No Christmas is complete without a trip to the pantomime for a helping of high camp festive cheer.
Here are some of the best pantomimes taking place in Scotland this winter.
King’s Panto: Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Kings Theatre Edinburgh, 2 Leven Street, Edinburgh South EH3 9LQ
30 November 2019 to 19 January 2020
Some pantos make do with meagre props and minimalist sets, wringing laughs from the bargain basement look of it all. Of course, that wouldn't do for the King's. While the Goldilocks story could be told with four characters and a few bowls of porridge, this year's Edinburgh panto has blown the humble tale up into a jaw-dropping circus extravaganza. You'll be hard-pressed to find a more spectacular panto experience this year.
Tron Theatre, 63 Trongate, Glasgow G1 5HB
27 November 2019 to 5 January 2020
The Tron Theatre's pantomime is kind of legendary, mixing glib Glaswegian humour with contemporary pop culture and funnelling it all through a classic fairytale to create something that feels of-the-moment and completely timeless. This year, Cinderella is re-imagined for the Kardashian age. Prince Charming becomes Princess Charmaine - “style icon, winner of Entrepreneur of the Year and Best Glasses Wearer 2019 AND the only woman who knows how to rock a big crown on her heid while still giving it big licks on a dance floor”. To prove herself at the Princess's men-only ball, Cinderella will need to man up, don a fake beard and take to the dance floor. This cheeky spin on the tale of pumpkin carriages and glass slippers is sure to be a blast.
Peter Pan & Sleeping Beauty
Lanark Memorial Hall, St Leonard Street, Lanark, ML11 7AB
Peter Pan: 3-5 October 2019; Sleeping Beauty 27-30 November 2019
Set up in 1962, the Lanark Panto Club has a long history of treading the boards, and this year's pantomime double-header is sure to delight audiences of all ages. Peter Pan is all about lost boys who never grow up, staving off adulthood so that playtime never ends. So who better to tell the story than a gaggle of primary school kids? This month, the Lanark Panto Club Juniors will be putting on a production of J M Barrie's classic tale. Then, as we get a little closer to Christmas, the club's senior players will try to raise Sleeping Beauty from her slumber once again. A company of locals putting on a professional level performance – the Lanark Club is what panto is all about.
The Magical Adventures of Pinocchio
Pavilion Theatre Glasgow, 121 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3AX
28 November 2019 to 12 January 2020
“Good Clean Family Entertainment” is what the Pavilion promises from its version of Pinocchio, as well as a “Glasgow twist” that ensures it will still be naughty enough to keep audience members of all ages giggling through the show. Panto veteran Liam Dolan stars as the wooden boy's conscientious cricket, Jiminy, while River City star Stephen Purdon takes the titular role. And Geppetto, the elderly Italian gentlemen who crafted him? Well Scotland's professional wrestling superstar Grado was the natural pick for that. For those looking to enjoy a night out at the theatre without waking up to a phone full of bank alerts, the Pavilion also promises the “Best Affordable Panto in Town”.
Rapunzel: A Hair Braiding Adventure
Macrobert Arts Centre, University of Stirling , Stirling FK9 4LA
22 November to 31 December 2019
Written, directed and starring Scottish pantomime legend Johnny McKnight, this updated fairytale shares in Rapunzel's woes at being locked away without so much as a Netflix subscription to get by on. Having been inhumanely deprived of hair products her entire life, this panto tells the tale of her epic bid for freedom, and promises to answer the question on everybody's mind - will Rapunzel opt for a bob, a perm or go retro with a Rachel cut at the hairdressers?
NOW That's What I Call Christmas Live in Edinburgh
The Usher Hall, Lothian Rd, Edinburgh EH1 2EA
Saturday 21 December
From Bing Crosby’s fireplace crooning to Shane MacGowan’s beautiful, boozy wail, Christmas music is an absolutely vital part of the festive season. The most wonderful time of the year just isn’t that wonderful without a proper soundtrack of cheesy pop bangers, classic carols and love songs sweeter than candy canes. On the grand stage of Edinburgh’s Usher Hall, NOW That’s What I Call Christmas Live brings all your favourite festive tracks to life, from the wistful sounds of Last Christmas (soon to be a major motion picture) to the ear-piercing shrieks of Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End).