With just days to go before the curtain rises on the Christmas show at Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree – It Wasn’t Me, It Was Goldilocks – a crucial part of the production won’t be cast until moments before the twice-daily performances start.
For the young audience is a vital part of the cast – along with actors Michelle Bruce (Mummy Bear), Martin Quinn (Baby Bear) and Christie Mitchell (Goldilocks).
“This is an interactive and immersive production for families with young children,” explained director Fraser MacLeod. “For many children, this will be their first experience of theatre and what we aim to do is provide them with a piece of theatre of which they are a part.
“They will shape the story at points and are as much a part of the play as the actors themselves.”
The format of an interactive show for children aged from three to seven has already been proved a huge hit in Aberdeen – the same team’s production of Jack and the Magic Beans was so successful last year that extra performances had to be added to meet the demand for tickets.
Like last year’s show, It Wasn’t Me, It Was Goldilocks, is a joint production by Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA), which runs the Lemon Tree along with His Majesty’s Theatre and Music Hall, and the Scottish Youth Theatre (SYT), Scotland’s national theatre ‘for and by’ young people. Director Fraser is associate artistic director of SYT while assistant director Claire Davidson is acting Creative Learning manager with APA.
And again like last year, they have taken a classic tale and given it an unexpected twist.
“Audiences could come along thinking they know the story but they might be pleasantly surprised when it goes in a different direction” admitted Fraser.
Heading up the cast, Michelle is a professional actress well-known for her roles in Lest We Forget and Doorways in Drumorty as well as her part as Jack’s Mum in last year’s production.
From Paisley, Martin Quinn is a senior member of SYT and was part of a recent national tour of their interactive storytelling production Family Storytime for the under sevens.
And Christie Mitchell has come up through the ranks of APA’s Creative Learning wing, being a part successively in their Regensburg/Stavanger drama project, their Youth Theatre and their Young Person’s Company.
She has performed in APA’s productions of The Ducky, Eight, The Cubicle and Christmas Cabaret and will be appearing in (Untitled)Reality Project at the Lemon Tree in February. Film-wise, she played Mary McPherson in the 2005-remake of Greyfriars Bobby.
“This is the second year of a very successful partnership with Scottish Youth Theatre,” said APA’s head of programming Ben Torrie.
“We want to provide a magical and interactive experience for families with young children – one to will grab their attention in an exciting way and perhaps ignite that spark which might lead to a life-long interest in the theatre.”
Tickets for It Wasn’t Me, It Was Goldilocks are available online at www.boxofficeaberdeen.com, by phone at 01224 641122 and at Aberdeen Box Office at the Music Hall and His Majesty’s Theatre.