Swashbuckling panto fun!

Pirate pandemonium: The cast of the Abbey Theatre Club's 'Pirates... The Panto'.
Pirate pandemonium: The cast of the Abbey Theatre Club's 'Pirates... The Panto'.

Arrrrr you ready for a swashbuckling adventure of ridiculous pantomime proportion? Then sail on down to the Abbey Theatre to catch their latest offering.

‘Pirates… The Panto’ written and produced by Abbey Theatre Club’s Alan Christison takes some familiar ingredients, Jack and Jill, an outrageous dame, slapstick and an evil villain and creates more comedy gold than a treasure chest full of Spanish doubloons.

The (not-so) dashing hero, Jack Haddock, is played entertainingly by Kain-Jack Yuille, once again stretching his comedic acting muscles, this time in a more physical (and gormless) direction.

Christy Scott plays the feisty Jill Chips, Jack’s love interest, and Yuille and Scott tackle their roles with a good measure of tongue in cheek. We were especially tickled by her excellent singing of the ‘inappropriate love song’.

Mark Masson is in fabulous form as the dame, Postie Pat Haddock, the costumes were increasingly intricate and ridiculous and the lines delivered with aplomb and a knowing wink.

Alan Johnston can be assured that his villain, Captain Blackheart, was suitably terrifying because during the performance we saw a small child burst into tears every time he was on stage. A fine, if unfortunate, endorsement.

Irene Lindsay and Sheila Ratcliffe made a welcome return as Abbey panto legends Jessi and Bessie, as funny as ever and with an endearing rendition of ‘Together, Wherever We Go’.

Hilary Tasker and Laura Adam induce many chortles with their portrayal of hapless fools Rum and Gin who accidently join Blackheart’s crew.

The supporting cast (or crew!) is made up of lots of great cameos, including Gordon Holder’s confused Magnus Magnusson; Lisa-Maria Woods’ Glum Glenda the pirate with abandonment issues; Tom Christison’s happy pirate Jolly Roger; Heather Osborne’s miffed mystic Miss Tickle; Jamie Smith as the world-weary giant parrot; dastardly duo Pirate Tieherup (Kelsey Mackenzie) and Pirate Gagher (Zoe Killoh); Postie van driver Kim Rennie; and Old Age Pantomimers Cinderella (Terri-Marie Baker), Buttons (Alan Christison), Daisy (Aimee Dorward) and Nessie (Emma Smith); as well as the obligatory comedy walk on by Dave ‘Health and Safety’ Ferguson, unexpectedly joined by his mysterious twin brother, Geoff Bray.

The props and scenery were as always to an excellent standard and the costumes were varied and flashy, particularly those of the dame and the heroine’s wedding dress.

There was a pleasing choice of music, both pop songs and a few classics and they were very well performed, a vocal talent that perhaps the Abbey Theatre Club has kept hidden? Similarly the choreography by Darren Paul Handy was a welcome treat.

‘Pirates… The Panto’ runs until tomorrow (Saturday) with tickets available from VisitScotland on 01241 872609.