On Sunday, December 16th, the Pattaya Players performed the pantomime “Puss in Boots” for the Pattaya City Expat Club (PCEC). Unlike previous presentations for the PCEC, which were short skits or excerpts from longer performances, on this occasion the PCEC audience was able to enjoy the full 80 minute performance in its entirety.
For many of the audience that were not from the UK, they had no familiarity with this popular form of mostly British theatrical entertainment, which involves music, topical jokes, and slapstick comedy and is based on a fairy tale or nursery story, usually produced around Christmas. The show calls for large characterization, silly dancing and humorous song adaptations. All of these were provided by the Pattaya Players. The cast worked their over acting skills to provide a frivolous time for all.
Well, it wasn’t only the British members that were laughing after the performance got underway. Also, another unique experience with a pantomime was the audience participation; not only did they sit and watch, laugh and cheer but added their shouts of “He’s behind you”, “Oh no he didn’t” and “boos” for the evil ogre.
“Puss in Boots” is a European literary fairy tale about a cat who uses trickery and deceit to gain power, wealth, and the hand of a princess in marriage for his penniless and low-born master. A poor miller’s son named Harry has just lost his father. His older brother inherits the mill. His middle brother is also left well off. All Harry receives is a cat and a hut full of cat food.
Ah! But we find out this is no ordinary cat. She can talk, walk upright and is clever indeed. Wearing Harry’s hat, bag and a beautiful pair of boots this puss comes up with a plan to make her master rich and happily married.
An evil ogre is terrorizing the land, and King Erik feels he can do nothing to stop him. But when the King realizes his beautiful daughter Princess Lil might be the ogre’s next demand, he sends for a hero to help him out. Puss overhears this and makes plans to disguise Harry as the brave Marquis of Carabas.
The plan works. Harry is able to defeat the ogre through guile and the guidance of Puss and win the hand of the Princess Lil. All of this is done with the clever plans of a Puss in Boots, who devises a means for the Ogre to take a challenge as to whose magic was better; this saw the Ogre use his transformation machine to become a cow, and then to become a mouse – the plan to then destroy the machine takes place leaving gruesome and fearsome Ogre a small frightened mouse.
Many thanks for the delightful performance by the cast and crew: Wendy Khan (Harry), Mara Swankey (Puss), Michelle O’Dea (Princess Lil), Aom Hougen (Squire), Ann Ensell (Nora the Cook), Chris Harman (Ogre & Director), Doug Campbell (King), John Ensell (Simple Simon), John Khan (Lights and Sound), Gary Hougen (Producer), and Ray Lightbow (Prompter).
After the presentations, MC Roy Albiston brought everyone up to date on upcoming events and then turned it over to the Open Forum portion of the meeting where questions are asked and answered and comments made about Expat living in Thailand, Pattaya in particular.
For more information about the PCEC and their activities, visit www.pcec.club.