PANTO fans are in for a purr-fect treat as Puss In Boots explodes on to the stage this week.

The Essex Group return to Witham Public Hall with the children's favourite and a show that is set to dazzle audiences of all ages.

Tom Jervis is in the lead role as Puss, Jack Wells is Ruffalino the Miller's Son, Teresa Andrews is the good witch Flipperty Bit, Yasemin Gorgun, from Halstead, plays Princess Angelica and mum Jenni Gorgun is Queen Rat.

Alistair Cowan plays King Herman, Jayne Blackborow is Queen Eugenie and Ben Blackborow is the Dame.

Director Ann Sullivan said: "Jack played the Dame a few years ago and this is his first time back for a while, although he was the Jester in last year's panto, which was Sleeping Beauty.

"That panto was brilliant. We had good audiences and they all came out buzzing, which was great."

The group started rehearsals three months ago.

"We began in September on Sundays and have only just got into the theatre today," said Ann.

"Rehearsals have gone really well and everyone is ready for the opening night."

The Essex Group has a proud tradition of entertaining audiences in Witham.

Ann said: "The group was founded in 1990 and I think this is our 14th pantomime at Witham Public Hall.

"Everyone is excited and looking forward to performing to our audiences again.

"It's a fun show with lots of singing and dancing, and lots of laughs.

"Ticket sales have gone well. A couple of performances have sold out but there are still tickets available for other shows."

Puss In Boots runs until December 28, apart from Christmas and Boxing Day. Times vary.

Tickets are available from Witham Town Hall and