10 Dec 2017 The Guardian

Hiss, boo and no celebrity wannabes: Scotland's panto is the real thing

Round-up of pantos at King's Edinburgh, King's Glasgow, Perth Theatre and MacRobert, Stirling.

CINDERELLA is trying to remember where she’s seen Fairy May before. “I used to be on the TV,” prompts Allan Stewart’s Fairy Godmother. “Yes, when it was in black and white,” chips in Buttons. The joke is funny not just for being rude about Fairy May’s age, but because it’s close to being true. The last time Stewart was a small-screen regular was in the 1980s, when he starred in a run of ITV light-entertainment shows such as Copy Cats and Chain Letters. That speaks volumes not only about the success of this, the Edinburgh King’s panto, but of pantomimes across Scotland.~


14 December 2011 The Guardian

Sleeping Beauty

By Eric Potts. A King's Theatre, Glasgow, review.

AS Karl Marx nearly said, history repeats itself – the first time as pop music, the second time as panto. Whoever would have thought, watching Altered Images on Top of the Pops in 1981 that, 30 years later, we would see Clare Grogan in a spangly purple witch costume singing Happy Birthday to Princess Beauty, the night before the girl comes of age, with only a phalanx of dancing toys to foil her evil plan? When she segues into Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), only those of us of a certain age can remember it wasn't even one of hers.

17 December The Guardian

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

A King's Theatre, Glasgow review.

IT'S rare to get a standing ovation at the end of a show these days – and it's almost unheard of for one to be given for an actor who's not even present. But such was the level of goodwill towards Gerard Kelly, who died at the age of 51 after a brain aneurysm three weeks before rehearsals of this show began, that the audience rose as one and applauded at the mention of his name. And this on a Saturday matinee.

10 December 2008 The Guardian


IF there's merit in Malcolm Gladwell's contention that genius requires 10,000 hours of practice then, when it comes to the community singalong, Gerard Kelly has surely reached that level of sublime perfection.

8 December 2007 The Guardian

Sleeping Beauty

I DO hope some academic is undertaking a serious study of the comedy footwork of pantos at the King's. Gerard Kelly deserves a scholarly book on his own, such is his long-standing mastery of knock-kneed moves. As the lovable Chester the Jester, his bare legs emerging from a costume of playing-card brightness, he makes it look as if his feet are setting off in opposite directions, all wild angles and improbable positions.

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