Festive frolics at Banchory panto

The panto was set in idyllic Banchoria
The panto was set in idyllic Banchoria

There can be nothing better on a cold winter’s night than a good belly laugh – and Banchory and District Company’s (BADCO) Christmas panto gave laughs a plenty.

A packed town hall of big kids and little kids – and a large number of enthusiastic cubs and beavers – were firmly entertained by Drew Young’s very clever, up-to-the-minute, local script, superb acting from the entire cast and a good old-fashioned sing-a-long.

Cast members from the Banchory panto

Cast members from the Banchory panto

‘Ginger, the Breadman and the Fox’ took a traditional story and turned it on its head.

Set in idyllic ‘Banchoria’ the happy villagers, led by Dame Apricot, played with slapstick genius by Marcus Lethaby, battled the greedy Mr Fox, whose elegant swishy tail was matched by Graham Ling’s perfectly villainous performance.

As with many a panto, the performances of the youngsters outweighed their years. Leo Thomson is a star in the making as Ginger, and Thalia Groucott and Helena Grieve were brilliant baddies Mutt and Jeff, whose riotous chase of the friendly vegetarian troll (Ross Groves) was superbly daft.

And it’s not a panto without a good singsong. The audience cheered on the Ginger Builders – Yes we can! and were treated to an hysterical rendition of ‘You’re the one that I want’, and when Naomi Greenwood played the ukulele, she proved that behind all the jokes and outrageous costumes, some serious talent lies within Banchory.

BADCO regular Iain Temperley ruled Banchoria with perfect poise, and Mr Fox’s sidekicks Betty Bovver (Jane Grieve) and Simon Sneak (Mackenzie Bovaird) earned every one of their boisterous boos. Under Angela Walker’s direction, ‘Ginger, the Breadman and the Fox’ delighted a packed house at every performance, and was a fine start to the festive season.