Thurso Players director Kane Cameron has chosen Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood as his first pantomime.
The 22-year-old has only recently taken on the role but has been involved with the Mill Theatre drama group for several years.
Mr Cameron says the panto, which follows such successful shows as Rapunzel and Beauty and the Beast, will tread familiar ground – but will be updated and the content changed for local tastes.
“The script I’ve chosen is written by a pantomime author we’ve used before and features a strong storyline. Some of the references are a bit out-dated, so I’ve had the chance to put my own mark on it by bringing it up to date and adding local references and gags,” he says.
“The author has been very flexible and supportive of all our proposed edits and it’s been great fun tweaking the original to suit our cast and audience.”
Players press secretary Clare Crawford recalled that Mr Cameron played Ginger (Rapunzel’s Dad) and Parsley (The dame’s apprentice gardener) in last year’s performance, but he lost his voice on the Saturday.
“That resulted in some really creative ways of communicating his lines. He soldiered on and the audiences thought it was hilarious, but he’ll be hoping the same doesn’t happen to any of his cast this year,” she stated.
The panto is billed as “a fun Christmas night out, with plenty to entertain young and old”.
In previous years, the annual family show began at 7.30, but this year it will start half an hour earlier.
Club chairman John Firth says this will allow younger audience members with earlier bedtimes to attend.
“Show nights can be late nights for younger audience members and for cast and crew. After the show finishes and the audience have gone home it can take up to an hour for everyone to tidy up and prepare for the following performance,” he says.
“Most of our volunteers have full-time jobs or need to attend school the next day. Also, our pantomime audience includes families or groups such as cubs and brownies with younger children too, so the earlier start and finish makes sense all round.
“Our recent musical, Wizard of Oz, involved lots of younger cast members and the 7 o’clock start worked well then so we’ve decided to keep the earlier start time for pantomime too.”
The pantomime welcomes some new members with plenty of returning favourites including Illianna Cameron, who starred in Rapunzel last year as Prince Rapscallion, as Robin Hood, Andrew Crawford as the Sheriff of Nottingham, and Martin Shephard, also known as the scarecrow in the group’s production of the Wizard of Oz, will be donning his high heels and false lashes once again in the role of Dame Winnie Windybottom.
The pantomime will be performed at Thurso High School from December 6 to 9 at 7pm, and a matinee performance is on at 2pm on Saturday December 9.
Tickets went on sale on Monday, November 20, priced £10 and £6 from McBeath’s jewellers in Thurso.