earning her the right to sit back and be nasty for the rest of the show. John Murtagh’s pantomime is both

new. So while the tight pop-rock score rolls along, the long-established husband and wife Music Hall

takes centre stage. They are two of the most loveabie Ugly Sisters you’re Iikelyto see this year, far more interested in dressing up and trotting out the wisecracks than being horrible to Teri Lalty’s Cinderella. Comfortable with each other and the audience. they f radiate confidence and enjoyment as only such professionals can.

Dean Park playing Buttons succeeds in being both endearing for the kids and very funny for the adults and convincingly sets the tone for the whole pantomime in his fast-talking opening scene. Backed up by Murtagh's gag-a-minute script and Rhona

well attuned to tradition and open to the f

double-act of Jack Milroy and Mary Lee

Jimmy Logan in Motherwell's Dick Whittington

projected sequence to help him on his way. But it is his own outrageousness

which consistently lifts this show out of i the doldrums. He‘s not afraid to go for

' adult humour (there are as many Major as Ninja jokes) and one image which,

unfortunately, will live in the memory fora long time to come is his impersonation of a certain recently

3 banned pop megastar. Truly disgusting

PANTO R0 ND __|_’_

clear-cut morality sweeps them deep into the cave-trap devised by our amphibious hero.

It’s a well-structured and uncomplicated show with enough familiar references to engage attention and to keep the story going. The impact oi events is largely due to their dramatic significance, not because they are spectacular. Communicado perpetuates its tradition of community involvement— King Dolphin‘s group of Wise Ones, who process onto the stage

- in a priceless selection of evening

frocks, swimming goggles and food wrappers whenever the going gets tough, are venerable indeed: all members of the over-55s drama group Autumn Players. Super Gran has nothing on this bunch.

Turtle Count: Nil.

Cross Dressing: Loads.

(Catherine Fellows)

and utterly hilarious. Turtle Count: Five. Cross Dressing: Just Logan.

Clelland's punchy choreography, the long, clearly plotted show has hardly

any luils and suffers only from the ! (phmp pa") JAMES AND THE GIANT occasional inadequate microphone. ; PEACH Bashoat Greattamnvmn- : mm— were Turtle Count: One. . Cumbernautd Theatre. Until Sat 29 “tubing? Cross Dressing: Yes. Dec. (Mark Fisher) i THE CREATURE, FROM Firstthing—this isn’tactuailya 1 THE MERMAID S PURSE pantomime, butan atmostliteral "REVIEW i St Brides Centre, Edinbur h. Until Sat adaptation 0' R03” Dahrs “333": I 22 Dee. 9 novel which celebrates the heroic RASHO , CHAMPION OF The creature in question is Finbar the WWW 0' 3 cm” “"3"” new” "0"“ THE RO MANY

fish-boy, sent by Dolphin, King of the of grown-tins. Arid though any Ocean, to persuade the land dwellers vulgartsatton of it would be a travesty,

i e Theatre Workshop, Until 29 Dec. d _\ . to stop poisoning the sea with refuse. A "‘9 “0”” "it" "'is appmac" is "'3'



One wee soul belore the 10.3oam start of Theatre Workshop's Christmas show suggested to his pal that they could go back to sleep. ‘No danger,” she hissed back, and she was right. Now, keeping an audience enraptured at that time on a Monday morning is no mean achievement, but Rasho, Champion of the Romany does much more than your average panto/Christmas show— it gets the audience thinking as well.

Colin Macneil's tremendously imaginative set- the scrapyard of The Double Deckers reinterpreted by George Lucas provides the backdrop

big task for a young fish, and a serious 0“ 94399 it is,“ "W swam '0' eheuenge for the smell try audience, excitable children on a Christmas treat.

but thanks to Anne Downie’s Long imaginative passages of

; straighuemem mot and description from Dahl are lost among Communicado's last-moving staging crying bab'esi "'9 WSW“! “Pit” and imaginative scenennking, no one packets and the restless stirrings of is daunted. it would be nice to think that "me '9‘“ ""0 “33'” "3'" '0 be Chasm the wonderful vigour of these children 93°" 0m" 3'0“ "‘9 rof's- .

g . - . . reflected the fact that for once they had second'yv "me 3'9" “"099” 10"”

a Colour in your own panto at the Pavilion something worth shouting about. and although the promotion '3 Strong

i The storyis very easy to follow. After i and "WW—"‘9 "‘"sms "mum‘-

aseriesotland-based capers,Finn's é 'heieaien"iea"”"°"9h 90mmat

We meme is Ireweeled when he is i which the audience can interact with called upon to rescue his ship-wrecked ' "'3 5mm “‘3' " V0" '9 "W19 ‘0 keep

1 DICKWHITTINGTON , lind themselves in Finn’s ocean floor 5 can" “9'9 thinking "‘3‘ some Ina.s‘e”""y overs?!" by say.“ The CIVIC Theatre, Motherwell. Ul’ttlt 5 kingdom (t' thougm you said he was Q enterprising Fringe company can” do Wisdom McPhee (Vari Sylvester). January "om Norm emick,’ We”, .said he . a lot with Dahl’s wont, bringing out the Young Bessie (Debs Amati) having

a You can get away with almost anything

; in panto. But there is one sacrosanct

i rule for God’s sake don't be wooden.

About 90 per cent of the cast in Jimmy

; Logan‘s Dick Whittington are 100 per

1 cent teak.

The honourable exceptions are Logan

1 himself and Terry Neason, sadly cast

‘; as Wondergran (it surely can’t be that

3 long ago that she was playing principal

; boys). But although the writer/director

i gives himself and Neason a fair slice of

g the limelight, we are ‘treated‘ to

; enough of the supporting entourage for

1 this panto to degenerate regularly into

i tedium. Even a wildly enthusiastic first

, night audience could not restrain the

i yawns when the stage was held

i (limply) by Dick and his fair maiden.

So we are left with the old theatrical

i tradition of one star having to carry an entire performance. Logan makes use , of a vast array of new technology from i garish neon elfects to an amazing I


popped round to see her Romany relatives, now ensconced in an Edinburgh scrapyard, provides the catalyst for the telling of Rasho's tale. Leaping with alacrity around the junkyard set, the cast whisk the young audience back in time to the Indian Empire of A0400, an area rarely visited in the classroom. There, Bessie's relatives illuminate the story of how Rasho and the Romany defeated the Huns, with only the help of the dispossessed urban poor of Northern India and an audience full at schoolklds from File.

The authentic cultural blend of this enlightening production—spiced with music, song and dance— gives it a , genuinely mystical flavour which the i King’s Panto could never hope to match j and all before midday.

; Turtle Count: Nil. : Cross Teachers: One. (Ross Parsons)

! psychologicalundercurrents ofhis

; stories.

' The kids here all cheered at the end, but i’m sure most of them hadn't a clue

what it was all about and would, if they'd been allowed to choose for themselves, rather have seen those heroes in a halfshell. Turtle Count: Nil. i Cross Dressing: Two.

(Andrea Baxter)


was weird‘) in the midst of an attempted coup by queen of farts, the

- sea witch Hybridia. Dnce pleasant, warm-hearted fish-folk, Hybridia and her daughters have mutated in the sewage outlet pipe (yes, yes I know) into grisly evil-doers intent on safe-guarding their supply of rubbish. Happily, their wicked schemes come to nought as a palpable wave of children's arms, voices and enthusiasm for

The List 7 - 20 December 199057