i 0 THEATRE WORKSHOP 34 Hamilton
Place, 226 5425. Box office Mon—Sat 9.30am-5.30pm. Bar. Cafe. [D]
r Robin Hood and The Towers ol Silence 1 Until Fri 20 Dec, (Schools perfs). Sat 21 Dec—Sat 4 Jan. 2pm and 5pm (also
7.30pm on 28 Dec, 1 & 21an. No 5pm perfs 24 & 31 Dec. No 2pm 3 Jan. £2.50 (£1 .50). lfyou thought
Robin Hood could only happen
somewhere near Nottingham — think again. This version has our hero heading for North of the Border (see review).
M Volunteers Needed! lfyou have seen — and even if you haven’t - one ofTheatre Workshop’s impressive local community involvement productions. and felt the urge to get involved yourself, then now is the time. Theatre Workshop‘s project is scheduled to run from 4—8 Feb. and at present they are looking for volunteers to join professionals in all aspects ofgetting the show together. both on stage and off. This is to be a stage adaptation ofthe famous film by Fritz Lang. First meeting 6 Jan. Contact the theatre for more details. 0 THOMAS MORTON HALL 28 Ferry Road. Leith.
Santa's Greatest Adventure Sat 21 Dec. 10.30am & 2.30pm. 50p (25p) Tickets available at Kard Box, 74 Great Junction Street, Leith; Goldenacre Post Office and Dept of Recreation, 249 High Street, Edinburgh. The Edinburgh Puppet Company in Saturday entertainment with a decidedly seasonal flavour. (See also KIDS).
O TRAVERSE 112 West Bow, 226 2633. Box office Tues—Sat 10am—9pm. Sun 12.30—9pm. Bar. Rest.
The Puddok an' the Princess Sun 22 Dec. 7.30pm. Mat 2.30pm on Fri 13, Fri 20 and Sat 21 Dec. Gala perf. Fri 20 Dec 6.30pm. Charity perf. Sun 22 Dec 7.30pm. Workshops on 13,20 Dec at 12 noon. £4. Full members, OAPs. Students. UB 40 £3. Economy members £3.50, children £2. student standby £2. Fringe First winning production by Theatre Alba
of an adaptation by David cherns of
the old Scots tale. The gala performance on 20 Dec is followed by a banquet (tickets £12.50 proceeds to Scottish Cot Death Society). The workshop
. performances for young people cost
£2. with lunch from 80p. (See
The Traverse is shut throughout
' January and reOpens on 281an, but
the bar and restaurant remain open
both at lunchtime and in the
evenings. and there will be plenty of live music and entertainment in the bar (plus board games to be had in
0 BRUNTON THEATRE Musselburgh,
E 665 2240. Box office Mon—Sat
10am—8pm. Bar. [D] [E]
Jack and the Beanstalk Thurs 12 Dec—Sat 181an. 7.30pm. (excluding 25—31 Dec and l, 16& 17 Jan); 2.30pm on12-14, 16 & 17,21, 23, 24 26—28, 30 Dec and 2—4, 6—9, 11, 13 & 18Jan. £3.£3.80. Mats£2.50. Jack facing problems ofgigantic proportions after allowing organic life too free a reign . . . Ron Coburn Productions in their version
18 The List—1‘3— béF—E'j an' —
v A“ ‘T
Hansel watches the birdie but not the cage
Hansel and Gret_el
The Citizens’ have created a Hansel and Gretel which is pure, magical theatre. The most restless audience at TV children (not to mention theatre-shy parents) will quickly be won over by a production which eitortlessly combines every trick ol the live stage. Myles Rudge’s script wisely avoids vehicle roles in lavour oi narrative and takes us into a land at dreams, where even the lamily pets give a hand, and at the centre oi which is the wicked witch’s house at sweeties (in tact liquorice allsorts in one oi Kenny Miller’s superbly realised designs).
All the familiar panto set-pieces are there, but it is through plot and character, ratherthan bawdy joke or slapstick, that Giles Havergal’s laultless and appealing cast hooks its audience. Beautiiully simple music by Derek Watson helps set mood and pace, while some truly memorable special eltects never outweigh the periorrners (Andy Gray is irresistible as the naughty-but-nice-really son of Anne Myatt’s suitably evil witch) and I suspect there will be little on the box this Christmas which can hope to have quite the same impact on its audience; whatevertheir age. Highly recommended. Until 11 Jan. (Graham Johnston)
Aladdin Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow
Although the Mitchell Theatre is a tar cry trom the mysterious East in which Aladdin is set, the Pantheon Players do a good job at recreating the magical atmosphere and right lrom the opening scenes, with the baddie Abanazer plotting evil deeds in his laboratory, the audience swung into the panto mood, hissing and booing with great gusto.
David Scouler stole the show as Widow Twankey, a panto dame with a strong Glasgow bias - ‘How do you make an Edinburgh omelette?’ — he asked the audience. ‘First borrow the eggs. . .’ He hasthe audience in stitches with gags on Arthur Scargill, Easterhouse, rates and Dynasty. Peter
Blackadder was convincing as Abanazer and Amanda Donald made a debonairAIaddin— although there’s always something unconvincing to me about a tall blonde with a velvet waistcoat and stilettos playing Aladdin: why not break with tradition and have a male?
The area where the show ilagged most was in the singing — such classics as ‘Side by Side’ and ‘lll ruled the world’, although appealing to the pensioners, left the kids pretty cold. However, this was a traditonal panto without any Top Twenty Hits. Plenty ol audience participation, in the lorm oi the obligatory communal singalong kept the kids amused and the special effects had them enthralled.
Although keeping to the traditional panto lormat with lew surprises, Aladdin managed to convey the real message beneath the tinsel and glitter -that Goodness Always Triumphs over Evil - and that’s what all good pantos are about. Until 14 Dec. (Eleanor Harris).
The ugly sisters make a sensational entrance lrom a gigantic box oi Duality Street. Lady Francesca (MrAbie) is a gawky stick at tollee and her rotund sisterAnaesthesla (Anne Fields) attired in a purple wrapper, has a sickly screech to match her gooey insides. David Terry clearly had a ball designing ever more lurid and outlandish costumes for the ‘gruesome twosome’ who repeatedly abuse the audience— ‘Awwh, shut yourtace’ -as well as their demure ‘skinned rabbit’ ot a stepsister, energetically played by Alyson Mclnnes. Jimmy Logan’s production at Cinderella, although iaithlul to the lairytale plot, bears the unmistakeable stamp oi the DJ, with a script oi quickiire insults and smooth banter.
Andy Cameron as Buttons gives the panto a strong local llavour. Fingering Cinderella’s rags in disgust he asks why she shops in the Barras and instructs her not to wave at Frank Lalterty as her carriage goes down Sauchiehall Street. He responds to the Fairy Godmother’s (Valerie Dunbar)
lor your enjoyment/I have lound you some employment‘ —with a dubious sneer: ‘Who are you? Maggie Thatcher?’ While he serenades Cinderella with a Country and Western ballad played on a kitchen sieve, she comlorts her godchild with a raritied version oi ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone'. Some songs like ‘The Power oi Love’ 1 and the dire Norwegian hit ‘A-ha’ jar a little, but the appearance oi Radio Clyde heart throb TigerTim as the amiable Dozey Dim makes this Cinderella a teenybopper’s delight. ‘Doh he’s gorgeous,’ breathed two 12 yearolds sitting beside me wearing iestive berets and clanking bangles. Celia Hammond’s choreography is slick it unadventurous but I was particularly impressed by Lightning, Prince Charming’s horse, who does a stylish Charleston and a rollicking Irish ‘ jig. Until 8 Feb. (Lucy Ash) r
rhyming sweet talk- ‘Don’t be alraid
The Brothers Menaechmus Ere Drama Centre, Glasgow The Brothers Menaechmus is an adaptation oi Plautus’ Roman comedy which proves that most at the jokes in modern iarces are about two thousand years old. Identical twin brothers are separated accidentally during childhood only to be thrown together twenty years later. Naturallythe sudden intervention at one twin into the other’s Iile causes both predictable and unpredictable misunderstandings. The chaos and contusion is milked to its lull beiore it reaches its jovial conclusion. Pertormances vary, but watch out ior Jane Davidson’s aggrieved wile, which made every woman in the audience laugh bitterly. Despite a certain cheeriul looseness to the play and a lew weak moments the production gallops along merrily and provides a good alternative to the standard Christmas pantomime. Until 14 Dec. (Guy Kennaway)
Sinbad the Sailor Ms Theatre, Glasggr Sinbad is the most Glaswegian ot pantomimes. Helerences to Partick and Govan abound, while Johnny Beattie and Una McLean —the owner at the most inlectious laugh I have ever heard — know their audience intimately. The audience on Saturday night certainly enjoyed themselves immensely, the adults as much, it not more so, than the children. indeed, it there is a weakness in Sinbad it is that the adults laugh more than the kids. I , must admit, I did not think Christian the 1 most convincing oi heroes, but he was 3 cheered Iustily by the children in the j audience who no doubt know better 1’ about these things than do i. ‘ Edmund Dehn is a particularly good baddie, reducing many children to gasps and tears whenever he treated poor Princess Yasmin (Fletcher Mathers) with unnecessary roughness. Some ol the staging is remarkable: the moving galley, and the giant—and very noisy- Boc are very ettective, while the use at such recent hit singles such as Beat It and Dancing in the Street
help Sinbad away from the old