Aladdin mg‘s, GlasoLW
Aladdin enjoyed a successful run in Edinburgh last year and it is now Glasgow's turn to be dazzled by the latest Stanley Baxter spectacular. And a spectacle it certainly is. ldoubt there is another panto on view this year which looks as good. The costumes are colourful and the sets lavish. Though neither is as colourful or lavish as the man himself. Long-established as one ofthe premier pantomime dames—and with the best legs in the business— Baxter has elevated female impersonation to an art form and his name alone is enough to fill a theatre many times over. In Aladdin he fulfills every expectation as he appears in a succession of ever more alarming and alluring costumes-from a Belisha beacon to a Chinese carry out. Throughout he is on top of the show carrying the audience along with perfect comic timing and an
astonishing variety of facial expressions.
If only the rest of the show were half as good! If I were of a meaner turn of mind I might have thought that the rest of the cast had been selected to ensure that Baxter would not be upstaged (I except from this the ever excellent Alan Curtis as Abanazarthe baddie —a fine performance). If this is the case, Baxter need have had no fears. Whenever he is on stage the production sparkles, but otherwise both cast and script seem limp. Such isthe glamourofAladdin, however, that it manages to overcome these faults and remain fun.(G Caldwell)
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Cinderella. Edinburgh PHOTD:CHRIS HILL
Dick Whittingth Pavilion, Glasggv IfAndy Cameron's legs aren‘t quite in the same league as Stanley Baxter’s they are still good enough to surprise Pavilion audiences with their shapeliness as he boogies onstage as Tina Turner in Dick Whittington. His rendition of ‘Bellshill City Limits‘ is a highlight in a show bursting with them. Even with three comic leads— Cameron, Ron Dale and Anne Downie as Wondergran —the effect is never overpowering as they each try to turn the tables on the evil and repulsive King Rat, a splendidly malignant Russell Hunter. Alyson Mclnnes as Dick also has legs good enough to provoke appreciate wolf whistling from the large contingent of 88s the night I was there and Teri Lally as Alice is a doll. But in this show they are all stars, especially Karen Hunter, fresh from New Faces as Tommy the violin virtuoso Cat who captivated the crowd with some very excellent violin playing.
As you might expect from a Pavilion panto, the humour is unashamedly gallus Glaswegian and as such a smash hit with the crowd. With Andy Cameron in charge there is no surprise at the number of footballing jokes— poor Maurice Johnston being the butt of most olthem - and he still has an uncanny knack of finding the Rangers supporters in the audience. Good fun, great performances - highly recommended. (Graham Caldwell)
MacRobert Arts Centre, Stirling
A real lamin show is on offer in the Macrobert Arts Centre production of Cinderella this festive season. There’s a bit of something for everyone, but nothing to offend or upset. Refreshingly, Denis Chritchley’s production isn’t over-burdened with tiresome television relerences; you’re welcomed as ‘refugeesfrom TV’, but not treated as one.
The audience are soon brought into the swing of things with a massed impersonation of the Prime Minister (courtesy of Ugly Sister Effie Star). Buttons (Joe Mullaney) quickly established a contact with the audience that is never lost. Slapstick is provided by the Ugly Sisters, Baron Hardup (John Shearer) and Buttons, the highlight being a huge doughball fight.
Win a pair of FREE TICKETS to see a pantomime this Christmas. GLASGOW
Red Riding Hood Citizens" Theatre. Sleeping Beauty With Bing Hitler at the Tron Theatre.
Aladdin with Stanley Baxter at the King's Theatre.
Cinderella with Rikki Fulton and Walter (‘arr at the King‘s'l'heatre. Alice In Wonderland Royal Lyceum. The Silver Sprig Traverse Theatre.
All you have to do is match the following objects with their pantomime by writing the object number in the appropriate box on the answer form.
Some of the oldest jokes in the book, with interesting variations, are dusted off for the season. There's excellent dancing throughout and the entertainment is punctuated by songs- from Cinderella (Paul Simpson) and Prince Charming (Mary Sandeman) in duet, to a raucous ‘When the Saints'. Beautiful sets give the essential magical background torthe cast to weave theirspell over and I’m sure no one will be disappointed from almost three hours of great entertainment. (Douglas Morris)
The Magic Whistle
Netherbow Theatre, Edinburgh
The Magic Whistle is not a traditional fairytale-turned-pantomime, buttakes the best from the pantomime tradition and uses it with much imagination and great effect.
Written and directed by Shiona Liddle the story is very simple: Finn MacCool plus a warrior are tricked, imprisoned and literally glued to the spot. Diarmid, with help from the audience, is the reluctant guitar-playing and evil-vanquishing hero who rescues them. It is not wildly ambitious or extravagant, but uses instead great ingenuity and resourcefulness and is genuinely funny. Diarmid takestime off from his role as rescuing hero to make himself a meal of green jelly, squashed banana, spaghetti and ketchup, all
Then send it off to reach us by Wednesday 17 December. The first correct entries opened will win a PAIR OF FREE TICKETS (any night subject to availability).
. Oil Lamp.
. White Rabbit.
. Glass Slipper.
. Spinning Wheel.
. Streets of Gold.
To The List Panto Ouiz,14 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 ITE.
PANTO OBJECT NUMBER Cinderella ............................. .C) Red Riding Hood ...................... ..[j Aladdin ................................ ..[:) Sleeping Beauty ...................... .. Dick Whittington ...................... ..[:] Alice in Wonderland ................. .5) Name ...................................... .. Address ................................... ..
squeezed into a doorstep of a sandwich. It also gives him the line ‘chacun a son 900'. This scene is typical of its humour which finds just the right but hard-to-achieve line between abandoning the children in favour of the adults or vice versa.
In a strong cast Alan Tall as Diarmid is especially engaging, in one of those easy and enjoyable performances which makes the character his own. This is a well thought out and highly successful production. Don't miss it. (Sally Kinnes)
Ki_ng’s Theatre, Edinburgh
Very much a variety show style of pantomime with lots of dancing, popular songs, starturns and gorgeous shimmering costumes to look at. Rikki Fulton and Walter Carr as the Ugly Sisters are, of course, hilariously lunny. Completely at home on the stage (whatever outrageous dress and wig they are inhabiting) they are a joy to watch. But this pantomime is too much of a vehicle fortheirtalents and in places doesn't develop the potential of scenes otherthan theirs.
However, Lesley Moore as Prince Charming is in no way overshadowed, playing a straight role with real conviction. Jan Wilson, as Cinderella’s wicked step-mother, is satisfyineg hiss-inducing and Jackie Farrell as Buttons evoked ‘Aaaahs’ of sympathy for his unrequited love for Cinders.
Surprisingly not a lot of comic business though what there is is amusing and highly imaginative. The humour is verbal — Rikki Fulton delivers marvellous malapropisms and mispronunciations; the Ugly Sisters' patter is wonderfully witty. This makes the show more suitable for an adult audience and older children. Yet, there are plenty of children, all ages, taking part in the show—32 in all. Their enthusiasm, singing, tap-dancing, is one delightful feature of this pantomime. (Maureen Sangster)
Santa Comes To Toun
Castlebrae High School, Craigmillar
A lovely traditional pantomime with a magical atmosphere. It's to the credit of the writer and director (Frances Ralston and Janet Fenton respectively) that the local cast includes so many children who are so obviously enjoying themselves.
All the cast give boisterous performances. Faye Milligan, as Queen Nastazia (based on a well-known political figure) is the wickedest of the wickedest, evoking hisses from the audience. And other comic characters— especially the four women on the dole (brilliantly acted) bring the audience into the spirit of this community show.
Though the storyline is simple- Oueen Nastazia forbids Santa to come to Craigmillar and the children with the help of Felicity Fairy foil her plans- there is enough political satire and humour to sustain interest.
Very much written for children In mind (there are awful Andy Cameron-type jokes that go down a treat) it‘s well worth a visit from children of all ages. (Maureen Sangster)
26 The List 12 Dec— 8 Jan