Pantomimes are at the very heart of a traditional Christmas… and also at the heart of communities across the north-east.
There will be no shouting “it’s behind you” this year, although there will be plenty of boos for the coronavirus, as pantos have a special place in people’s memories.
We have delved into our archives to relive the magic of pantomimes staged by theatre companies across the north-east over the years.
Drama during the Ferryhill Players production of Hansel and Gretel in 1987… as the witch, Meg Price (second right), gets to grips with the dame, David Hastie. Looking on are (left to right): Hansel, Francesca Baxter; Gretel, Catherine Baxter; and the fairy, Elspeth Mack. The pantomime was presented by Ferryhill Players and Chance Dance at Harlaw Academy.
Ury Players cast, Lynn Zaccarini (Jack Goose), Liz Forrest (Billy Goose) and Garry Brindley (Mother Goose) rehearse their panto Mother Goose, before opening night in Stonehaven Town Hall in December 2003.
Under the power of wicked Fairy Snapdragon (Catriona Phillips) are some of the cast of Sleeping Beauty, Attic Theatre’s pantomime in 1991, staged at Aberdeen Arts Centre.
Sean Morton and Colleen Kennie in Elgin Amateur Dramatic Society pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk from 2000.
Stars of the Eden Court’s Babes in the Wood panto, Lucy Ellis (Maid Marison), Isla St Clair (Robin Hood) and John McGeoch (Alan-A-Dale) were on hand in Inverness to present the prizes of art competition winners in 1988.
Kenny Carle (Dame) and Claire John (Will Scarlet) rehearsing for Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood at The Tivoli Theatre in 2013. It was the first panto at the Guild Street theatre since 1962 and was staged shortly after the Tivoli re-opened following years of lying disused.
The curtain went up on Aberdeen Arts Centre’s colourful and captivating Christmas pantomime Cinderella in 2010 for a 24-performance run. It was Castlegate Limited’s first panto production starring Steve Worsley and Steve Jamieson as the Ugly Sisters.
Princess Crystal, alias Catriona Grant, is shown the magic lamp by Aladdin (Marlene Reid) in a scene from the panto which the Royal Cornhill and Kingseat Hospital Drama Group staged at Inverurie Town Hall in 1979.
Andrea Stewart as Prince Charming in Cinderella, found herself lumbered with a sling following a tendon operation just days before she went on stage with Insch drama group, The Rothnie Rats, to present the popular pantomime in the village community centre in 1984.
One of the two babes in Aberdeen’s 1991 Christmas pantomime Babes in the Wood and Robin Hood, at the Capitol Theatre, Union Street. Theodora Hidalgo celebrated her ninth birthday and the cast presented her with a cake to mark the occasion.