Some Things for the Weekend
It’s panto season: here are my top picks
We are getting into panto season (Oh, yes we are!) so this week’s selection of shows to see includes a few of the best.
King’s Theatre, Edinburgh Until Sunday 17th January. Times vary
Of course, we all know that the title of any pantomime is largely irrelevant. However, this year the resident Edinburgh Kings trio of Allan Stewart, Grant Stott and Andy Gray take on the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Any regular Kings panto fans will know pretty much what to expect.
King’s Theatre, Glasgow Friday 4th December to Sunday 10th January Times vary
This would appear to be a bumper year in Scotland for actors of a smaller size, as The Glasgow Kings also bring their take on the Snow White myth. Rab C. Nesbitt himself, Gregor Fisher is joined by comedian Des Clarke and Balamory’s Juliet Cadzow in a cast every bit as strong as the Edinburgh Kings’. The question is: who will have the better dwarves ?
ALI BAWBAG AND THE FOUR TEA LEAVES
Oran Mor, Glasgow Until Wednesday 23rd December Times vary
This lunchtime pantomime is the seasonal offering from Oran Mor’s A Play, A Pie and A Pint. Written by Wildcat stalwart Dave Anderson, the show’s title alone is worth the ticket price. And you get a pie and a pint too.
His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen Until 3rd January 1.45 and 7 pm
Who needs a pantomime dame, when instead you can have the real-life Grande Dame of Scottish comedy Elaine C Smith? There are few better exponents of knockabout pantomime humour. Even if the rest of the cast were to be average, this would still be watchable.
THE EDINBURGH CHRISTMAS LECTURES
The Stand Comedy Club, Edinburgh Saturday 5th December at 4.30
An alternative approach to Christmas every Saturday afternoon in December, hosted by the brilliantly talented Andrew Learmonth, a man who redefines the term “polymath”. He is a comedian, writer, political activist, journalist and even on one occasion a robot. These festive shows attract guest appearances from some of the finest acts on the comedy circuit, and from a few oddball artistes too Anything could happen, and probably will.
On General Release from Friday 4th December
If you’re fed-up with too much laughter, this is the movie to sort you out. Lewis Crassic Gibbon’s moving, and at times heart-breakingly sad, novel about the coming of age of you girl in North-East Scotland during World War I was one of the most significant novels of the twentieth century. Its television adaptation by the BBC is the 1970’s reduced my teenage self to tears, such was the poignancy of its writing. If this modern adaptation for the large screen comes anywhere near to matching that quality, then it will be one of the major critical hits of this year.
Dundee Rep Until 31st December 7pm (Matinees at 2.30)
If, like me, you prefer a “seasonal play”, rather than a pantomime, Dundee Rep stage adaptation of the Roald Dhal classic should be right up your street. And if your street happens to be in Dundee, all the better.
Lemon Tree, Aberdeen Thursday 3rd
Pleasance, Edinburgh Friday 4th
Glasgow Art School, Saturday 5th December
The young multi-talented Scottish musician Christopher Duncan has a huge future, whether is rock or classical music, as he excels at both. Classicly trained at the Royal Conservatoire Of Scotland, his compositions have been performed by ensembles throughout the UK.
Vladimir McTavish will be appearing at Monkey Barrel Comedy at The Beehive in Edinburgh Friday 4th and Saturday 5th December and at Aberdeen Winter Festival on Sunday 6th December