Review: Oedipuss in Boots, Wardrobe Theatre

13 12 2012

There is no ordinary pantomime at the Wardrobe Theatre this Christmas. Instead, following in the footsteps of last year’s Home Alonely, a ragtag collective of performers, artists and puppeteers have taken another familiar tale and given it their own unique twist.

Oedipuss In BootsOedipuss in Boots may well have started with that pun and then worked back to concoct a story, but the pun is well worth it; as is seeing James Kent playing a ginger cat, with the cat tied around his neck along with a miniature red scarf to fight off the cold.

Along the way to the story’s bloody conclusion, there is some wonderful expressionist dance and creepy facial expressions from the long-limbed and extravagantly bearded Harry Humberstone, who plays a grouchy infertile king and a mother on heat doting over her son made of flour.

There is also a paper-scissors-stone grudge match and a terrifying monster guarding the castle who bears more than a passing resemblance to Cilla Black.

It is pure madness from start to finish, with nobody knowing where to look as Andrew Kingston takes poor Oedipuss this way and that, his tiny boots flying off in all directions.

Recorded music comes from Kid Carpet, with similar discordant piano chords to his Noisy Animals children’s show. This show is most certainly not for children, although childlike touches come from the quirky designs of Harriet de Winton.

Director Chris Collier, and creative producer and assistant director Matthew Whittle, have created a brilliant bonkers evening. This is one festive show not for the faint hearted, which ends with a quashing of the sentimentality of the season that will have traditionalists choking on their mince pies, if they haven’t already spat them out.

Oedipuss in Boots is at the Wardrobe Theatre until December 23. Click here for more information.


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