Pantomime review: Beauty and the Beast – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Sunday December 4 2022

FOUR STARS

Somewhere, faintly in the background, almost drowned out by the music and singing onstage and the delighted cries from the audience, you can just about hear the clatter of the kitchen sink being thrown at this year’s King’s pantomime. And why not? As Elaine C Smith reminds us in the show’s finale, this is the first time since 2019 that the panto has gone up without restrictions. Even last year’s run was sadly curtailed when Omicron appeared like the dark fairy at a christening.

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Panto review: Aladdin – SEC Armadillo

First published in The Times, Thursday December 16 2021

Three Stars

Aladdin is one of the most reliable pantomime stories of all time, but this one seems to be suffering from an identity crisis. Are we in old Peking, the Middle East or somewhere closer to home? Is Abanazar (Sanjeev Kohli) a villain in the louche George Sanders mode, or is it just loveable Navid from the BBC sitcom Still Game? Even the hero, whom everyone else on stage calls Aladdin, would rather go by the more prosaic moniker of Gary.

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Panto review: Cinderella – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

First published in The Times, Thursday December 9 2021

THREE STARS

The Fairy Godmother of All Pantos is the strapline for the big show at the Glasgow King’s this year, a reference not only to the pre-eminence of Cinderella within the canon but also the popularity of its star, Elaine C Smith, one of the few women in the business with a marquee name.

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