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News

Arts 01 September 2021

FTH Theatre Set for An Enchanting Christmas With Beauty and the Beast

Panto is back at FTH Theatre this Christmas with the magical Beauty and the Beast. It is not just Panto that is back – FTH favourites Barbara Bryceland (as Fairy Fiona), Scott Watson (as Wee Frankie McClunkey) and Derek McGhie (as Callum Kelpie) are returning for more festive fun, with tickets on sale from 1 September for the show running from Friday 10 to Wednesday 29 December 2021.

Having lived in Falkirk for 40 years now, the town is very close to Barbara’s heart, and she is delighted to be back performing and cannot wait for the school shows.

“An audience of Falkirk bairns is second to none – they make so much noise we often struggle to hear ourselves on the stage. They know how to get involved and enjoy themselves.

“Beauty and the Beast is a firm favourite for me – it is the most magical panto of them all.”

Not having Panto in 2020 was one of many traditions missing from people’s festive celebrations, and Scott Watson says, “I can’t wait for the moment the curtain goes up on our first performance on the FTH stage, and we share a laugh or two with the audience.”

Having played Abanazar in Aladdin and an Ugly Sister in Cinderella, Derek McGhie looks forward to being booed again at Christmas. “Callum Kelpie is a similar character to Gaston in the classic tale so although he is the baddie, I do get to play him with a bit of a swagger and a knowing wink. As the Falkirk audiences are never afraid to get involved in the action and make their feelings felt, I think he is going to be a lot of fun to play.”

Joining the returners are Alex Robertson as Dame Moira McClunkey, Kim Shepherd as Belle and Sam Willison as Beast/Prince Angus.

Although he is no stranger to the role of dame, this will be Alex’s first time appearing at FTH Theatre. “Pantomime and Christmas to me is like turkey and stuffing - you can’t have one without the other. If I can make someone laugh and forget their worries for two hours as dame, then I feel I’ve done my job right.”

Kim is looking forward to playing one of the most well-known fairy tale heroines “Belle is a great character! She isn’t afraid to be herself despite what other people think about her! She’s intelligent, proactive, and compassionate! An excellent role model for all the youngsters out there who look up to the princess characters.”

Sam Willison is delighted to be reprising the role of Beast/Prince for producer’s Imagine Theatre, having played this character in Halifax in 2019 and says:

“Everyone should come and see Beauty and the Beast at FTH Theatre because panto is perfect for families at the best time of the year! It will be full of laughter, song and dance, love, and MAGIC! It’s going to be a real ‘beauty’ of a show.”

Lesley O’Hare, Culture and Libraries Manager, added,

“I’m delighted to be welcoming our audiences back to FTH Theatre and looking forward to seeing happy faces and hearing laughter as we once again experience the magic of panto and live theatre. We are looking forward to working with Imagine Theatre as well as the wonderful cast to make new festive memories for the people of Falkirk and beyond.”

We are still mindful of the duty of care to audiences and staff, so will be complying with the Scottish Government guidance as well as Test and Protect, hand sanitising stations and directional signage in place. We have also introduced enhanced cleaning procedures at the Theatre. We want as many people as possible to enjoy the panto and so, in addition to our relaxed performance, for 2021 - we have also introduced three socially distanced performances. There will be more space between groups of seats and limited capacity overall at these performances. For more information, please visit our website.

Beauty and the Beast Panto runs from Friday 10 to Wednesday 29 December 2021, with tickets on sale from Wednesday 1 September at 10am by phone or online here.

Falkirk Community Trust staff will be in touch with customers who currently have tickets for last year’s cancelled performance to arrange a suitable transfer of tickets.

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