Tommy Lorne (© Newsquest (Herald & Times). Licensor

Sharing your pantomime memories

From November 2007, the Pantomime in Scotland research project gathered pantomime memories of people of all ages’ who have experiences of seeing and appearing in pantomime from all over Scotland.

Pantomime is a unique form of theatre that forges special connections between theatre venues, performers and audiences. Going to see a pantomime is usually a special event for friends and family and is often most people's first experience of live theatre.

In addition to professional pantomimes, Scotland has a very rich and active culture of community-based pantomime.

Whether in a village hall, primary school gym, nineteenth century theatre in or a local arts centre, pantomime in Scotland is a rich and diverse art form which boasts a very special bond with its audiences.

For these reasons, the Pantomime in Scotland team have contacted and interviewed performers, writers, producers and audience members to ask what pantomime means to them.

Angus Lennie and Stanley Baxter (Scottish Theatre Archive, University of Glasgow)

Pantomime memories

Visitors to the exhibition in 2008/2009 had some interesting memories to share!
Alhambra Theatre, Glasgow (Scottish Theatre Archive, University of Glasgow)  

I remember Ethel Scott at the Alhambra as a wicked fairy with her trademark “I’m jist a weeee devil!”.

Grant Stott and Allan Stewart, Goldilocks, 2007 (courtesy of Festival City Theatres Trust)  

My favourite memory of a panto is when I got to throw bricks at Grant Stott.

Tron Theatre, Glasgow (courtesy of the Tron Theatre) 

Pantomime for us always meant a ‘Guid New Year’. The King’s Theatre with friends on 31st December followed by a visit to the Tron. A tradition followed through 4 university years and beyond – the best of course being Stanley Baxter. Now 35 years later the only way to meet up with friends from all over the country.

Johnnie Beattie in his 'fish tea' costume (courtesy of J. Beattie)  

Kelvin Hall Glasgow, Johnnie Beattie at Ayr and every year at Eden Court of my kid’s lives – even in the tent!

Angus Lennie and Stanley Baxter (Scottish Theatre Archive, University of Glasgow)  

My father was a musical director in variety theatre for many years, and conducted the orchestra in the Pavilion Theatre…His name was Billy Rose. I remember going to a pantomime in the Pavilion when in the Brownies and there was my dad conducting the orchestra. Quite a thrill. This was in the early 1950s…

Dorothy Paul 

I really like the energy and interaction with the audience which must be different each day.

Cinderella, Macrobert Arts Centre, 2007  

I like the bits when the cast come into the audience and when they make mistakes and have to improvise.

Pantomime set sketch (Scottish Theatre Archive, University of Glasgow)  

Tain Pantomime Group has put on an annual amateur panto for over 30 maybe 35 years – I have been M.D. for 24 years! We use a professional script, with adults/young people for principal parts and children (about 40) for chorus members.