Tag Archives: Ross Stenhouse

WHAT’S ON DECEMBER: PACE presents Jack and the Beanstalk for Christmas 2018

FEE FI FO FUM… This Christmas, PACE Theatre Company is delighted to announce its annual pantomime will be the much-loved tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. A festive treat for adults and children alike, running from 28 November to 31 December, this panto will feature hilarious characters, fantastic original music and a chorus of young actors that are (quite literally) full of beans!

CHRIS ALEXANDER will return to Paisley in the role of Dame Kitty McCurdle, following his highlycelebrated debut in last year’s production of Snowhite. He’ll appear alongside a stellar ensemble cast including: PAUL KOZINSKI (A Streetcar Named Desire, Rapture Theatre Company), EUAN BENNET (Chick Whittington, macrobert), and former PACE alumni LAURA SZALECKI (The Real Hoosewives Fae Glesga and Wee Fat Glesga Wedding, Pavillion Theatre), and ERIN HAIR (Aladdin, PACE).

PACE is also pleased to welcome back ROSS STENHOUSE as writer and director, who took the helm of his first PACE panto last year. He also appeared as Abanazar in 2010. Ross is a freelance actor and has appeared in productions in many of Scotland’s theatres including The Arches, Citizens Theatre, Traverse and the Tron. He is also a founder member and Artistic Director of Hopscotch Theatre, writing and directing many of their productions.
Jack and the Beanstalk will be produced and musically directed by ALAN ORR, whose comic performances were at the heart of PACE pantos for many years, while regular collaborator FRASER LAPPIN will bring his inimitable flair to the set and costume design. Alan Orr said, “It’s such a privilege for us to produce Paisley’s panto every year. It’s the perfect opportunity for families and friends to get together and celebrate the festivities. As ever, this year’s show will be jam-packed with laughs, music and dancing, and we believe that there’s something for everyone to enjoy!”

The cast will be completed by 4 teams of young actors, handpicked from PACE’s core youth theatre groups, enhancing the production with their boundless energy. With a reputation for producing some of the best family pantomimes in Scotland, regularly playing to audiences of more than 10,000, PACE promises a show you will never forget.

REVIEW: Europa, Our First Migrant – Eastwood Park Theatre, Giffnock

Europa 1

This review was originally written for and published by The Public Reviews

Writer: Salvatore Cabras

Dramaturg: Maggie Rose

Musical Director: George Drennan

The Public Reviews Rating: ★½☆☆☆

A play about the origins of Europe, the cross-pollination of its distinct cultures and peoples  was always going to be difficult to sell to the theatre-going public. That said, often the most unlikely and demanding material proves to be the most rewarding and satisfying to watch. That the story here is told through a ‘modern twist’ on the ancient myth of the Phoenician princess Europa, a high born noble woman who is abducted by Zeus in the guise of a bull and transported across the Mediterranean, doesn’t help. Unfortunately, this is borne out by the tiny audience who have turned out to see this production of Europa: Our First Migrant by theatre company Replico.

The problem with the piece doesn’t lie solely with its subject matter but in its telling. The narrative lacks cohesion, the metaphors are heavy handed and the staging, coupled with a tiny, over-stretched cast, do nothing to help convey any meaningful message to the audience. We begin in an undisclosed Scottish location in what seems to be a community hall, where a few of the locals have gathered. The talk quickly turns to the imagery of the bull which proliferates in 21st century advertising and using a box of props which handily, seems to be just lying around, we journey from Cretan hillside, to sailing ship on the Med, to psychiatrist’s office, to a scene with the ‘immigration police’, oh, and to a scene with some puppets and Flamenco dancing, all within the space of an hour and all in the name of illustrating the origins of Western culture. The story too, is punctuated with a mishmash of songs, and whilst these may reflect the diverse cultures of Europe, do nothing to enhance the storytelling.

The narrative switches between a mixture of crudely written dialogue and lyrical poetry which, judging by the looks on the faces of the audience, left many scratching their heads and wondering just what on earth was going on for a large part of the performance. The actors themselves are an engaging bunch but their personalities alone are not enough to dig this piece out of the mire: the staging and delivery are too pantomime or school play for an adult audience and the overall tone of the piece is uneven. Whilst it is commendable that the company have to chosen to produce material that is out-with the norm, the audience sometimes needs a good old-fashioned, clear plot-line to hold on to.