As a host ofdamcs. witches and oddly bulging beasties descend upon Scotland‘s stages. we meet some of the writers. actors. musicians and directors caught up in the tinsel. and offer an A—Z directory of Christmas shows

and Pantosin Central Scotland. All you

I Babes in the Magic Wood

Paisley Arts Centre. .\'ew Street. Paisley. ()41 887 Hill). Thurs l5—Sat 24 December. 8pm. Sat matinee 17 Dec & Sat 24 Dec 3pm. £4 (£2); Matinees £2 (£1 ). A cautionary tale about treading warily in woody places from Paisley Youth Theatre. working together with professional actors to tell the traditional story.

I Babes in the Wood

(‘arnegie Hall. Dunfermline.(1383 7201118. Fri ‘)~Sat 17 December. 2pm & 7pm. except l2 15Dec.‘)_3(lam& 7pm. £3 (£2). The story of the hapless babes in a traditional-style panto.

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.. -A I Babes in the Wood (‘ivic Theatre. Motlicrwcll. Mon 5--Sat 7 Jan. l.31)and7.3(1pm daiy excl. Suns. £3.51). Family and party concsavailable. lligh Teas can be booked in advance £2.55 (H.511). (‘hristian is the starin Motherwell's version of the lost babes‘ tale.

I Beauty and the Beast

Netherbow Arts (‘entre. 43 1 liin Street. lidinburgh.tl31 5569579. Tue l.‘~—-Sat 17 Dec. 7pm. Sat mat. Sat 17Dec.2..‘~(lpm. £2.5(l(£l .5ll). Presented at the Lyceum last year. Stuart Paterson‘s spellbinding and subtle adaptation of the traditional fairy story attracted audience and critical

approval. Here it is produced by Netherbow (‘hildren‘s Theatre in association with ’I‘elford ( ~ollege Drama Course.

I A Bicycle to the Moon

St Brides (‘cntre. ()rwell Terrace. [idinburgh U31 340 1405. Mon l2v~Sat24 December. 1.30pm & 7.30pm. £3adults: £2 concs: L" l .511 children. Family -saver Lb. (‘ommunicado Theatre (‘ompany in a Christmas show created for (iorgie and Dalrv and incorporating a host oflocal schools -- Sec Preview.

I Bonds olEnchantment

Theatre Workshop. 34 l lamilton Place. lidinburgh. (131 22o 5425. Thurs 22 Sat 3]


‘You need a school teacher to organise this.‘ cries Gerry Mulgrew to unlocking parents as the rehearsal gets under way for Communicado‘s festive bash, A Bicycle to the Moon. In front of him are 55 of the 160 children who will eventually make up four choirs to be used in rotation for the play's two week run. In an hour‘s time the next 55 youngsters will be arriving lortheir rehearsal, so it‘s a battle against the clock to run through some at the show's six songs and to introduce some basic blocking. ‘Getting them off the stage is the immediate problem.‘ admits Mulgrew without looking especially daunted.

Against the odds the rehearsal runs smoothly and plenty of valuable work is done. Much of the thanks lorthis must go to music man Michael Marra. Mulgrew‘s partner in crime. who has spent the past three months working on the score in conjunction with the eight schools involved in the project. No mean feat when you consider the inevitable differences in the availability of time and musical facilities that each school has to offer. ‘One of the schools hasn‘t had a music teacher since 1976.’ says Marra, ‘While other schools are extremely well equipped.‘

Mulgrew is the first to rave about

Marra‘s songs. Written in conjunction with the playwright John Harvey. they‘re a lively mixture ranging from jazzy blues through military stomps to the music of heavenly angels. ‘The kids find them very pleasant to sing.‘ says Mulgrew, ‘He‘s a very good song writer. The songs are deceptively simple.‘ Marra goes on to explain that by giving the choir a simple definite part to sing. the musicians are able to work in interesting chord changes underneath—a technique which on the strength of the two or three songs I heard. produces compelling results. As is the current trend with seasonal

productions, it’s not so much a traditional pantomime as a Christmas show with a strong story line. John Harvey‘s script is an imaginative journey into a land where the makers of nightmares live. Demand tortheir product is understandably low and the arrival of a Dream Inspector challenges them to justify the value of their wares. Two tramps from the real world join in the dreaming action and the children, rather than being an anonymous choir in the background. become characters involved in the plot. With the promise of several visual treats on the way, the whole thing culminates in a bike race it the moon. ‘The audience will participate by laughing a lot.‘ assures Mulgrew, heading off forthe second intensive session of the day as 55 new


children take their positions on stage. (Mark Fisher).

A Bicycyle to the Moon. Communicado at St Brides Centre, Edinburgh. See A—Z.

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Bonds of linchantment.'1 Workshole:dinburgll December. 22 ck 23 Dec. 4.30pm. 24 k 31 Dec 2pm. 25-39 Dcc 2pm & 5pm. £3.30 (£2 children under 1o). l‘ollowiiigoti ('hristrnas shows of recent years. .lanet l-‘enton‘s new play rningles legends and folk tales from a range of different ethnic origins to tell the tale of a young girl whose journey through a magic forest helps her to grow tip.

I Care Bears and the Spell ol the Ice Dragon Sli(’(' l‘innieston. (ilasgow, 1141 248311111). Mon 2— Sun 8.1anuary . two perls per day. times vary. More saccharine musical entertainment in the new show by the outsize cuddly bears.

I Christmas and New Year Carnival

Sli( '(‘ l‘iinnieston. (ilasgow. (141 248 3111)”. Fri In December Thurs 15January. 1.3(lpm 10.30pm. (’loscd 25 Dec. A big wheel. a 3D cinema and a mini roller-coaster. as well as a host of stallsare included in the fairground-style ('arnival I Christmas Present

Tron Theatre. ()3 Trongate. (ilasgow . (141 552 4267. Fri 9 December—Sun SJanuary. 7.30pm. 27 & 28 Dec also 3pm. 24 Dec 5pm. .\'o perf25. 26 Dec. 1 & 2Jan. £5 non-members; £4 members; cones avail n check with box office. The Tron's ‘altcrnative' ('hristmas Show this year is a review of the year. as told by Marcella Iivaristi. Stuart Hepburn. Forbes Masson. Anne Downie. Ian Morton and Myra McFadyn. Those stars of last year's pyjama-clad panto. Victor and Barry. will make a ‘live‘ link-up from Australia See Preview.

I Cinderella

Mitchell Theatre. (iranville Strcct. (ilasgow. Thurs 22 dz Fri 23 December.


The List 9 22 December 1988 9