Tis the season for… family arguments, leftovers, dissapointing presents, post office party regrets and of course Pantos. And there’s a plethora of cross-dressing, groan inducing family friendly activities going on across Scotland. Here at The Wee Review, we’ve made it our mission to let you know where and when you can catch it (Oh yes we have!)
King’s Theatre, Glasgow gives us the tale of the girl who sleeps later than the average student in Sleeping Beauty – not to be confused with the balletic version at the Theatre Royal. The Kings’ take on the story features performances by Karen Dunbar, Tony Roper and eighties popster Claire Grogan as the wicked queen. Talking of the eighties, Jim Davidson pops up at the Pavillion giving his Captain Hook in Peter Pan with Johnny Mac as Peter and Real Radio DJ Cat Harvey as, well, the Cat.
At the other end of the M8, Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre put on their version of Cinderella – the original rags to riches story featuring as ever Allan Stewart and Grant Stott in their annual double act joined by Scottish Comedy stalwart Andy Gray. Even the Lyceum, which isn’t known for traditional pantos at Christmas, has gone down that route this year, complete with ugly sisters in their version of Beauty and the Beast written by Stuart Patterson.
Outside the main central belt cities there is also plenty of Christmas cheer on offer with Pitlochry Theatre giving their version of Sleeping Beauty and Perth’s Horsecros Theatre providing one of several productions of Jack and the Beanstalk. The other Jacks around include Stirling MacRoberts Jackie & The Beanstalk and a big budget version at His Majesty’s Aberdeen featuring Elaine C Smith. Meanwhile in Dundee, the Rep has a version of Cinderella where you’re promised a night filled with magic and comedy and featuring the avian entertainer Gavin The Seagull.
This season’s most popular panto tale though appears to be Aladdin with four productions going on around the country. Fife provides two of them with The Byre in St Andrews and the appropriately exotic sounding Alambra in Dunfermline. The other two lamp rubbing spectacles are in Dundee’s Whitehall Theatre and Musselburgh’s Brunton. In addition to all that there’s one original panto on offer this year with the Lochside Theatre in Castle Douglas getting the cowboys in for Panto At The OK Corrall.
Of course there’s a world away from custard pies and cross-dressing and there are several interesting and fresh yuletide theatrical treats on offer. Two of these shows are at the Citizen’s Theatre with the Little Ulla, a magical, interactive goat heavy tale for three to five year olds from Clare McGarry and The Citizens Company bring the magical world of Grimm’s Fairy tales to life with Hansel and Gretel. Of course you can’t have Christmas without Scrooge and both the Eastgate Theatre in Peebles and The National Theatre of Scotland are giving their Ebenezzer.
The Traverse continues its tradition of offering origninal and quirky tales for all the family with their production by Puppet Lab – Lost Sock Princess – and Eastwood Park in Glasgow presents Twinkle Bell for three to six year olds (although adults are also welcome!) There’s a plethora of festive entertainment this December across Scotland, so there’s no excuse to sit at home stuffing yourself with mince pies and selection boxes. Get your snow boots on, wrap up warm and get out and enjoy it before the New Year rolls around and it’s behind you!