A celebration of pantomime

Issued: Wed, 16 Jun 2010 10:22:00 BST

A one-off celebration of pantomime featuring a treasure trove of archive film from the 30s and 40s is being held in Glasgow this month. The event, which is being hosted by Elaine C. Smith at Woodside Hall on Thursday 24 June, will also feature music specially composed for Glasgow’s Royal Princess’s Theatre in the 1920s and 30s which has been recently rediscovered.

This concert and film screening, with live music from The Orchestra of Scottish Opera, is the result of a three year research project into pantomime in Scotland at the University of Glasgow  which is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The project not only explored and documented one of Scotland’s great popular art forms, it also researched its performance and history and undertook an oral history project to document people’s experiences and memories of pantomime.

Pantomime in Scotland will whisk people back to the golden age of Scottish theatre with glittering sets, popular stars like George West and Harry Gordon and the comedy sketches that played in some of Glasgow’s favourite theatres. Two screenings are being held at 2.30pm and 7pm. Tickets cost £3 and can be reserved on 0141 287 5810 or pay on the door on the night, subject to availability.

Professor Adrienne Scullion, James Arnott Chair of Drama of the University of Glasgow, who leads the Pantomime in Scotland research project said:  "Pantomime is one of the great forms of popular theatre and has a distinctive tradition based on the connection it achieves with audiences and the scale and quality of the industry. Putting the original music to these rare films showcasing at the screening provide not just the documentary evidence of pantomime at a range of Scottish theatres but they also capture something of the spirit. The films show the craft and the personalities of the pantomime performers, the glamour and the energy of pantomime production, the joy and the fun of pantomime performance."

Elaine C Smith said: "I am delighted to be involved with an event that celebrates an art form that has been ignored by too many for too long.  Hopefully the University project and events like this will demonstrate the huge impact that pantomime has made over several hundred years to Scottish theatre."

The screening is being co-presented by Culture and Sport Glasgow, University of Glasgow, Scottish Opera, the National Library of Scotland Scottish Screen Archive and Glasgow Unesco City of Music.

Partner organisations involved in different aspects of the project include the Scottish Theatre Archive; Glasgow University Library; Scottish Screen Archive at the National Library of Scotland; Scottish Opera; Spoken Word Services at Glasgow Caledonian University

Further information:
Martin Shannon, Senior Media Relations Officer
University of Glasgow Tel: 0141 330 8593

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