Romps with Cinders and co

19th December 2003 at 00:00
In their own words, children from Aberdeen to Edinburgh give a rousing thumbs-up to this season's pantomimes

Peter Pan

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen until January 3. Tel: 01224 637788. Review by P1, P2 and P3 pupils of Aberchirder school, Huntly.

The pantomime was about three children, Wendy, John and Michael, and their adventures with Peter Pan.

The children flew to Neverland with Peter Pan and Tinkerbell and were kidnapped by Captain Hook and the pirates. Peter Pan came to rescue them and Captain Hook and his pirates tried to kill him. He was fighting with Captain Hook and then the crocodile came and ate Captain Hook's arm off.

This is a good bit because the crocodile burped after he had eaten Captain Hook's hand.

After many adventures the Darling children went home and they lived happily ever after.

Peter Pan was great and the pirates were funny too. Cameron (Stout from Big Brother) was in Peter Pan and he was funny. And we liked Tiger-Lily. She was pretty, she made a funny noise and we liked her costume because it had tassel bits.

The best character was the crocodile because of the burp and we liked his costume, it was shiny and scary because he had very sharp teeth. One of our favourite moments was when we all threw sponges at Captain Hook - they were supposed to be bun rocks - it was funny.

Sleeping Beauty

King's Theatre, Glasgow until January 18. Tel: 0141 240

1111. Reviews by children from T1 and T2 Lomond primary, Helensburgh.

The story was about a princess called Beauty who was cursed when she was born. A wicked witch called Carrion arrived at Beauty's christening and put a curse on her which would take place when she was 18 years old - she was going to prick her finger on a spinning wheel and die. The spell would only be broken if a man kissed her.

On her 18th birthday, Chester the Jester used Nanny Begood's wand so that she didn't die but instead fell asleep for 100 years. He put the rest of the people in the castle asleep as well and went to find Nanny Begood to save Beauty. After that, the story had many twists and turns but in the end they all lived happily ever after. Our favourite characters were Chester the Jester, because he was funny, Nanny Begood, because she always made things right, Carrion, because she was a brilliant villain, Norval, because he was really stupid and the Lord High Chamberlain, because he said everything really poshly and then said it in a really good Scottish accent.

Nanny Begood was so many people, including Wonder Woman and Cameron Diaz. It was funny when she went out jogging in a pink jogging suit which was too small for her and her bottom was huge. She also dressed up as Anne Robinson to play The Weakest Prince.

Carrion had a good voice and she shouted the words out, making her seem really scary, which gave you the shivers and goosebumps. The orchestra boomed below the stage with a great variety of tunes. And the scenery created a good atmosphere. It's a fantastic day out, you won't stop laughing, and as the panto begins you are whisked away into a magical land.


Motherwell Theatre, Motherwell, until January 10. Tel 01698 67515. Review by children of P7a,St Patrick's RC primary, Kilsyth

Cinderella was full of great jokes, beautiful costumes and breath-taking scenery - it was a huge hit. The story was about a girl who was bossed around by her two ugly stepsisters, Kylie and Britney. Her dad, Baron Hardup, was a kind man. The star of the show had to be Buttons, the servant of the house. He was really funny, he got the audience to laugh and sang songs.

The best characters were Buttons, Britney Balamory, Kylie Lochalsh and Cinderella. Britney and Kylie were so evil, they had ugly faces and were outrageously funny. It was funny when the ugly stepsisters were getting ready for the ball and Buttons did their make-up. He gave Britney a moustache and very red cheeks and she started to scream. He gave Kylie the mirror but it had a picture of Victoria Beckham on it.

A favourite moment was when Buttons came galloping on stage with a large, fake ostrich - it looked as if his legs were hanging off but they weren't really!

The scenery was lovely, especially the ballroom scene because of all the glitter, and it looked very realistic. The costumes were brilliant and it all seemed to fit with the characters. The pantomime would be enjoyed by people of all ages. The jokes were super funny for both adults and children. It is most definitely a must-see and is recommended to anyone who likes a laugh.

Jack and the Beanstalk

King's Theatre, Edinburgh, until January 18. Tel 0131 529 6000

Review by children of P4, P5, P6 amp; P7, Loanhead primary, Edinburgh

We went to King's Theatre to see Jack and the Beanstalk. The place was huge, it had a marble staircase and everything. We had good and very comfy seats and the show was brilliant. It was a hilarious comedy full of dancers, comedians, drama, surprises, songs and jokes.

The story was only briefly connected to the book. The panto was about a boy named Jack and what happened was that Jack had to kill the giant and he would get to marry Princess Apricot Crumble.

Princess Apricot was kidnapped and Jack went up a beanstalk to save her. At the end the princess was rescued and the giant was made smaller and friendly, so it was a happy ending. The main characters were Jack, the Dame, the Jester and the King. The Dame was very funny - she made jokes about having a boob job and she went around on a zimmer and tooting a horn.

It wasn't the same as a traditional panto because they missed out some of the usual bits like the audience shouting out,"It's behind you!". There were lots of funny bits - especially when the cow got sucked up by the Hoover. The funniest part was when the Dame came on as J-Lo and the King came on as Ali-G and they sang "Jenny from the Block". There are bits you can't forget like when Jack climbed the beanstalk and when he did some break-dancing.

And there was a good food joke when the giant said he liked "steak and kiddie" pie.

The whole pantomime was excellent and there were no bad bits, the worst bit was going home.

The show would not be suitable for children under the age of seven, as they might get scared and not understand some of the jokes.

Mother Goose Perth Theatre, Perth, until January 3.Tel: 01738 621031.

Reviews by children of P2, P5 and P7 Glenlyon primary, Aberfeldy

The story of Mother Goose began with a meeting between the Good Fairy and the demon. They wanted to see if people were good or bad and decided to have a competition to prove who was right. They decided to watch Mother Goose and her family.

Mrs Goose had two sons, Calum and Jack. Jack had a girlfriend called Jill, and her father was called the stingy Laird of Luncarty. Calum thought Jack and Jill were very sloppy.

Calum had a pet spider called Itsy-Bitsy and he asked us to yell if anyone tried to open her box.

The Goose family were very poor and could not pay their rent, but Mrs Goose raided her piggy bank and gave Calum the last of her money to pay it. As Calum went off he met the Goose lady, who was actually the Fairy Queen, and she persuaded him to buy Priscilla the goose.

When he took Priscilla home Mother Goose was furious but eventually decided to keep the goose. When it started to lay golden eggs Mother Goose shared the gold with all the villagers.

The demon was angry and talked Mother Goose into exchanging Priscilla for becoming a Kylie Minogue look-alike. She was really funny, but nobody recognised her and she realised that everyone liked her better before. Jack and Calum rescued Priscilla, and Mother Goose was turned back into her old self.Mother Goose was very funny and noisy. The costumes were all bright and colourful and matched the people who were wearing them. The scenery was brilliant with lots of layers going back which changed according to the scene. The demon's lair was all smoky and dark. The whole production was funny and we had a great time.

The Snow Queen

MacRobert Centre, Stirling until January 3. Tel 01786 466666.

Review by S1 pupil Saskia Kearns, Balfron high

The Snow Queen is a play anyone, anywhere, would love. We were hooked on every word that was said. They had fitted all the scenes together in a smooth way so that there was never a dull moment. However, the thing that impressed us most was the brilliant stage sets. We loved the fact that they had included ropes for people to fly on and there was a deep hole with a hatch door located in the floor, allowing people to create illusions of themselves disappearing down a deep dungeon.

None of the play would have worked without a cast of fabulous performers.

No one faltered and everyone was successful in bringing their characters to life. The Snow Queen's face seemed carved with evil and almost real emotions seeped from the young girl. The boy, Kay, was played outstandingly well. The actor showed no embarrassment in pretending to be rather bigheaded.

The director was brilliant at involving the audience. They had members of the cast, such as the young girl, shout out certain phrases for us to repeat back. The other thing which a few of the actors performed was to dart between rows of seats, and the primary school kids absolutely loved being able to reach out and shake actors' hands. It was a joy to see the children's smiles.

The play exceeded most people's expectations. Every second word was something to remember, in its own special way.

There wasn't a shortage of humour either as the audience supplied that added touch of romantic comedy, or a few creative comments, at well timed opportunities.We had to sing a song about Itsy-Bitsy at the end of the show and we had already learned it so we could join in It ended with the wedding of Jack and Jill and the Good Fairy winning the contest - everybody was happy.

The lighting was super too, adding to the effect of each scene.

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