If you fancy something a wee bit different from the telly this festive season and would like a family night out, here are some Christmas theatre ideas and the seasonal offerings from various venues around Scotland:
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK
His Majesty’s Theatre
Starring: Elaine C Smith, Alan McHugh and Jordan Young
In brief: Pacey panto with lots of audience participation – the record-breaking trio of Elaine, Alan and Jordan return to lead the cast of this year’s GIANT pantomime! Jack and the Beanstalk will have all of the ingredients of another unmissable His Majesty’s Theatre pantomime: more comedy than you can shake a bag of magic beans at, stunning sets and outrageous costumes – and with ticket prices to suit all pockets, there’s no need to sell the family cow to enjoy Scottish pantomime at its best! Last year over 59,000 people saw our superb pantomime Sleeping Beauty, so don’t disappoint family and friends – book early to grab the best seats for Jack and the Beanstalk!
Dates: until 08/01/11 Booking: www.boxofficeaberdeen.com Tel: 01224 641122
JACK AND THE MAGIC BEANS
Lemon Tree, Aberdeen
Starring: Scottish Youth Theatre
In brief: Interactive adventure especially for very young audiences Meet Jack! He seems like any other ordinary boy you might meet. But do ordinary boys have magic beans? Jack does! But how did he get them? What do they do? Where did his pet cow disappear to? And more importantly, what will his mum say?
Scottish Youth Theatre, in partnership with Aberdeen Performing Arts, is delighted to present their second festive production at The Lemon Tree this December. This accessible, engaging and interactive adventure is set to delight audiences aged 3-7 and their families.
Dates: until 24/12/11 Booking: www.boxofficeaberdeen.com Tel: 01224 641122
Aberdeen Arts Centre Theatre
In brief: Follow the swashbuckling tale of Sinbad the Sailor and his epic adventure through the Seven Seas! This is a fun, family-friendly pantomime that will be hugely enjoyed by all ages – and is guaranteed to give you that “feel-good” Christmas feeling!
Dates: until 24/12/11 Booking: www.aberdeenartscentre.org.uk Tel: 01224 635208
Starring: Gavin the seagull (twitter feed (@GavGull)
In brief: Cinderella works all day for her father in a floating retirement home for elderly magicians and their assistants. And when she’s not bailing out the family business, she’s bailing out the water!
Back on dry land, the Queen announces that a ball will be held to find the dashingly handsome young prince a wife, but Cinderella’s wicked stepsisters are determined to ruin her dream of attending the Royal ball.
With only the retirement home’s magicians to help her, who will work the magic Cinderella needs to get to the ball?
Filled with zany comedy, hilarious songs and live music, this deliciously whacky version of the classic tale is magically brought to life as you may never have seen it before.
Dates: until 31/12/11 Booking: www.dundeerep.co.uk Tel: 01382 223530
SERGEANT CRACKER’S CHRISTMAS QUEST
In brief: A brand new, fun-filled, musical adventure featuring all the ingredients you are looking for in the perfect Christmas show – laughter, songs, magic, excitement and of course loads of audience participation! Join Sergeant Cracker on his magical quest as the decorations race to see who will sit on top of the tree…. but watch out for the evil “Aye” Pod, who is out to thwart his every step and spoil our Christmas forever… can Cracker complete his quest and save Christmas?
Sergeant Cracker promises to be a fabulously festive extravaganza – the perfect Christmas tale to warm the hearts of young and old alike.
Dates: until 26/12/11 Booking: www.onfife.com Tel: 01383 602302
Starring: Craig Chalmers (from Any Dream Will Do) Soraya (from Popstars, the rivals)
In brief: Another seasonal offering from Wishee Washee, Widow Twankey and co
Dates: until 24/12/12 Booking: www.alhambradunfermline.com Tel: 01383 740384
SCROOGE THE PANTOMIME
Starring: Mark Cox (Tam from Still Game), Claire Knight (Iona from River City).
In brief: This modern adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens story finds the glum tight fisted Scooge working in his Glasgow pawn shop, robbing the public blind and spreading doom and gloom to all who come his way. There’s live music, singing and some very basic dancing. Laughter, tears and sweet, sweet misery.
Dates: until 31/12/12 Booking: www.cottiers.com Tel: 0141 357 5825
Starring: Karen Dunbar, Clare Grogan (star of Gregory’s Girl), Tony Roper
In brief: When the wicked fairy casts a deadly spell on Princess Beauty the poor girl is doomed to sleep for a hundred years. Only the kiss of her one true love can break the spell. Which means that Beauty’s bravest and closest friends must battle to rescue the dashing Prince before it’s too late! He, and he alone, can save the Sleeping Beauty!
This year’s dream cast features panto favourite Karen Dunbar who returns as Nanny, Gregory’s Girl star Clare Grogan as the wicked fairy Carabosse with Rab C Nesbitt star Tony Roper as her evil Henchman Hector, River City’s Lorna Anderson as Princess Beauty, panto funny man Steven McNicoll as The King, stage and screen star Kath Howden as the Queen and topping off the panto dream team we are delighted to welcome back Joseph star Keith Jack, whom audiences will remember from Aladdin, as our handsome prince.
It’s a romantic, thrill-filled, laugh-a-minute extravaganza so whatever you do, don’t miss this year’s Sleeping Beauty at the King’s. It just might be the panto of your dreams!
Dates: until 08/01/12 Booking: www.atgtickets.com/kingstheatre Tel: 0844 871 7627
ROBINSON CRUSOE AND THE CARIBBEAN PIRATES
Starring: John Barrowman, The Krankies
In brief: Swashbuckling 3D adventure, Barrowman stars as Robinson Crusoe. The use of 3D in Aladdin was such a huge hit with audiences last year that the show’s producers, Qdos Entertainment – the largest panto producer in the world, are creating brand-new and even more spectacular 3D which will feature in Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates.
Dates: 17/12/12 to 07/01/2012 Booking: www.ticketsoup.com Tel: 0844 3954000
HANSEL AND GRETEL
Starring: Jennifer Harraghy, David Carlyle, Gemma McElhinney
In brief: An original twist on the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale. Christmas at the Citizens brings inventive storytelling accompanied by original live music in an intimate theatre where everyone can feel part of the story. Heart-warming musical version of the classic fairytale
Dates: until 07/01/12 Booking: www.citz.co.uk Tel: 0141 429 0022
Starring: Ross Allan, Rob Evans
In brief: The Arches’ magical and hilarious children’s show – it’s Christmas, but it’s hard to celebrate with no cards, tree, presents or food. If only Esmerelda the chicken would agree to laying an egg. It could be a scrambled Christmas dinner, or fried, or even boiled… but Esmerelda just won’t be persuaded, unless she hears her favourite story….
With only the bits and pieces from their tiny house, huge imaginations and the strongest sense of the ridiculous, two unlikely storytellers attempt to tell the tale of brave Rudolf, the reindeer with dreams, who just doesn’t “nose” why he doesn’t fit in. – ‘a must see seasonal’ Watch trailer
Dates: until 03/01/12 Booking: www.thearches.co.uk Tel: 0141 5651035
THAT’S NOT MY NAME
Brian Cox Studio, Old Sheriff Court
Starring: the Scottish Youth Theatre
In brief: There’s no denying that the star of our new show loves nothing more than getting up to mischief. Hang on! So do some of the other characters in our very own special version of Rumpelstiltskin. Maybe the star of our show isn’t the only one at fault after all? Come along and let SYT Productions delight you with their latest version of a classic with a very special twist. – ‘audience participation a big plus here’. An accessible, engaging and interactive festive adventure for ages 3-7 and all the family.
Dates: until 24/12/12 Booking: www.scottishyouththeatre.org/shop
THE NIGHT AFTER CHRISTMAS
Starring: Mary Gapinski, Tony Frutin
In brief: For the wee ones: two elves prepare a feast for Santa and Rudolph – ‘magical’
‘T’was the night after Christmas
All the presents unwrapped
Santa and Rudolph away for a nap
We know they’ll be hungry when they wake from their sleep
Why don’t we make them a nice tasty treat?
Two elves do the cooking
A feast to prepare
Grab a knife and a fork
And we’ll see you there ……
SPECIAL DAYTIME NURSERY PERFORMANCES ARE AVAILABLE THROUGHOUT DECEMBER.’
Dates: until 24/12/11 Booking: www.tron.co.uk Tel: 0141 5524267
THE MAGICAL ADVENTURES OF PETER PAN
Starring: Jim Davidson, Dean Park, Cat Harvey
In brief: A new version of the story of Peter Pan, where things don’t quite go to plan.
Dates: until 21/01/12 Booking: www.pavilionpanto.com Tel: 0141 332 1846
Starring: Allan Stewart, Andy Gray, Grant Stott
In brief: Traditional panto with seasoned star cast – Scotland’s most popular dame, Allan Stewart, is back in the greatest pantomime of them all! Andy Gray stars alongside as the lovable Buttons, and get ready to boo and hiss your favourite baddie, Grant Stott, who seems to have taken a shine to the high heels he wore in last year’s panto!
This year is chock-full of surprises along with the usual mix of hilarious antics from the gang.
Dates: until 22/01/12 Booking: www.fctt.org.uk/kings_theatre Tel: 0131 5296000
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Starring: Ruth Milne, Andrew Rothney In brief: A young Beauty meets a not-so-terrible monster. Watch trailer
Dates: until 31/12/11 Booking: www.lyceum.org.uk Tel: 0131 2484848
Edinburgh Festival Theatre
Starring: company of Scottish National Ballet
In brief: Tchaikovsky’s celebrated ballet based on the fairytale: stunning sets and costumes, breathtaking choreography, Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous score and the phenomenally talented, passionate dancers of Scotland’s national dance company come together to create a spellbinding re-telling of treasured fairytale, The Sleeping Beauty.
Our story begins once upon a time on a gorgeous summer afternoon in 1830, in a magical kingdom where mortals mix with the fairies of an enchanted forest.
Liberally sprinkled with surprising twists and delicious wit, this magnificent version of the much loved story features Artistic Director Ashley Page’s spectacular choreography and international designer Antony McDonald’s lavish sets and costumes. Complete with Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score, performed live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra, The Sleeping Beauty will be bringing a little magic to the winter months – don’t miss your chance to fall under its spell!
Dates: 11/01/12 – 14/01/12 Booking: www.fctt.org.uk/festival_theatre Tel: 0131 5296000
Eden Court Theatre
Starring: Iain Lauchlan
In brief: Eden Court’s fabulous family panto for this winter is full of ugly sisters, handsome princes and glass slippers … that’s right, it’s everyone’s favourite, Cinderella.
The best-loved of all pantomimes – this year’s show will once again be directed by and star panto favourite Iain Lauchlan alongside a fantastic professional company and a host of local children.
For families right across the Highlands, Eden Court’s legendary pantomime is an essential part of their Christmas celebrations. Famed for its lavish set designs, spectacular costumes and sparkling performances, this fun-filled festive show is always good value and guaranteed great fun!
Dates: until 6/01/12 Booking: www.eden-court.co.uk Tel: 01463 234 234
Adam Smith Theatre
Starring: Billy Mack as Nanny Mac
In brief: Scottish-themed retelling of the famous fairytale. Fife’s favourite Pantomime is back with an extra special Scottish re-telling of the most magical of all fairy tales.
Join Cinderella and her pals for an amazing adventure full of joy, laughter, music, comedy, thrills, spills – and not forgetting the odd ball and the lost glass slipper! And it wouldn’t be Fife’s favourite panto without Fife’s favourite dame! Billy Mack returns as Nanny Mac (no relation!) in this marvellously, magical Christmas panto treat for the whole family.
Dates: until 14/01/12 Booking: www.onfife.com Tel: 01592 583302
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK
Starring: Barrie Hunter, Sandy Batchelor, George Ure
In brief: Poor Jack; his mum is embarrassing, his brother is daft, his beloved cow has run off and the princess he fancies doesn’t even know his name. But Jack’s problems are about to get much, MUCH bigger. The local giant is hungry and he wants cow and princess for tea!
With your help and a bit of magic and fun he can put all his troubles BEHIND HIM. But if things are going to end happily ever after, he is going to need all your shouting and cheering and a fair bit of singing along too!
Dates: until 7/01/12 Booking: www.horsecross.co.uk Tel: 01738 621 031
Pitlochry Festival Theatre
In brief: Following the huge success of our spectacular first panto, Cinderella, we’ve dreamed up another magical Christmas treat for all the family . . . spinning wheels, wicked fairies, beautiful princesses, strange enchantments, overgrown castles, heroic princes – what else could it be but that most magical of fairytales, Sleeping Beauty. Join us this festive season to see if Nurse Nancy, Fester the Jester – and a very stylish Prince – can awaken Princess Beauty from her spellbound slumber – and save the kingdom into the bargain! With glittering costumes, sparkling sets, and a host of colourful characters, there will be song, dance and laughter aplenty to delight the young – and the young at heart! And don`t forget to bring your dancing shoes . . . Watch trailer
Dates: until 07/01/12 Booking: www.pitlochryfestivaltheatre.com Tel: 01796 484 626
Starring: Billy Mack as Nanny Mac
In brief: Expect Sing-a-long songs, Slapstick, Mystery and Magic, as rags collide with riches in a panto with a twist. Laugh out loud fun for the whole family, join Aladdin, Widdow Twankey and The Genie of the lamp as they try to outsmart the “Evil Sorcerer” Abanazer…
Take a magical carpet ride through medieval cities rooftop chases in search of the magic lamp, will Aladdin defeat the Evil sorcerer? OH YES HE WILL!!
Dates: until 30/12/12 Booking: www.byretheatre.com Tel: 01334 475000
JACKIE AND THE BEANSTALK
Starring: Johnny McKnight who also wrote and directs it
In brief: Fe Fi Fo Fum, this is the year that Christmas won’t come…
Critically acclaimed as one of the best pantomimes in Scotland, and hilarious Christmas fun for young and old at the same time! Starring an all-star cast of Scotland’s finest acting and production talent and a terrific cast of young performers this is a great Christmas treat not to be missed.
Dates: until 07/01/12 Booking: www.macrobert.org Tel: 01786 466 666