Peterhead pupils enjoy Panto Roadshow visit

PUPILS at Peterhead’s Central and Meethill schools will get the chance to enjoy all the magic of a professional pantomime - right in their own school assembly hall and weeks before Christmas!

The free performances - by two of the best Dames in the country Andrew Ryan and Nigel Ellacott and panto performer Nathan Daniel - are being brought to the North-east by Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA).

The Panto Roadshow will be taken to ten local primaries in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, in the space of one week this autumn, all free of charge.

Today (Tuesday), the roadshow will see pupils in the two Peterhead schools enjoy the magic of live theatre, and include a comedy performance that will both entertain and inform.

The roadshows are designed for youngsters in primary 2 to 7, and the project is being planned and financed by APA as a way of taking the experience of live theatre out to as many youngsters as possible – perhaps to children who have never seen a professional performance before.

APA’s head of sales and marketing and corporate services Kathleen Scott said: “As a company, we are committed to providing exciting learning opportunities to a broad range of young people.

“In funding the Panto Roadshow we recognise the importance of such a unique project to inspire the minds and encourage engagement with live theatre.”

Ten schools were drawn at random from those schools who applied and the successful schools were informed that week.

The company which operates His Majesty’s Theatre, the Music Hall and The Lemon Tree, APA has brought the Panto Roadshows to the North-east in the past and they were a huge hit with the schools which were treated to the show.

The first half is a 40-minute interactive comedy performance, then after a break, the second is a 30-minute session involving some of the pupils - and often a few members of staff! - getting the opportunity to dress up in actual pantomime costumes.

Afterwards, there is a question and answer session with the three actors who will share some of the secrets behind the magical world of pantomime.

“Our aim in touring these productions is to encourage children to make that first contact with their local theatre, and to entertain and educate them in the history, traditions and enjoyment that can be gained by doing so,” said Mr Ellacott.

“This is, after all the audience of the future. Generally the Roadshow performs to approximately 3,000 children each week.”