Local primary pupils are to get the chance to enjoy all the magic of a professional pantomime - right in their own school assembly hall and weeks before Christmas!
The free performances - by two of the best Dames in the country Andrew Ryan and Nigel Ellacott and panto performer Nathan Daniel - is being brought to the North-east by Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA).
The Panto Roadshow will be taken to 10 local primaries in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, in the space of one week this autumn, all free of charge.
The sessions are educational, introducing children to the magic of live theatre, and include a comedy performance that will both entertain and inform.
They are designed for youngsters aged seven to 11 (Primary 2/7), for as large a group of children as possible (no less than 50 – the more the merrier) and would need the use of a school hall.
The project is being planned and financed by APA as a way of taking the experience of live theatre out to as many youngsters as possible – perhaps to children who have never seen a professional performance before.
APA’s head of sales and marketing and corporate services Kathleen Scott said: “As a company, we are committed to providing exciting learning opportunities to a broad range of young people.
“In funding the Panto Roadshow we recognise the importance of such a unique project to inspire the minds and encourage engagement with live theatre.”
And all primaries have to do for their chance to take part is apply to APA before Monday, September 17 with details of how many pupils would get to see the panto roadshow, the preferred date between Monday, October 29 and Friday, November 2 and opting for either a morning or afternoon session.
Interested schools should email their applications to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them to Joyce Summers, Press and communications manager, Aberdeen Performing Arts, Music Hall, Union Street, Aberdeen AB10 1QS.
Ten schools will be drawn at random from the applications on Tuesday, September 18, and the successful schools will be informed that week.
The company which operates His Majesty’s Theatre, the Music Hall and The Lemon Tree, APA have brought the Panto Roadshows to the North-east in the past and they were a huge hit with the schools which were treated to the show.
The first half is a 40-minute interactive comedy performance, then after a break, the second is a 30-minute session involving some of the pupils - and often a few members of staff! - getting the opportunity to dress up in actual pantomime costumes.
Afterwards, there is a question and answer session with the three actors who will share some of the secrets behind the magical world of pantomime.
"Our aim in touring these productions is to encourage children to make that first contact with their local theatre, and to entertain and educate them in the history, traditions and enjoyment that can be gained by doing so," said Nigel Ellacott.
"This is, after all the audience of the future. Generally the Roadshow performs to approximately 3000 children each week.”