Panto season gets underway

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THE panto season is set to get underway this weekend as Sleeping Beauty opens at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen.

The panto had already notched up more than £763,000 in ticket sales, almost two weeks before it begins its festive run at the city theatre on Saturday, December 4.

More than 45,000 theatre-goers have snapped up tickets to the new show which looks set to outstrip last year’s record-breaking production of Cinderella, with its final figure of £852,000, as the city’s best-selling pantomime.

“Sleeping Beauty’s ticket sales have been phenomenal and well ahead of where we were at this time last year with our record breaking production of Cinderella” said delighted APA chief executive Duncan Hendry.

“We are very proud of our HMT panto and we can’t wait to raise the curtain on what I am sure will be our most amazing Christmas show yet.”

Sleeping Beauty is presented by Qdos Pantomimes, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, and staged by the same team that presented the visually-spectacular productions of Cinderella, Peter Pan and Aladdin.

Under director Alex Norton, the 27-strong cast have begun rehearsals at His Majesty’s Theatre, including theatre star Elaine C Smith as the Wicked Fairy and panto favourites Alan McHugh and Jordan Young as The Nurse and Muddles.

“We cannot wait to bring another unmissable panto to His Majesty’s Theatre,” said Alex.

“This beautiful theatre has built up a tremendous reputation over the past four years, to the point where it is considered one of the finest Christmas shows in the UK – and we intend to keep it that way!”

And Elaine added that she was delighted to be back in panto at HMT for the second year running, after enchanting last year’s audiences in her role as the Fairy Godmother.

“I had a ball at the panto last year, everyone was so friendly and welcoming and the audiences were fantastic,” she said. “And when they asked me to come back again, I couldn’t say yes quickly enough!

“However, this time I’m bad – playing the wicked Carabosse – with plenty of laughs along the way.”

Sleeping Beauty runs from Saturday, December 4 until Sunday, January 9, and tickets are available online at www.boxofficeaberdeen.com, by phone at 01224 641122 and at Aberdeen Box Office at the Music Hall, His Majesty’s Theatre and The Lemon Tree.