Theatregoers had a ball last Christmas when Falkirk Community Trust chose Cinderella as the town’s first professional pantomime.
As they say in the entertainment industry, though, the show must go on and that it most certainly will when the festive season comes back around.
Those in the audience for this year’s panto should expect to be swept off their feet when Aladdin flies into Falkirk Town Hall (FTH) Theatre on a magic carpet from December 6-24.
To add to the feel-good factor generated by the Cinderella performances, a number of the cast members will be returning, including Scott Watson (Wishee Washee), Craig Glover (Widow Twankey), Derek McGhie (Abanazar) and The Voice star Barbara Bryceland (Spirit of the Ring).
And to shake things up, Taggart and Take the High Road actress Libby McArthur will also enter the fray as the Empress. The part of the Genie will be taken on by Henry Sanders, while Emily Cochrane plays Princess Jasmine.
Imagine Theatre is putting the panto together again this year and it was the chance to return to FTH and work with some familiar faces which immediately appealed to the actors. Troon man Scott Watson told The Falkirk Herald of his delight at being asked to take on the role of funnyman-in-chief and follow in the footsteps of his childhood idol and Scots panto legend Gerard Kelly.
The 25-year-old said: “I was in the panto last year and I absolutely loved it.
“The people took to it so quickly and that makes it so easy. When I was offered to be the lead comic I couldn’t turn it down.
“Wishee Washee makes everyone laugh by doing stupid things and he’s the connection between the audience and the kids.
“Seeing Gerard Kelly growing up, I dreamt of playing his kind of part one day. Now it’s surreal I’m doing that in a panto.
“I can’t wait to work with Craig Glover. When I was 14 I used to go to the pantomimes in Kilmarnock and he was the dame.”
Scott added: “The cast and backstage team have all messaged me to say they can’t wait to see me again and I messaged back the same thing.
“They’re such a good bunch. The job the backstage team did last year was phenonomenal and it was a proper team effort — that’s what made me want to go back.”
No panto is complete without a villain and Derek (41) is relishing the prospect of playing up to the crowd.
The Edinburgh-based actor joked: “Last year I played one of the Ugly Sisters and I’m playing the baddie this year — they’re the most popular character of the panto!
“We had a good response last year. The good thing about panto in general is it’s aimed at all the family.”
Tickets are available from £15. Call 01324 590900 or visit www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org/whats-on/aladdin/ to buy.