In pictures: Larbert Musical Theatre's pantomime Sinbad packed with festive fun

The festive season was well and truly launched for Falkirk district when the curtain went up on a popular panto.

For 2023, Larbert Musical Theatre are treating us to the adventures of Sinbad and, although they admit to taking a few liberties with the traditional tale, this certainly serves up what everyone expects from a pantomime: goodies, baddies, singing, dancing, sparkle and laughs. Oh this definitely has lots of laughs as the opening night audience can testify.

This is the tenth panto the company has written and is littered with lots of local references. Once again Derek D. Easton is the author along with Daniel Baillie. and not only does he direct alongside Yolanda Borthwick, but he stars as Dame Tina. You can definitely say he makes the panto his own.

But this is a great team effort from all the cast who really look like they are enjoying themselves on the Dobbie Hall stage, musical director Jan Cunningham along with her band, and those working feverishly backstage and front of house.

The storyline of Sinbad is almost secondary to all the laughs: Sinbad returns from his latest adventure at sea clutching a treasure map which the evil Salazar wants to get his hands on to rule the world and see him marry the princess. She, however, only has eyes for our hero, while Sinbad’s parents, Dame Tina and Tinbad the tailor, are caught up in the mayhem that follows.

Claire Coyne is once again a fabulous principal boy, giving Sinbad a commanding stage presence, while Jennifer Brisbane’s lovely voice shines through in her portrayal of Princess Pearl.

It’s very difficult to find anything new to say about the double act that is Dame Tina and Tinbad (Stewart Borthwick). This pair are legendary in the world of amateur pantomime and their quick-fire delivery, particularly when wigs fall off and dinosaur costumes deflate, highlights their experience. Oh did you not know there were dinosaurs in Sinbad, well go along and you’ll find out more.

The funniest moment of the whole show had to be when the pair attempt to set up deckchairs to watch the sunset. I’m not sure how much of it was scripted but the tangle the pair got into was hilarious as the appreciative audience showed with their laughter and applause.

Jamie McArthur was a suitably evil Salazar, who had everyone in the hall booing whenever he appeared. My only observation would be either to slightly slow down the delivery of some of the lines, or tone down the backing music, so you can hear all of this great script.

Back as Salazar’s hapless sidekicks were comedy duo Lucy Andrew (Fang) and Lynsey Craig (Snare), who, in the true spirit of panto, left havoc in their wake, as well as lots of laughs.

John Coe was a great hapless King, as were Sophie Fairgrieve as Sinbad’s trusted friend Darius, and Tracy Allan as The Stranger. I could have listened to the wonderful delivery from Tracy all night as her clear voice filled the auditorium.

This was another great show from Larbert Musical Theatre and, if you don’t leave with a smile on your face, then perhaps you are a relative of Ebenezer Scrooge, as this is definitely one of those festive, feel-good moments.

*Sinbad runs at the Dobbie Hall in Larbert until Saturday, November 25 with a Saturday matinee.

Cast: Dame Tina – Derek Easton; Tinbad – Stewart Borthwick; Sinbad – Claire Coyne; Princess Pearl – Jennifer Brisbane; Salazar – Jamie McArthur; King – John Coe; Fang – Lucy Andrew; Snare – Lynsey Craig; Darius – Sophie Fairgrieve; and The Stranger – Tracy Allan.

Chorus: Amy Gallacher, Ashleigh Maitland, Carole Fleming, Charlotte Dalby, Chloe Kennedy, Christine More, Claire Gentles, Dale Henry, Dani Gibson, Emily Ferguson, Fiona Rosser, George Howkins, Gillian Docherty, Jeanna Connell, Jillian Govan, Karyn Russell, Kim Dickenson, Kirsten McConnachie, Lewis Rosser, Liz Wilson, Lorna Zarne, Louise Brown, Megan O’Neill, Nicole Bell, Norman Robb, Robbie Landsman, Robyn McKinnon, Samantha Niven, Samantha McKinlay, Yolanda Borthwick, Yvonne Kelly.

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