It’s a tale as old as time but with a twist as the cast of Attic Theatre’s Beauty and the Beast invite everyone to be their guest at their dazzling panto at the Tivoli Theatre.
Brimming with all the magic of the iconic Disney film but with a delightful Doric slant, audiences will be swept away on an epic journey with local lass Bonnie who yearns for adventure and a chance to chase her dreams.
Written by Scott Jamieson, there are jokes that cater for little kids and big kids alike with plenty of Doric and local references to watch out for as well as music by Craig McDermott and lively choreography from Sarah MacNay of Aberdeen Academy of Dance.
Feisty and diva-like, dame Muggie Moss, played by primary school teacher Steven Reid, is sure to garner the belly laughs when he takes to the stage.
“I played the dame last year so it’s nice to reprise another dame this year although Muggie Moss is a bit more feisty,” laughs Steven.
“She is a bit of a diva with a foul mouth as well.
“It is a family panto though so there’s elements that will go over the kids heads that the adults will get a laugh from.”
School teacher by day, panto star by night
The 33-year-old, who works at Skene Square Primary School, says it’s great to be performing alongside some of the children he teaches.
“What’s really nice is that some of the kids who are at school are performing in the panto as part of the dance company,” says Steven.
“So it’s nice to share the stage with them and for them to perform alongside me on the stage rather than being the teacher at the front of the class.”
Steven will also be performing alongside his partner Gillian Park who plays a character called Lesley in the show.
“It’s really nice to perform alongside Gillian as we get to interact a lot on stage,” says Steven.
Panto with a few twists
Proudly taking on the role of Bonnie is sixth year Aberdeen Grammar School pupil Anna Seaman.
“I’m really excited to be in the show,” says Anna.
“I’ve been performing since I was about four years old but this is my biggest role to date.
“Audiences can expect a different take on Beauty and the Beast with some of the traditional story but also some twists as well.
“It’s funny and a good laugh but there’s also some really nice moments too.”
Juggling school work and panto scripts
Together with learning her lines for the show, Anna has also been juggling her studies with three Advanced Higher exams looming.
“It’s quite tricky because at school I’m doing Advanced Highers in maths, English and music,” says Anna.
“But last year I did perform in my school show while I was studying for six Highers and I did manage to get the results I wanted so I hope that this year if I work hard I’ll still be able to achieve that and go to university.
“Performing has given me lots of confidence and learning lines can be similar to learning information for exams so it definitely helps.”
Theatre is an escape from every day life
Equally as excited to be in the show is Ross Robertson who plays the Beast.
No stranger to treading the boards, the 35-year-old from Aberdeen studied at Performers College in Essex before going on to work on Princess Cruises and as a flight attendant with Emirates airline.
“This is my first show with Attic Theatre,” says Ross.
“It’s been three years since I moved back to Aberdeen so I’ve been getting involved with the amateur dramatic scene again for the past few years.
“The theatre is a nice way to escape from your every day life.
“I’m enjoying acting more now than when I was doing it professionally because I’ve got no stress about it.”
Fun for all the family
Ross, who now works in business travel, is relishing taking on the role of the Beast.
“There’s obviously a lot of high expectations when it comes to playing the Beast,” says Ross.
“Usually I play a prince or someone who is a little bit more charming.
“But the Beast definitely has some charming qualities too.
“The show will have something for the whole family.”
With a three-week run of the show until December 22, Ross says the energy from the audience will keep him going.
“I’ll just push through,” says Ross.
“At the end of the night after a show I’m usually buzzing and it takes a while for me to get back to sleep so I definitely think the mornings will be a challenge.”
Ross will also have his biggest fan in the audience to cheer him on.
“My mum Roslyn is my biggest supporter, I think she’s coming to the show three times,” laughs Ross.
Roslyn won’t be the only proud parent in the audience as the stellar cast is made up of talented local thespians who give up their time to rehearse from September right through to December.
To book tickets
Beauty and the Beast runs until December 22 at the Tivoli Theatre, Aberdeen.