Ten local primaries are to get a lesson in live theatre and panto laughs this week – courtesy of Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA).
For the city arts company has invited the Panto Roadshow to the North-east over the next five days to stage free performances in Hanover Street, Abbotswell, Kittybrewster and Danestone Primaries in Aberdeen, Central and Meethill Primaries in Peterhead, Kemnay and Alehousewells Primaries in Kemnay, Macduff Primary and Banff Primary.
The interactive show - by two of the best Dames in the country Andrew Ryan and Nigel Ellacott and panto performer Nathan Daniel - is educational and fun, introducing children to the magic of live theatre.
Pupils and even members of staff will be drawn into a comedy performance which will both entertain and inform.
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 press manager Joyce Summers said: “It’s hard to imagine that something which is so much fun, and has youngsters giggling at childish jokes and yelling ‘he’s behind you’ as educational, but the youngsters learn about the history of panto, about costumes and technical theatre terms.
“Bringing the Panto Roadshow to the North-east helps APA begin to build a relationship with our audiences of the future, and also give something back to local schools and communities.
“Not to mention the chance to have a laugh on a school day!”
The first half of the Panto Roadshow is an interactive comedy performance and the second is a session which involves some of the pupils - and often a few members of staff! - getting the opportunity to dress up in actual pantomime costumes.
Afterwards, there’s a Q&A with Andrew, Nigel and Nathan 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.”