Christmas 2014: Treasure Island at Glasgow's Pavilion Theatre
Colourful pantomime starring Michelle McManus, Stephen Purdon and Johnny Mac
The Pavilion Christmas show has long been acknowledged as the most traditional of Scotland’s pantomimes. With its emphasis on cheeky asides to the adults, a strong Glaswegian patter and familiar faces from TV – including River City’s Shellsuit Bob (Stephen Purdon) and singer Michelle McManus – part of its charm derives from the team’s consistency: James Mackenzie reprises his dandy villain (this time as a pirate), while there are also re-appearances from Real Radio's Cat Harvey, the kids from Dancepoint and stunt dancer Chuck.
Back again for a new run, this time as Peck the Parrot in Treasure Island, comedian Johnny Mac has long established himself as a favourite in the Pavilion's colourful pantomimes. Having worked his distinctive catchphrase into the script, Mac is sure to be ‘enjoying himsel'’ again. A stalwart of four years, he explains his enthusiasm for the form: 'I love pantomime; it's one of my main passions in life. With the Pavilion being in the heart of Glasgow, the atmosphere in there is just excellent. It's a great venue to work in for facial expressions and physical stuff.'
This intimacy between the raucous Pavilion audience and the stage helps makes their annual production so striking. Mac, given the comedian's role and not responsible for pushing forward the plot, takes advantage of this freedom to follow his own flights of fancy.
Although he has performed panto in Belfast, Londonderry and Crewe, the Pavilion holds a special resonance for Mac. 'I've grown up there and as my birthday is on 29 December, it does have a nostalgic, sentimental feeling being there.' He believes the secret to the Pavilion's success is the format. 'The reason it works are that there are jokes for the whole family; it’s modern, but also the home of variety.’
Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 26 Nov–Sun 18 Jan.