First taxi Hail-a-Panto pulls up to the UK with 'Puss in Boot'

Four UK families were treated to the world’s first Hail-a-Panto ‘Puss in Boot’ performances yesterday, hosted by ride-hailing app FREE NOW.

The productions took place on the street outside their homes, with neighbours coming out to watch and enjoy the short production.

Research carried out by FREE NOW suggests that two thirds of Brits (66%) believe communities need the performing arts more than ever, and over a quarter of those surveyed said they usually watch a Christmas pantomime at least once a year. The survey also revealed that nearly a third of respondents said they would attend a safe and socially distanced pantomime if it was available this year and almost half said they wished to go to a Christmas Pantomime in the future.

Lucky residents who were chosen following a nationwide competition watched in delight as the ‘Puss in Boot’ panto cast pulled up one by one in a fleet of black cabs and private hire vehicles.

The full cast of characters included the Third Son of the Miller, the hero, and named by his trusty cat servant Puss in Boots as ‘The Marquise de Caaaabbbhhaabs’, the ‘Old Dame King’ - the Queen of the Blackcab country, ‘The Footman’, ‘The Beautiful Princess Terrust’... and a socially distanced panto-horse.

FREE NOW partnered with Gideon Reeling, best known for their theatrical performances and storytelling, to create the unique ‘Puss in Boot’ panto.

Mariusz Zabrocki, General Manager of FREE NOW commented: “To visit people’s doorsteps and drop off the full cast of ‘Puss in Boot’ , has been a joy to watch. Thanks to the black cabs and private hire vehicles we work with, we have been able to bring some Christmas cheer after a very difficult year. There has been a genuine feeling of excitement in the streets and being able to bring a smile to people’s faces is exactly what we had hoped to achieve.”

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