Beauty of a Cast for the Kilmarnock Panto

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The Palace Theatre in Kilmarnock are delighted to announce that River City star Leah MacRae will be starring alongside Palace panto favourites Fraser Boyle and Gary Morrison in their magical family pantomime Sleeping Beauty.

Leah MacRae is best known for playing Ellie McLean in River City, a role she had played since 2014. She has also starred in Gary Tank Commander and Rab C Nesbitt as well as appearing in numerous pantomimes. Before panto begins she will be starring in a yet to be announced show at The Palace Theatre as well as filming River City.

Leah says “Pantomime is so special as it's the first time most children step into a theatre. It creates lasting memories. It was whilst watching pantomime for the first time ever that I realised I wanted to become an actress and I often think to myself that panto is an important job because there might be a little version of me sitting there having that realisation for the first time too.” 

Fraser and Gary have appeared as Dame and Comic for the past two years to great acclaim and have an excellent rapport both on stage and off.

Fraser says “Gary is brilliant. He's so easy going and always joking with me backstage, and on stage he's a pleasure to work with as well. He's very good at his job and I trust him completely which is a pure joy when doing pantomime together. We tune into one another too - at points during Dick Whittington, we both said the exact same unrehearsed punchlines, at exactly the same time with exactly the same physical actions.”

Gary is equally complimentary about Fraser “Working with Fraser is just fantastic, we clicked straight away and were on the same wave length from the start. Our comedy works really well together, to have that bond is so important between the comic and the dame as it makes for a great fun show.”

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“I just love panto and have some wonderful memories from the last few years. My favourite moment would have to be doing the song sheet in Dick Whittington last year, the whole audience were up dancing and singing along with age groups ranging from toddlers to grandparents and they were all just having a fantastic time, that to me is what panto is all about.”

A big part of playing dame is the number of changes throughout the show in to increasingly elaborate costumes. Fraser’s favourite costume from the last few years was in Beauty and the Beast. “For the finale my costume was a Christmas tree. And it wasn't easy! I had around 40 seconds to get out of one costumes and put an entire Christmas tree on! It was always a frantic dash but it looked amazing. I had baubles, tinsel - even a star on the top - then we'd do a final dance. It was the most cumbersome, impractical costume to dance in but people couldn't stop laughing. I looked like a lunatic! It was so well made and a proper pantomime spectacle. I cannot wait to see what I get to wear this year.”

Before panto season arrives Fraser is busy writing for The Dolls for their second full length tour and hoping to film a full length comedy sketch show with Gary, along with other writing and teaching projects. Gary will soon be appearing in Pinocchio at Motherwell Theatre in the roles of Geppetto and Freddy Fox.

Don’t miss out on the magical Sleeping Beauty. The show runs from Saturday 24 November to Sunday 30 December 2018.

To book tickets to please contact The Palace Theatre box office on 01563 554900 or visit