The stars of Aberdeen’s biggest pantomime at His Majesty’s Theatre officially launched this year’s show today with the news that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is already enjoying record ticket sales.
Elaine C Smith and Alan McHugh surprised unsuspecting passers-by, as they handed shoppers delicious apples from their stall in Bon Accord Shopping Centre.
Aberdeen Performing Arts and Qdos Entertainment also revealed their surprise panto guest - BBC Radio Scotland’s Robbie Shepherd – who will play a role in this year’s spectacular panto.
The queen of HMT’s pantomime Elaine C Smith will play one of the ultimate panto baddies - the Wicked Queen. “I am delighted to be coming back to Aberdeen for the fourth year, “she said. “I was planning on having a rest after a long theatre tour but the chance of playing the Wicked Queen in Snow White was an offer I could not refuse.
“I have never played this role and the opportunity to play again in front of the wonderful Aberdeen audiences was too good a chance to miss.”
While Alan McHugh will once again pull on his panto pantaloons and outrageous frocks to play Dame with Jordan Young as Muddles, in one of the strongest panto partnerships ever seen in Scotland.
And Robbie Shepherd will put his wonderful vocal talents to use by being the perfect voice for the queen’s dragon – all will be revealed as the story unfolds!
Elaine said: “Robbie is nothing short of a national institution. I had the pleasure of appearing on his iconic Radio Scotland show and it was an honour to just chat with him for an hour or so.
“He has been a wonderful supporter of the panto and it is just great that we have his voice in this year’s show.”
Now the HMT Dame for nine years in a row, Alan McHugh’s first panto at the city theatre was Snow White back in 2004. He has written a brand new version of the story with the usual local slant, and has been buffing up his various veins and appalling jokes in anticipation.
All the usual villages play a prominent part in the script . . . and this year, New Pitsligo features strongly . . . and no doubt the famous Fittie Foam will find its way onstage at some point!
“Robbie Shepherd is the nearest Aberdeen and Scotland has to a local and national treasure,” said Alan. “Every year, he gets a mention in the show and this always generates a huge response from the audience, so this year, I’m absolutely thrilled and honoured that Robbie has agreed to grace our production by providing the voice of Robbie, the Doric Country Dancing Dancing Dragon!”
Michael Harrison, managing director of Qdos Pantomimes and the executive producer of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, said:
“Each year we give Aberdeen pantomime audiences a show full of surprises and we always add something new to the production.
“This year’s audience can be assured of stunning costumes, fabulous sets, great songs and hilarious comedy capers, making Snow White unmissable entertainment for all ages.”
APA chief executive Jane Spiers said: “We’re all fired up that Robbie will be digging his claws into Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and joining the top panto team in Scotland!
“Although this is my first HMT panto, I know North-east audiences regard Elaine, Alan and Jordan with affection and awe as legendary pantomime performers and first class entertainers.
“We’ve had five successive years of record panto ticket sales and with over 36,000 tickets already booked for this year it looks as if this run will continue.
“Like a lot of other people, I can’t wait for opening night and for the curtain to rise on one of the must-see Christmas treats in the North-east.”
With APA, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world's foremost pantomime producer, and staged by the same team that presented last year's critically-acclaimed Jack and the Beanstalk.
Qdos Entertainment will stage 24 pantomimes around the UK this Christmas and its 2012/13 pantomime season is sponsored by Skype. Like pantomime, Skype is a family-oriented organisation and brings people together to share in special moments.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs runs at His Majesty’s Theatre from Saturday, December 1 to Sunday, January 6, and tickets 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.