crookies castle promo

Crookies Castle

A Panto for Pollok with a professional cast and crew alongside a host of performers of all ages - Coming to Pollok Community Centre this Christmas! For details contact us now at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dates for the run at present are: 16th,18th Dec, afternoon performances; 20th, 21st Dec, afternoon and evening performances. 6 performances in total. We will be double casting some parts so that if people can only make some dates, then someone else will cover for the dates they can’t make. All help welcome.


Central, Professional cast – Widow Watt, her son Robbie, The Lord Chancellor (comic baddy), Catriona his ward (ingénue) and Twitchy-eyes (evil baddy)

CROWCommunity cast –

6 castle servants (a mixture of dancers and actors, some with lines, ages from 16 +)
4 magpies – they’re baddies (dancers, ages 10 - 15)
2 magpies (actors, with lines ages 12+)
4 squirrels – goodies (dancers, ages 8 – 15)
2 squirrels (actors, with minimal lines ages 12+)
2 comic Chancers who hang about the kitchen (actors, minimal lines adult)
Various other locals who drop in to the kitchen (actors, some with minimal lines, all ages)
Darnley & Mary (actors, key lines, requiring good acting skills, ages 20 – 30)

In addition to the above, we are looking for volunteers to assist with costume making, set-building and helping out back stage and front of house. This is a Panto to celebrate your community – get involved!


Crookston Castle servants and kitchen staff prepare for Christmas which will see the return of The Lord Darnley and his betrothed, Mary Queen of Scots for a royal ball. Widow Watt is the ‘Cook’. Her son, Robbie is really the one who prepares the food. He is in love with Catriona, who is the ward of the Lord Chancellor, head of the castle household. He is an officious bully who insists on things being ‘just so’ and has no time for the staff’s merriment – a hard task master. The Kitchen is a haven for the locals and all are welcome for a hot meal and heat at the fire. This is frowned upon by the Chancellor. He is very protective of his ward, almost keeping her a prisoner in the castle. Robbie is in love with her but knows he has no chance as Catriona is high-born, niece to Lord Darnley. Catriona and Robbie, however, have grown up together and have played as friends since childhood.

Robbie has another friend, a bird in fact. Not that kind of bird! A crow. His name is Crookie. He’s the Crow of Crookston Castle, a very large and notorious bird of whom the locals are afraid as he has a habit of swooping on unsuspecting visitors. This is just his fun. He keeps Robbie informed of goings on; crows fly high and see a lot.
The Chancellor has ambitions to take over the castle. Darnley only visits rarely and the Chancellor knows about an ancient law about the Royal heir having to be in the castle at the stroke of 12 on Christmas day. He plans to delay Darnley’s return. He has an ally. The witch, Twitchy-Eyes has terrorised the surrounding area for years. She has a long-held desire to take over the castle because it has a magic well. The castle stands on the spot that she used to live decades ago. The well is hers! She plans to put all the castle’s residents to sleep with a potion which is to be put in the well by the Chancellor. He thinks she means to make him Laird. Twitchy-Eyes has no such intention.

Robbie and Catriona, of course, fall in love. They can run away and make a new life together. Crookie tells Robbie of Twitchy-Eyes and Chancellor’s plot. Plans for running away are discarded, they can’t let this evil plan succeed. Crookie recruits his gang of squirrels to thwart the hand-over of the sleeping potion from the witch to the Chancellor. They trick him into taking some of the potion and he falls asleep.
The witch, realising she’s been foiled, sends her gang of thieving magpies to steal the magic talisman from the castle– a golden rod with the figure of a magpie on top - which will restore her power over the castle and the whole of Pollok. They come into the kitchen at night to look for it. Their noise brings the Widow Watt down from her bed. There follows a comic scene which sees the Widow become increasingly frustrated by the seeming disappearance of the ingredients for her porridge. She then comes across the snoring figure of the Chancellor. She wakes him and he confesses that the witch has tricked him. The widow gets everyone together. Robbie realises that his mum’s favourite spirit is the magic talisman that the witch seeks. It can only be used by the rightful heir to Crookston castle. That would be Lord Darnley surely? Not necessarily…..

the govan cat image

The Govan Cat

The Govan Cat tells the story of The Widow Watt and her son, Robbie who run the Cosy Inn near Govan Cross. As the City of Glasgow begins to exert its control over the newly acquired burgh, the Cosy Inn seems under threat due to the new regulations. Their main problem seems to be a sudden infestation of rats which threatens them with closure just as the Christmas celebrations are about to begin. Will they evade the puritanical scrutiny of the self-righteous kill-joy, Baillie Drybone? Can no-one save them from the growing plague of rats that seem to have set up home in the cellar? Is there a darker force at work? All this and a smattering of magic and music weave together to spin a tale of Seasonal Shenanigans set right here in the centre of Govan.

Centred on the Cosy Inn, the show begins with a sing-song, with musicians and dancers played by local performers. Widow Watt and her son Robbie are loved by all the regulars but perhaps her soup leaves something to be desired. The regulars are all played by locals. Baillie Drybone is intent on closing the ‘Den of Iniquity’ but his daughter is attracted to Robbie. The young couple share a stolen moment at the end of the working day and assure each other all will be well. The Rats arrive! The rats are played by younger members of local dance groups. It becomes apparent that this plague is orchestrated by a malevolent force intent on revenge and destruction – The Rat Queen states her evil intent in a musical number with increasing numbers of choreographed rats. Widow Watt, Robbie and the regulars contemplate a Christmas without their beloved local when suddenly a tough street cat appears and chases the rats away. It is clear that this is their saviour and they make a deal with the feline. The Cat is played by local award winning dancers, Karson and Kiara Ross on alternate nights. The deal is made within a first act closing number featuring the regulars, the central cast, musicians and dancers.

The second act opens with another musical number and raises the mood and the hope that all will be well…however, The Baillie, under the influence of The Rat Queen makes clear his intentions to report the Inn to the city authorities and have the place closed. As Robbie, Elsie and the cat slip away to make their plans, Widow Watt distracts Baillie Drybone with a cup of her new-recipe soup. A certain someone may just have laced this batch with a certain something. The Baillie and Widow share an increasingly hilarious scene of befuddlement, soul-baring and misplaced bonhomie. Meanwhile the evil Rat Queen steps up her plans for domination but as she assembles her horde to wreak havoc, suddenly she becomes aware of the sound of mewling. From all sides. Is help at hand? Can she be stopped? Can Christmas be saved? Will the ensuing massive dance routine answer any of these questions?


Contact Cran Theatre

    TELEPHONE 0141 883 4334
    24 Bucklaw Terrace, G52 3EP