, nightmares.“ .

Guilt-edged theatre

Panto is the most widely attended event in Scottish theatre. Why? Because it gives you a chance to explore your unconscious, stupid. Words: Steve Cramer

Iva/mtg Bmuty. l’t’tt'r l’un. .‘l ('liris‘mzus‘ Cum].

()f thcsc (‘hristmas shows alonc. thcrc’ll bc

scycn productions in Scotland this Christmas. And cach giycs a ccntral rolc to slccping and drcaming. This is truc of pantos and (‘hristmas shows in gcncral: a hclluya lot morc slccping gocs on than in most drama.

(‘hildrcn arc much closcr to thcir drcam landscapc than wc arc. 'l‘hcir imaginatch proccsscs arc morc casily libcratcd. sincc thcy'yc mttch morc rcccntly had to rcprcss thcm and arc only just bcginning to discriminatc bctwccn imagination and what wc. all too conlidcntly. call rcality. lt‘s tts who nccd hclp in confronting our rcprcsscd guilty imaginings. which is why wc find panto such a joy.

Art is always a proccss of imagination and thcrcforc always a placc wc can go to uncoycr thc splcndours of a buricd sclf. an cnactmcnt of fantasy. but panto is particularly so. l‘or childrcn. thcrc's anothcr morc dircct fantasy world in thc thcatrc at (‘hristmasz thcy can go into a darkcncd room and shottt rudc rcmarks at an adult and. for oncc. bc cncouragcd to do so. 'l‘hc only othcr placc whcrc a child can do that is at thc footic. which is why you scc so many of thcm thcrc. too.

Somc of thcsc libcrations arc hcalthy. othcrs arc ycry disturbing indccd. Did you hcar about that girl who. having bccn druggcd by an artfully applicd nccdlc. falls into an intoxicatcd slumbcr and is thcn snoggcd by a complctc strangcr'.’ If it wcrcn‘t .S'lw/u'ng Bmuly. it‘d bc bcforc thc procttrator fiscal


You can learn a lot from panto; it compensates for and explains our more unacceptable social

cycn as we spcak. 'l‘hcrc arc thrcc instanccs of this notorious scx and drugs casc this scason. a story whosc ccntral mctaphor is not about punishmcnt. bttt about thc acccptability of mixing scx and intoxication. And wc all nccd rcassurancc about that. You don‘t bclicyc mc'.’ What about your currcnt partncr'.’ Didn‘t you both hayc a fcw drinks on thc night you first slcpt with him/hcr'.’ In fact. whcn was thc last timc you didn't hayc a drinkfloint/ctc bcforc [ltd/ifs! timc you got off with somconc‘.’ Rcally'.’ Thcn libcratc your unconscious scnsc of guilt. go scc this onc.

Now. if you‘rc a woman and find. aftcr that first. drunkcn cncountcr that thc man you’rc with is not princc charming. but a bccr-swilling. foul-mouthcd oycrgrown lad with a rcmarkablc facility for cmitting smclls from a yaricty of body parts. you may be in nccd of comfort. Aftcr all. you‘rc a bcauty. a princcss and dcscryc bcttcr than this bcast. You can scc whcrc I‘m going. can’t you'.’ 'l‘hcrc arc a couplc of thcsc this scason. too. It may bc that our culturc lays too much cmphasis on bcauty. incrcasing fcmalc insccurity about not bcing quitc up to thc (‘indy (‘rawford lcycl. But it‘s also that in our drcams wc arc bcautiful. irrcsistiblc and all-powcrful. \\'c just have to rcconcilc this with rcality. as Bcauty. worsc luck. has to. by acccpting thc clarty twat as hc is. so shc can fall in loyc with him and turn him into a handsomc princc.

l)rcams arc about both dcsirc and guilt. ln Aladdin. thc titlc charactcr is first pttnishcd for his dcsirc for thc drop- dcad gorgcous Lotus Blossom. thcn madc to Icarn thc acccptablc way to approach girls and finally to adjttst his projcctcd scxual guilt so that it bccomcs charm. Yott can lcarn a lot from panto. lt compcnsatcs for and cxplains ottr morc unacccptablc social traits and rctrains Us to bchayc bcttcr in socicty’s cycs. So go scc .-\ ('lirislmus ('urul. 'l’hcn gct to thc bar. you stingy bastard.

See listings for panto and Christmas show details.

Stage Whispers

Re: treading the boards

If YOU IHINK IHE‘ éll"'|\.’(’li of ()brt:;'."tas tatgrtals; it‘t} (am of theatre Llllill January. fear not. Asntit} from t?1<35;'i<>‘.'.'s il{1§}§](}(lt.l)lf‘()1."{3'€E‘-.(}‘.'. wages. tt‘(:-"<:- éil't‘: other attorrtatyos to :>a':to_ ibo yota‘g and browsing; Fauitltr‘tz Theatre 2s t:r<35;<3"‘.~r:; a ‘asx: '10.?419 took at; Hit (2 sboy'r at (3 2. ."\.’:> Ghosts; lxrxxrorr (teas; ti‘ 2m Baliard |'k(}13(3(}"£i"(> o‘ an at>o(:aiy;)tt<: future. Megan timers Hfay a;so has; a suggestzot‘ of Print”) K. Dick about :t. ‘.'.’ill‘ a (:<:"tra character. lVléit'Clél. soling stoic-"- 'ncvnor‘ros; to a tx>t1otai1ort ablation ‘.'.’zil‘ amr‘osat after a was‘. nor}: i'\(3 :>.a\. s;<>..t‘~<is ‘K(31i"‘§}"ill£l‘.(3 titLlCI" Ii: say a:x>..'. ::.;r ‘.()‘.'(Z‘.H’E)I:(I(1.1Eltt"(}£t'iil;f8 tutor-:2 [)(Di$f3:t)ii tic-5;. Y<:-.. can set: at at Glasst;o\.'."s; (-31? ‘ron‘. Thursday 12%) Nox'onxtxzr .att Saturday ‘z [Utxmnutios

Ballard naked: No Ghosts Expected

WRITER/DIRECTOR Kathleen Ruddy is also bucking the panto trend with Check Your Coupon, a comedy about two pensioners, Lily and Sheena, who, after a nasty shock at the local bookmakers, decide to start a pools scam for the benefit of their local community. The comedy would appear to have a very bleak edge to it, with a good deal of death, and bits of bodies involved in the action. The author of such past hits as Glasgow Hard Tickets and Sex, Chips And Ouzo has the form on the board to make this popular comedy worth a watch. You can catch it at the Cottier, Glasgow, from Thursday 6 until Saturday 22 December.