Panto season is back in East Kilbride - oh yes it is!

By Andrea Lambrou

After two years of uncertainty it's time to boo the baddies and cheer on the heroes of your favourite festive fairytales.

First to tread the boards this Christmas is popular local amateur theatre group Studio 32 with the children's classic, Snow White.

Group trustee Alex Muirhead told Lanarkshire Live it's clear locals have a thirst for live theatre after lockdown as the pantomime's three-week run at East Kilbride Arts Centre is already sold out.

"All 24 performances of Studio 32's production of Snow White are sold out which shows members of the public are eager to experience theatre again after sitting in front of TV screens for so long", he said.

"We were a little bit worried coming back with our first big production after the pandemic as most of our rehearsals have been on video call. But as soon as the panto tickets went on sale the public snapped them up.

"The vibe is clearly that people are excited for our return. We all love what we do and family pantos are all part of the excitement - bringing joy to generations in the lead up to Christmas."

While audiences will be required to comply with some COVID restrictions such as wearing face masks and sanitising hands, in line with Scottish Government guidelines, there will be no requirement to socially distance inside the intimate Village venue.

And with all the slapstick humour in this modern twist on a classic fairytale you'd expect from a traditional Christmas panto, audiences can expect a few pandemic puns thrown in for fun.

But, Alex says writer/director Gerry Kernan, a retired teacher from St Andrew's and St Bride's High, was keen to give audiences the escapism they desire after such a difficult time for all.

He added: "We will still be delivering the classic family panto you'd expect, localising it and making it relevant with up-to-date music. But, we didn't want to make it all about COVID.

"There will be the occasional joke about face coverings thrown in there, but audiences want escapism from all that."

Theatre-goers can expect to see returning regulars among the cast, including club president Vikki England as the Wicked Queen, and some brand new faces will be making their debut.

Snow White runs from December 1-19.

And from the producers that brought you Jackie and the Baked Bean Stock, Britney and the Beast comes to East Kilbride Village Theatre from December 15-29.

Join Britney and the gang for a tale as auld as time, full of song, dance and the good old banter.

InsideOut Productions' incredible first class professional cast promise to take you on a hilarious journey through Pantoland with this new Scottish twist on the old classic tale by Paul Harper-Swan.

Tickets are available to book online or call East Kilbride Arts Centre on 01355 261 000.

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