King's Theatre Pantomime

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The King's Theatre, Glasgow – Annual Pantomime[edit]

The pantomime at the King's has been running annually since 1971. Before that a few pantomimes were staged from 1964/65 after Glasgow Corporation bought the theatre from Howard & Wyndham Ltd. Pantomime in Scotland has always been popular, particularly in Glasgow, and there has been a long tradition developed from the 1860s. From the 1970s pantomime productions for the King's were funded jointly by the City Councils of Glasgow and Edinburgh and staged in both cities. Stanley Baxter one of Britain's top pantomime dames performed at the King's in the 1980s in Cinderella, written and directed by him. The management asked him to bring back the same production the following year. He refused, but said 'maybe in eight or ten years.' He kept his promise and returned for his final pantomime appearance in 1991. In 2005, the company First Family Entertainment took over production of the annual pantomime, and First Family Entertainment are now responsible for a dozen productions up and down the country. The current productions run during the festive period until mid January, totalling over 70 performances during the run, with two performances daily, six days a week.

Gerard Kelly was for 20 years a regular performer at the King's Theatre pantomimes, every year taking up the lead comic role. Elaine C Smith appeared regularly between 1996 and 2005, however has since taken a break and in recent years has been involved as an Associate Producer. During her time starring in the pantomimes, she often took on the role of dame, making the King's Theatre production somewhat unusual, with a female playing the dame role, which is traditionally played by a man. Scottish comedian Karen Dunbar has taken on the leading female comic role in recent years; starting in 2007 as Nanny Begood in Sleeping Beauty she then appeared in Cinderella in 2008, Aladdin in 2009, and again as Nanny Begood in 2011, she created the role of Mrs McConkey in Cinderella in 2012 and most recently appeared as The Slave of The Ring in Aladdin in 2013.

After Kelly's death in 2010, both Gavin Mitchell and Des Clarke have taken on the lead comic role a Buttons style character. Emulating his infamous 'Hiya pals' into their own versions of 'Hiya gang' and compiling their own skits whilst still paying homage to Kelly.

The 2014/2015 Season marks 50 years since the first pantomime at the King's, however this will only be the 47th pantomime to be staged here.

Previous Productions[edit]

See also[edit]

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