YES it’s that time of year again when men suddenly take on more glamorous guises. There are sing-a-longs a plenty and gags are cracked by the second. Don’t you just love pantomime?
First out of the traps on the local panto circuit are Eyemouth and District Community Youth Theatre who are hoping to fly high with ‘Peter Pan’, which will grace the stage at the old Eyemouth High School from Wednesday November 15-Saturday, November 18.
Originally penned by J.M Barrie, the story has been re-visited on many a occasion, most famously in Disney animation form and in ‘Hook’, starring Robin Williams and Julia Roberts. And the Youth Theatre’s co-producer Andrea Thacker is confident it’s a great choice for the Youth Theatre.
“We decided on ‘Peter Pan’ because it has lots of parts and after we performed ‘Geek Side Story’ in the summer it was evident that Eyemouth has a lot of talent,” she told ‘The Guide’ during rehearsals this week.
“There are 55 children in the task, ranging from 9-16 and three adults playing the dame, Captain Hook and Tiger Lily.
“It was really hard to choose who got the main parts. Six people tried out for Peter and in the end we gave the part to Brooke Heary. She’s been with us a few years now and has come close to having a leading role in the past so we felt she was a good choice.”
And the lady herself said she was looking forward to opening night.
“I’ve gone in for big parts before and done some bigger roles so I hoped it would be my time to get the lead. Being involved in the show is great fun but I have a lot of lines so I really have to concentrate. It is quite tricky having to play a boy but I’ve got to try to put myself in Peter Pan’s shoes. He’s very confident and doesn’t care what people think.”
Starring alongside Brooke as Wendy is Ailsa Landels who is also taking on a lead role for the first time. The two are best friends and both agreed that helped when it came to being on stage together.
“It’s a bit awkward having to pretend I’m in love with her but apart from that it’s fine,” Ailsa joked.
“I loved watching the cartoon of ‘Peter Pan’ when I was little but we’ve changed a few things about. For example instead of just having four lost boys we’ve got 10 because there was so many people wanted to be in the show.
“We’ve also got some modern songs; my favourite being ‘We Are Young’ by Fun.”
Andrea, who herself has been involved with local theatre in Eyemouth since the age of 14, said she thought song choices were crucial to any panto’s success and she wanted to ensure there was a good mix of genres in the ‘Peter Pan’ repertoire.
“I wanted to keep things as up to date as possible,” she continued.
“For instance ‘Never Smile At A Crocodile’ is in our show but I’ve turned it into a rap!
“We’ve also got a dance routine to Beyonce’s ‘Single Ladies’ by our dame Campbell McNeil; ‘Greatest Day’ by Take That and ‘Without You’ by Usher. But then for our song sheet we’re taking it old school with ‘Wig Wam Bam’.
Andrea said anyone who goes along to the old high school next week can expect “a modern and fresh pantomime with a few local references thrown in for good measure.”
Tickets, priced £6 (adults) £5 (under 16s) are on sale from Occasions in Eyemouth High Street.