It feels like Christmas

Panto stars Callum, Claire and Mark at the recently reopened Cottiers venue
Panto stars Callum, Claire and Mark at the recently reopened Cottiers venue

FORGET trudging into the city centre for the annual Christmas panto – this year, there’s one right next door.

The newly refurbished Cottier theatre is staging its first professional pantomime, complete with an all-star Scottish cast and a twist on a classic Christmas tale.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has had a Glaswegian makeover especially for Scrooge, complete with live music and the odd sing-along.

Our bah humbug anti-hero Ebenezer is hard at work in his Glasgow pawn shop Smash for Gold — and he’ll buy and sell anything from anyone, all the while taking advantage of kindly assistant Bob Cratchett.

But all of that changes with the arrival of three ghosts, an insight into Bob’s family life and a glimpse into what Ebenezer’s future holds if he continues with his selfish ways.

Of course, we all know the story by now, but a glimpse at the poster for this professional production proves that the church-turned-theatre is the ideal setting — especially if we get that snow we’ve been bracing ourselves for.

The cast is headed by Newton Mearns man Mark Cox, of Still Game fame, playing alongside Callum Cuthbertson (Gary, Tank Commander’s dad, for those familiar with the BBC comedy) and Claire Knight, aka Iona from River City.

Southsider Mark told The Extra: “It’s an updated version of a classic and it’s bound to entertain, with a wonderful cast, live music, singing and some really basic dancing from us”.

The production company are also getting in on the Christmas spirit, aiming to keep the ticket prices low so that everyone can make it along throughout December — their tagline a festive “Recession? Bah humbug!”.

Whether it’s the only panto you book this year or one of many in a tight festive schedule, the beautiful surrounding of the renovated theatre is ideal for some light-hearted Christmas fun — and Mark and co promise it’s the best you’ll ever see...“er...probably”.

Scrooge runs at the Cottier theatre (Hyndland Street) from Wednesday until December 31. Performances at 7.30pm and tickets cost £12.50 (£10.40 for children) from www.cottiers.com.