Panto fun under the ocean wave

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THE first week in December can only mean one thing – the start of pantomime season.

As much a tradition as Christmas pudding, Glaswegians in particular are always fond of a shouted chorus of “He’s behind you!” and so forth.

There are plenty of them vying for your attention these days, from the Krankies at the SECC to stalwart dame Dean Park at the Pavilion (not to mention the King’s Theatre offering, as detailed to the right).

But this week, there’s a special show to rival them all – a production by the younger generation, for the younger generation (as well as those who remain young at heart).

It’s the latest production from southside troupe Theatre École, and it promises all the fun of the Christmas panto – right on your doorstep.

The Queen’s Park church company – training youngsters aged nine to 25 in the art of performance – is staging Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid.

For those unfamiliar with the tale, here’s a wade through the shallow end.

The title character lives in an underwater kingdom but dreams of life on two legs. The dream becomes even more enticing when she saves the life of – and falls for, naturally – a young sailor.

Enter the sea witch: the villain of the piece, who offers our little mermaid legs in exchange for her voice, provided she can seal the deal with her true love’s kiss.

Predictably, the Disney film version has a happier ending than the original (the story was first written as a ballet, and a tragedy to boot).

But since it’s their Christmas panto, we think it’s safe to assume that Theatre École’s version will be a lighthearted affair, keeping everyone’s festive cheer intact.

The biggest question remains: just how do you transport a church hall audience to an underwater kingdom – and how hard is it to manoeuvre the stage in a mermaid tail?

All will be revealed at Wednesday’s opening night — and what better way to start your countdown to Christmas?

n The Little Mermaid runs at Queen’s Park church (170 Queen’s Drive) December 5-8. 7pm start each night, with a 2pm Saturday matinee. Tickets £7 (children £6, or £23 for a family of four) from 423 6037 or