Actress Maureen Beattie discusses her part in the RSNO Christmas Concert
The kid-friendly classical performance will feature Raymond Brigg's The Snowman, narrated by Beattie
Maureen Beattie is no stranger to Christmas entertainment. Although best known for her spell in Casualty, the Scottish actress has trod many a board during the festive season, much like her father – comedian and actor, Johnny Beattie – before her.
So when she was asked to narrate Raymond Briggs’ perennial favourite The Snowman at the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) Christmas Concert, Beattie was quick to say yes.
‘It’ll be fabulous,’ she says, with no shortage of enthusiasm. ‘I’m really looking forward to it. Panto was very much a part of growing up for me, and I’ve done loads of it myself. I’m not suggesting the RSNO concert is a pantomime, but hopefully children – and adults – will be excited, and it will get us all in the mood for Christmas.’
Conducted by Christopher Bell, the RSNO’s annual Christmas caper is a lively mix of superb musicianship, festive tunes, beautiful vocals (courtesy of the RSNO Junior Chorus), theatricality (from the lovely Ms Beattie) and a touch of silliness in the form of ‘The Penguin Song’ (declining Bell’s invitation to participate is not an option).
For those in the audience, the sheer power of a full orchestra can hit you like a truck, albeit a very pleasant one. Standing next to the musicians as she narrates, Beattie will feel their presence more than most – something she experienced at this year’s Edinburgh International Festival, when she acted alongside the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
‘I got a taster of it, but I don’t think it’s anything you ever get used to,’ she says, ‘because it’s just so sensational.’
Caird Hall, Dundee, Fri 21 Dec; Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Sat 22 Dec; Usher Hall, Edinburgh, Sun 23 Dec.