KMTC’s annual pantomime was once again a treat for the entire family. This classic is written by the kings of panto, Keith Marsden and Geoffrey Rundle, and was last produced in Keighley in 2010.
The pantomime and the cast of nearly forty members will again be directed Peter Whitley and choreographed by Judith Chapman. This year, we welcomed Mike Gilroy, who provided the musical direction.
Leading the talented company this year was Luke Scott as the booted feline, and returning favourites Harvey Dewhurst and Alice Chapman took the Principal Boy/Girl roles.
|Puss in Boots
|Fairy and ensemble
|Ogre and ensemble
|Queen of Catland and Ensemble
Once again Keighley MTC has pulled out all the stops with their traditional family pantomime – Puss in Boots. KMTC has been performing pantomimes since 1965 – this is their 59th panto! It’s clearly a well loved favourite of the Company, having been performed 5 times previously in rotation during those 59 years!
With fabulous staging and projections, excellent costumes and brilliantly cast principals once again this company certainly brought out the best of the story line of Keith Marsden and Geoffrey Rundle’s script. The whole audience was totally involved from start to finish, and really embraced the pure enjoyment of a family panto. It was clear to see that the whole cast clearly loved being up on stage.
In the title role as Puss in Boots was Luke Scott who played this part with tremendous ease. He was appropriately flamboyant, and a natural “story teller”.
Harvey Dewhurst played Colin, the downtrodden son of the recently deceased mill owner. Harvey was truly at ease in this part. He has such confidence, and such great rapport with the audience and everyone on stage. He commanded the stage with ease and was clearly “at home” as the principal boy.
Colin, of course, falls madly in love with Princess Marigold – beautifully played by Alice Chapman. Assured and confident in her delivery of lib, musical numbers and dances she and Colin made a great duo and as always in panto – they lived happily ever after!
Princess Marigolds loveable mother and father duo Queen Florence and King Ichabod were brilliantly played by Jonny Tate and James Windle. They were a hilarious comedy duo – with perfectly executed comic timing. They literally had tears rolling down our cheeks. This cleverly written script was delivered with such ease by these two – what a dream team! Jonny – I can’t believe this is your first time as pantomime dame…please don’t let it be your last! You’re a natural!!!
The Fairy was beautifully played by Sarah Higgins. She looked gorgeous in all her sparkle and kept command of the story (and characters) with her magic wand. Her story telling came across with ease.
The “baddy” comedy duo – Cecil and Cyril, stepbrothers to Colin – played by Leah Ogrizovic and Jack Cramby – had great comedy timing, which moved the story along at a pace. Their “fast fire” wit was cleverly woven through the storyline, and they worked brilliantly together.
The real “baddy” of the piece was Silas Slime, expertly played by Sam Higgins. He had the audience “boo-ing and hissing” from start to finish. Brilliantly played – just the right amount of “baddy”, and with great delivery of lines with that gravelly voice!
Mark Brown – the voice of reason, playing Wilberforce. Trying to keep everyone calm and in an orderly manner when mayhem is going on all around! It was great to see Mark back in panto – commanding the stage with ease and expertise!
And lastly, but by no means least – the Ogre! Jordan Preston looked suitably grotesque with his green face and disfigured “body”. His characterisation was excellent.
This panto was brimming with fun and laughter and had every element a traditional panto should have. The audience was at ease in getting involved with their “responses” – the boos, hisses, cheers, “oh no it isn’t, oh yes it is”, “it’s behind you” were probably some of the loudest I’d ever heard at a panto!!!! When the action on stage is as brilliant as this, the audience cannot fail but to get involved! I particularly loved the musical number “If I Were Not A…” – so cleverly (and hilariously) delivered…it’s still making me chuckle now!
There were excellent special effects throughout – the clever use of back projection really added to the story telling, particularly when “Puss” was thrown into the river, and also in the Ogre’s Castle with the ghosts flying around!
The whole company were clearly well drilled and loving their performance. Slick, energetic dance routines by Judith Chapman were vibrant through the whole show. With a cast of nearly 40 it was great to see every single person moving together as an ensemble. Great energy from the whole cast, and so nice to see such smiling faces throughout.
MD Mike Gilroy must be congratulated. The band sounded superb, the musical numbers were upbeat and great choices for this panto. From start to finish the music was played at a cracking pace – perfect tempo’s, perfect volume and great singing from everyone.
Excellent support as always from the tec team at KMTC too – superb sound (and sound effects) by Oli Trenouth, great special effects by Andrew Jackson, slick scene changes by the stage crew and great lighting effects all added to the story.
Peter, Judith & Mike – you must be very proud of the cast and crew of Puss in Boots. For me, this is up there as one of the best panto’s I’ve seen at KMTC in the 10 years I’ve been your NODA Rep. Thank you all for a brilliant evening’s entertainment. Each and every person involved should be congratulated. I’m looking forward to your 60th panto already!!!