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)
Community 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…..