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Puss in Boots – 1981




Review – Beccles & Bungay Journal – Jan 1981

Panto with a magical touch

Oh no he isn’t, Oh yes he is, the most elegant and best loved creature of panto the conniving and kind-hearted kitty “Puss in Boots”.

This year his courageous and wiry antics are being portrayed by the Loddon Pantomime Players to the joy of audiences of all ages. Though perhaps some people are tired of the same old themes, this one has been given a refreshing treatment and the plot, though adapted for a local audience, has not lost any of that old magic.

“Puss” has been produced by Joan Evans who also plays the part of the principal boy, Philip, the youngest son of the miller and unwittingly the heir to the vast estate taken from his father by the dreaded baddie – the ogre Dreadamus.

The ogre is played by David Osborne who has taken a break as headmaster of the Hobart High School, this time to frighten the parents.

As the wicked magician, he proved he had more than one trick up his sleeve when he won everybody over with his singing; proving that wicked magicians can’t be all bad.

The king, played by Clifford Crewe, also showed his ability to serenade his courtiers.

Fanny Haddock (Derek Loyd), Dally (Maureen Larkin), Dilly (Marie Hemming) provided more than enough tomfoolery to go round and what panto would be complete without somebody getting covered in a cake mixture, the panto players certainly did not let anyone down.

Music and mirth between acts were provided by brothers Sid and Dick (in real life Michael and Ian Larkin). Pantos seem to be mines of talent these days.

Dancing sequences were ably performed by members of the Joan Gisborne School of Dancing who should be complimented, especially for their ability to dance in hooped skirts!

The finale brought a flash of colour before the final curtain whisks young and old back to reality. It was an enjoyable evening.

The panto finishes tomorrow night and is being performed at the Hobart High School, Loddon.


Report – Beccles & Bungay Journal – Jan 1981

More than 1100 people saw the Loddon Pantomime Players production of “Puss in Boots” at the Hobart High School last week. That should ensure a record sum for distribution to local charities.

The destination of whatever largesse the pantomime players have at their disposal is yet to be decided.

Having seen most of the productions since the tradition of staging an annual pantomime at Loddon was revived about five years ago, I can say without fear of contradiction that the standard seems to improve every year.

However much the players and their backrooms team grow in confidence and professionalism – the staging and lighting was tremendous this year – they never forget that the shows chief strength is its humour based on local celebrities.

I was equally struck this year by the fact that the standard of music, especially the singing, in the Loddon show is way above what one might expect of a local amateur production.

Several of the players have fine voices which have obviously had some training and the choice of songs – some with words specially written for the Loddon show – gives good opportunity for the audience to hear those voices to good effect.

I am sure the players are well aware of the contribution which their accompanist Beryl Carver makes to the show. That is quite enough practise for one week suffice it to say that the Loddon pantomime is now to be shown in Norwich – for the benefit of the handicapped members of the St Raphael Club at the Vauxhall Centre on January the 28th.