The Palace Theatre are delighted to announce the return of four hugely popular panto stars this Christmas. Fraser Boyle will be sporting an array of outrageous costumes once more as an Ugly Sister, with James McAnerney as his equally vile sibling, the hilarious Gary Morrison as the loveable Buttons alongside the Ali Cleland as the villainous Wicked Stepmother.
A spokesperson for The Palace said “Fraser, Gary and James have become huge favourites over the last few years and are an instrumental part of The Palace’s family focused style of pantomime and Ali received great acclaim (and plenty of boos) as Carabosse in last year’s Sleeping Beauty. Here at The Palace we pride ourselves on offering a top-quality pantomime which is suitable for all of the family to enjoy, and these performers are all a key ingredient in the success of pantomime due to their huge popularity with the panto audiences.”
This is Fraser’s fourth year as Dame and he is delighted to be back, “I have so many memories and things to look forward to every year at The Palace Theatre. From everyone who works backstage and front of house (and all our Christmas nights out!) there’s always a great team spirit and carry on to be had. I should probably say we all work hard too! But if I had to pick one favourite thing about The Palace panto I’d say it’s the audiences. This will be my fourth year at The Palace and I’m beginning to remember schools, groups and familiar faces in the audience. It’s so wonderful to see families who I recognise from the year before in the auditorium again. I feel so privileged to be able to play a part in their Christmas traditions. My Granny always took me and the rest of her grandchildren to see a pantomime every year and those memories are some of the happiest I have with my nearest and dearest. That’s what Christmas is all about. To be part of that now, as an actor, is something very special to me - it always inspires me to give a little more (sometimes a little more than is in the script!), to make each and every performance unique and just for them. After all, without the audiences encouraging us all to make eejits out of ourselves we’d be performing to a wall!”
Although the role of baddie is familiar to James McAnerney, less familiar will be the numerous hilarious and elaborate costumes he will be wearing as an Ugly Sister. He says “I played Dame Bella Straw (bale of straw) when I was at college in Jack and the Beanstalk and I have also played an ugly once before at Cumbernauld Theatre in their production or Cinderella but that was quite a long time ago. I am really looking forward to playing an ugly sister because it is a Dame that has been crossed with the panto baddie – two of the best roles in panto in my opinion. It is also great that you get to work so closely with the other Ugly Sister and the icing on the cake is that the other Ugly Sister is Fraser.”
“I’m so looking forward to working with Fraser and Gary again, as I think they bring so much warmth, passion and energy to the production and to the audience. And they are also great cast members to work with both on stage and off. This year I will get to work even closer with Fraser, which will be great. Although I didn’t think I would find myself saying to him, “you will need to give me some make up tips, and how to walk in heels!”
Gary could not agree more with his fellow cast members “My favourite thing about The Palace panto is without doubt the welcome that the audience gives us each year; they truly are fabulous. Also, working with Fraser and James is so much fun and a real pleasure, which definitely transfers across to the audience. We have been lucky enough to have been asked back for a number of years now and we know what The Palace audiences like and how much they are up for some festive fun!”
Ali is delighted to be back for her second year in The Palace Panto. “I loved being the baddie last year and I’m super excited to be keeping my ‘evil’ streak going. I really got into character last year by pranking some of my cast mates offstage, especially Fraser Boyle! I’ll be taking that craftiness and mischievousness back with me this year! Can’t wait!!
Don’t miss out on the magical family panto Cinderella this festive season. The show runs from Saturday 23 November to Sunday 29 December 2019.
To book tickets to please contact The Palace Theatre box office on 01563 554900 or visit www.eastayrshireleisure.com