It's that time of year again. Yes, it's time for the pantomime season and this December sees the Tron Theatre showcase their production of Miracle On 34 Parnie Street.
Parodying a film classic, we are presented with Johnny McKnight's own unique take on everyone's favourite Christmas movie.
When Glasgow department store, TJ Confuse, sees a slump in sales, it hires a Santa Claus to bring back the true spirit of Christmas. And what a Santa she is! Will he/she be able to convince everyone she is really Santa or be found guilty of fraud at the Sheriff Court?
Kristine Kringle ("single and ready to mingle") is a hilarious, unlikely redeemer of the Christmas message.
McKnight - writer and director, offers up one glittering bauble after another of witty wordplay, comic timing and subversive fun complete with an impressive inflated bosom. He is without doubt the heart, lungs and essence of the production.
But what really sets this pantomime apart from the rest is the six-strong cast of multi-talented actors and a choreographer whose boundless energy takes us on a journey to find the existence of Santa. Michelle Chantelle Hopewell provides soaring vocals and festive soul. Darren Brownlie is brilliantly cast as the obligatory baddie and assured support from Gavin Jon Wright adds deadpan comedy genius. Plus, composer Ross Brown's original songs are contemporary and memorable.
The sets, stage design and lighting were spot on as Glasgow's mystical TJ Confuse, complete with Grotto, comes to life before our eyes.
This wasn't just for the weans, however, with a constant stream of sharp witted double entendres, puns and gags to keep the adults amused too.
By the end of the final scene, in which true love blossoms in a different way, we have been charmed, entertained and shown an inclusive, imaginative modern pantomime.
The audience were completely into it; yelling, hissing and booing throughout. The script is politically aware with intelligent writing. A show with a big heart, it is filled with a dose of satire and some inter-theatre rivalry, revealing that McKnight has his finger firmly on the pulse of panto.
Given that the show runs until January 4th, I'll keep its secrets under wrap. They are worth the wait. I laughed, I clapped, I sang along, had a fun evening, and the whole audience left feeling buoyant.
Head on down to the Tron and just...believe!
Tron Theatre: http://www.tron.co.uk
Writer/Director/Kristine Cagney Kringle: Johnny McKnight
Trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and works as a director, writer, performer and educator. This year his projects have included an actor/musician performance of 'A Man Of No Importance' (RCS), 'The Curse of Maccabra Opera House' (Scottish Opera). 'Aladdin' (macrobert), and the CATS Nominated Best New Play 'A Perfect Stroke' for Oran Mor.
Darren Brownlie started his training at the Dance School of Scotland and went on to the Arts Educational Schools London completing his training at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He has many theatre and TV credits.
Michelle Chantelle Hopewell is a London born actor in her final year of study at the Royal Conservatoire Scotland.
Gavin Jon Wright has worked in TV and theatre. His credits include Taggart and Still Game with various work for the National Theatre of Scotland, Traverse, Cumbernauld Theatre and Oran Mor to name but a few.
Julie Wilson Nimmo loves comedy and has appeared in Rab C Nesbitt, Chewin' The Fat and The Baldyman.
Greig Adam was awarded the prize for Musical Theatre from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Composer: Ross Brown
Designer: Kenny Miller
Stage Manager: Laura Walshe
Technical Manager: Karen Bryce