It is very likely that the pun in the full title of this year’s panto, Rapunzel : A Hairy Tale Adventure, from the National Theatre of Scotland (NTS) may be esoteric except to Glaswegians of a certain age, but it’s still an apt title for what promises to be a fabulous show from a glittering team of Scottish theatrical talent.
In a first-time partnership with Historic Environment Scotland, this festive film, that was made in and around Stirling Castle, will be screened across Scotland later this month.
Prince of Pantoland Johnny McKnight, renowned for gallus pantos that are a glorious mix of the traditional and the topical, leads the creative team in this medley of music and storytelling. As well as playing narrator Paige Ootabookand directing Rapunzel, McKnight joins the stellar team of female writers in Apphia Campbell, Uma Nada-Rajah, Morna Pearson, Stef Smith, Meghan Tyler and Anita Vettesse. Among the 8 strong cast will be Tron panto regulars like Darren Brownlie as Rosey Posey and Julie Wilson Nimmo as Anita Haircut / Queen Mary.
Paige Ootabook (The Narrator) says “You all know the story of Rapunzel, right? That lassie with the long hair who’s been trapped in her lockdown tower for what feels like forever. The lassie who’s sitting there like a loon waiting for some Prince will come along and save her. Well, think again.
Cos I bet nobody mentioned the hairdresser who made it her life’s mission to track Rapunzel down? Or Rapunzel’s twin brother who’s terrified he’s going to have to take the throne if his sister isn’t found? And they certainly didn’t mention that six foot all singing all dancing rose in the garden whose psychic visions are going to save the day?
Because you see to truly know a story, you must know all deets. And let me tell you chookies, the story you know of Rapunzel is incomplete.
But finally, at long last, you get to hear from all the characters, all six sides, all six chapters, and despite what you might have thought, they don’t all end in happily ever after.
A chance to sit with the family and finally piece together the story of one lassie and her journey from isolation to taking her rightful place at the…. Hey come on, I’m not going to give away the ending now, am I?”
With free access available, 57 schools across Scotland have already registered to view Rapunzel, when it will reach more than 8000 pupils. Add to this free access to screen the film in hospitals, care homes, and prisons and this unique version of Scottish panto cheer will be well spread.
Rapunzel the film, that’s directed by recent Scottish BAFTA nominee Stewart Kyasimire, is set to be released in selected independent cinemas and arts centres (see list below) across Scotland from 22 December, before being released for audiences to stream at home from 23 December to 04 January. Tickets to view the film are available at a sliding scale, from £0 to £25 available from NTS website and from selected Scottish theatre venues websites. The stream will be accompanied by a free, festive activity pack for families to enjoy over the holiday period. An audio described version will be available online as well as a version featuring creative BSL performance interpretation from Jamie Rea.
Cinemas and art centres set to screen the film over the festive period include Eden Court, Inverness; An Lanntair, Stornoway; Highland Cinema, Fort William; The Barn, Banchory; Hippodrome Bo’ness; Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre, Dumfries; CatStrand, New Galloway; Driftwood Community Cinema, Waterbeck and Wigtown; Phoenix Cinema, Oban; Phoenix Cinema, Kirkwall.
Full information on cinema listings can be found at the National Theatre of Scotland website. Due to ongoing circumstances cinema listings are subject to change.