NEWS: Puss in Boots the Christmas Panto at the Britannia Panopticon Music Hall
OH YES IT IS… following the success of their first panto Aladdin in 2016, the world’s oldest surviving music hall, is feline furry good as an ensemble cast present the purr-fect panto this festive season as part of their 160th anniversary.
The Britannia Panopticon, Glasgow’s much loved music hall becomes a riot of colour once again with this un-fur-gettable festive adventure, the A listed venue’s second Christmas panto and the first event to be announced as part of their 160th anniversary celebrations.
We join the story to find the land of Panoptica in peril from the evil Giant Blunderbore and his assistant Demon Moonshade. Our hero Tom has returned home to inherit his father’s estate before the evil giant steals it. Could Tom’s cat hold the key to solving all of Panoptica’s problems? Will Harry ever find out what happened to his lost love Kitty? Could the princess Felicia ever fall in love with a commoner like Tom and will her parents Queen Euphemia and King Richard allow it? Created for audiences young and older alike, this charming adventure really is the cat’s whiskers.
Grant F Kidd, writer, director and performer, said: “Following the success of Aladdin I was delighted to be asked to return to write and direct panto for The Britannia Panopticon. The building really does have a warm atmosphere, although not literally as they are still fundraising for heating so please give generously.
“Puss in Boots is a wonderful rags to riches story which I’m glad to put my own twist on. It’s one of the few remaining traditional pantos and although it fell out of favour in late 1980s, it has started to make a comeback following a number of Hollywood animations. Puss in Boots is a perfect match for the space as it’s a panto which could have been performed in music halls. Our panto focuses on the more traditional aspects of fun and silliness and it’s what audiences loved last year. I am also proud that once again we look to be the most affordable panto in Glasgow with tickets only costing £7 for adults and £5 for children & over 60’s meaning that you can bring the whole family for the same price as a single ticket in some larger theatres. I am pleased to be joined by Sally Starshine as the Demon Moonshade and Christopher Hume, who played the Genie in Aladdin, will be returning to play King Richard and of course I will be donning a frock as “one of Scotland’s finest panto dames” (Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman 2016) Auntie Effie to take on the role of Queen Euphemia.”
Grant F Kidd was born and raised in Ayrshire, South West Scotland where he still lives although thinks of Glasgow as his cultural home. He is a city boy stuck in the country. Grant is a lifelong panto fan and even before he was let on stage he made sure he was heard when at six years old the local panto dame decided to make a joke about his home town and he made sure to let her/him know he wouldn’t be standing for anymore of it.
In 2016, Grant created the character of Auntie Effie, finally letting her out and onto the stage. She has had a rare old time up and down the country for corporate and charity events and was delighted in December 2016 when Joyce McMillan of The Scotsman named him as ‘one of Scotland’s finest panto dames’. Auntie Effie is Queen Euphemia in Puss and Boots at the Panopticon in December 2017.
Previous panto credits: Tutti Jarrod in Beauty and the Beast – billed as Grant F Kidd. Widow Twankey (Britannia Panopticon), Mother Goose (Britannia Panopticon) – billed as Auntie Effie
Built in 1857 by Thomas Gildard and H.M. Robert Macfarlane, The Britannia Panopticon has hosted some of the biggest names on the Music hall circuit. In 1906 Stan Laurel made his first stage appearance there on amateur night. In that same year A. E. Pickard bought the building and changed its name to the Panopticon. He also undertook some major works, installing a freak show, a roof top carnival and a waxworks. He also excavated the basement and installed an indoor zoo. The Panopticon was one of the first buildings in Glasgow to become powered by electricity and one of the first cinemas in Scotland. It closed in 1938 when it was sold to a tailors and converted to a workshop. It is currently being conserved by The Friends of Britannia Panopticon Music Hall Trust SCIO and it is now protected as a category A listed building.
The Britannia Panopticon is the oldest surviving music hall in the world. The Friends of Britannia Panopticon Music Hall Trust (SCIO) runs the theatre as a living museum and venue to champion and fundraise for the future survival, conservation and preservation of this rare and special Category A listed building. They aim to be the most sustainable, accessible and cherished historic theatre in Glasgow by 2027. Support them by donating towards their capital project. www.britanniapanopticon.org
Cast & company
Written and directed by Grant F Kidd
The cast: Auntie Effie aka Grant F Kidd (Queen Euphemia), Liliana Finucane (Kitty) Sally Starshine (Demon Moonshade), Stuart John Irvine (Harry), Princess Felicia (Beth McLeish) and Anthony Johansen (Tom).
www.britanniapanopticon.org | @BritPanopticon | @PanopticonPanto | #PantopticonPuss
Running time: 75 minutes with 15 min interval | Age restriction: 3+ and 18+ (late evening show)
Puss in Boots
The Britannia Panopticon, 117 Trongate, Glasgow, G1 5HD
Friday 8th at 7pm, Saturday 9th at 2pm and 7pm and Sunday 10th December at 2pm (no 7pm performance) | £7 (£5)
Saturday 16that 2pm and 7pm and Sunday 18th December at 2pm (no 7pm performance) | £7 (£5)
Friday 22nd at 7pm and Saturday 23rd December at 2pm and 7pm | £7 (£5)
Adults ONLY performance: Friday 15th December | 8pm | £7
Box office: Tickets from www.tickets-scotland.com