s life.
He uses trickery and deceit in an attempt to gain power, wealth and the hand of the princess in marriage for his penniless and low-born master.
The pantomime also features three killer rabbits, but their propensity for creating mayhem is somewhat underdone by their names: Mr Fluffy, Mr Wigglenose and Mr Cheekycottonbottom.
For this production the audience get a cat of two parts.
Eleven-year-old Olivia Sands plays an ordinary puss without boots that can only mime onstage.
But when the special boots are donned the cat becomes 28-year-old Vanessa McAuley who can talk.
Harry Studd, 14 years a member of the group, obviously enjoys the responsibility of being sole director for the first time, combining the role with the part of Grimgrab, the ogre.
The costumes are sumptuous and the music features so many old favourites that the audience is likely to be singing along with the cast before the end.
There are five performances towards the end of January: Friday 19 (7.30pm), Saturday 20 (5pm), Friday 26 (7.30pm), and Sat 27 (3pm/7.30pm).
Tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for under-16’s and can be obtained by telephoning 07818 696 660.