Puss in Boots

Patrick Lynch in Puss in Boots. Photo: Alex Brenner Patrick Lynch in Puss in Boots. Photo: Alex Brenner

Puss in Boots is such a strong story, beautifully told here by the mercurial, talented Patrick Lynch, that one wonders why it doesn’t get more outings. With an utterly captivating, face-licking, tail-wagging cat puppet that morphs into the miracle-working, talking and booted feline, this show ticks all the boxes for fine children’s theatre.

We get rose petals, mirrors, water, flour, fruit, vegetables, darts shaped like roses and an arguably superfluous but rather delightful flamingo puppet as Felix, the miller’s youngest son, and his cat set out to seek their fortune. The narrative is warm, witty and compelling. Lynch develops the tale partly as storyteller and partly by hopping adeptly, and sometimes hilariously, in and out of roles. Catching the fish for the king, for example, is great fun.

Elena Marini’s set is neat and, presumably, readily transportable on tour: a wedge-shaped mini-stage that allows Lynch to descend into a trap, climb away into the upstage space behind it and open and close flaps at the front.

The final moralising minute falls flat and the piece should really end when it reaches the words “happily ever after”. But that’s a pretty minor gripe about an engaging and enjoyable show.

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Imaginative, traditional theatre for under-eights