The Yule Monty
In the next few weeks, many children and quite a few adults will befilling a theatre just yards from your Christmas stocking. But don't forget, it all means something.
Words: Andrew Burnet
Critics of the National Lottery are often heard to complain that it is a means of removmg funds as efficiently as possible from the poorer end of the social scale and reallocating them to the richer end This being the essential function of commerce, and the Lottery
being a flourishing commercial concern, they should hardly be surprised
But the willingness of the
impoverished to part With their scant dough for Lottery tickets and scratchcards is surely eVidence that we all gotta dream. There's a fundamental impulse in the soul of man, woman and child under capitalism that impels us towards that distant hope of a big golden grin from Lady Luck, In fact, it hardly seems to matter how remote our chances are »- it's the eXistence of the possibility that prowdes comfort That’s one reaSOn,
The dream of a stroke of luck that reverses our circumstances is what makes Cinderella
s $3 2% 34 w t ﬂ ‘
Elaine C. Smith and Jonathan Watson in Sleeping Beauty at the King's Theatre, Glasgow
which — the Scottish Ballet version — plays at two of the main theatres.
The Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh's version is a pretty traditional affair, with two ugly sisters — Hernia and Sciatica — in drag; while Cumbernauld Theatre’s has added the tag 'The True Story’ to the title, and promises to be a more earnest, dramatic affair.
Scotland‘s master pensmith of serious-minded Christmas shows is of course Stuart Paterson, whose scripts have consistently focused on telling the story and keeping the jokes squarely aimed at the kids, eschewing the cross-dressing, music hall routines and smutty innuendoesforthe grown-ups that are
at least, why rags to essential to that males tales are such a popular story peculiarly British lodged so deeply in tradition of panto. Our popular His hard work pays
mythology This collective dream of one stroke of luck that reverses our harsh circumstances is surely what makes Cinderella such a popular story. This year's crop of pantos and Christmas shows in Scotland’s Central Belt contains three of them, one of
Allan Stewart in Aladdin at the King‘s Theatre, Edinburgh
off again this year: his masterpiece The Snow Queen is revwed at Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum, his Merlin The Magnificent at the Citizens' Theatre, Glasgow; and his Beauty And The Beast at the MacRobert Arts Centre in Stirling.
But the traditional approach is far from a thing of the past. The three biggest shows in Edinburgh and Glasgow this Christmas are The Magical Adventures Of Pinocchio at Glasgow's Pavilion Theatre, Aladdin at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh and Sleeping Beauty at the King's in Glasgow. This last is a particular success story. A few years ago, the future of panto at the King’s looked bleak; these days it's flourishing better than ever, generating enormous prosperity for the city-run venue, as well as handsome fees for the cast.
Elsewhere, there are some worthwhile oddities. watch out for Bring Back Christmas! at Edinburgh's Netherbow Arts Centre, written by the sparkling, locally-based writer Nick Davies; while at Paisley Arts Centre, one-man panto powerhouse David Wallace is writer, director and dame in SnowWhite.
A tall, beautiful woman, cast out by her family, living among small men with a hearty work-ethic . . . Er, that’s a bit like life, really, isn't it, children?
List of shows
These are the professionally produced Christmas shows in the Central Belt this season. For details of times and ticket prices. see under individual venues in Drama 8: Dance listings.
Cinderella (Scottish Ballet) Theatre Royal. Wed (i—Sat 9 Jan.
The Magical Adventures Of Pinocchio Pavilion Theatre. Wed 2 Dee—Sat 23 Jan. Merlin The Magnificent Citizens‘ Theatre. Tue 24 Nov—Sat 26 Dee. Sleeping Beauty King‘s Theatre. Glasgow. Hi 4 l)ee~Sat lo Jan.
Snow White Paisley Arts Centre. Fri J—Thti 3| Dee.
Aladdin King's Theatre. Sat 5 Dec—Sun l7 Jan.
Bring Back Christmas! Netherbow Arts Centre. Mon l-l--Ttie 22 Dee.
Cinderella Brunton Theatre. MusselburghTue l Dec—Sat 9 Jan. Cinderella (Scottish Ballet) litlinhurgh Festival Theatre Tue IS-Thu 24 Dec.
The Happy Gang's Castle Of Adventure Traverse Theatre. Thti 3—Sat 12 Dee.
The Snow Queen Royal Lyceum Theatre. Fri 4 Dec—Sat 9 Jan.
Beauty And The Beast MacRobert Arts Centre. Stirling. Tue 2—Sat 3| Dec. Cinderella: The True Story Ctiinheriiauld Theatre. Thti 2o Nov—Sat 20 Dec.
THE INVENTION 0F FIIN
Modern play starring you, some friends and a few bottles of Rolling Rock beer and a pair of dice. Play away.
Christmas shows THEATRE
552 3489 98 Ingram Street, Glasgow
Rapture Theatre Co Nov 18th - 21st 7.30 Arthur Miller's
A powerful & gripping flare of light on the age: public morality & private lives, the effect of the Holocaust on a Jewish woman in Brooklyn in 1938. Pain, horror, love and compassion merge. Tickets £7/2.50 Ticket Centre 0141 - 287 5511
Ballroom Band 19th - let Nov 10.30pm
04,5 I" The famous Brecht cabaret Love, life, death, exile, sexuality & money...Brecht, Weill, Eisler...A sell out in spring: book early! Tickets 25/259 from the Ramshom 552 3489 Strathclyde Theatre Group lst - 5th December 7.30
b9 - Barrie Keeffe
Blow us all up would you?
'Give me one reason why
Keeffe's classic trilogy of short plays strips the surface off the achieving society. Violence, sexuality, class war, a deadly education system and dead-end jobs...
Tickets Tues/Wed:£5/1.50Thurs/Sat £7/3
Ticket Centre 287 5511
l9 Nov—3 Dec 1998 TNE LIST 89