STARS of Inverclyde’s annual pantomime will start the countdown to Christmas this week as they switch on Greenock’s festive lights.
Still Game favourites Jane McCarry and Mark Cox and panto stalwart Lee Samuel all take to the stage in Aladdin at Beacon Arts Centre in December.
But the cast members will first join residents to light up the town at this year’s Christmas lights switch-on, which has been organised by Inverclyde Council.
The trio will attend the event in Cathcart Square on Thursday (24 November).
The evening will include Brass Sounds Inverclyde performing in Oak Mall from 5 to 6pm. People can meet Santa’s reindeer at Cathcart Square from 4.30 to 6.30pm.
There will be Christmas music from 6pm, with the panto stars featured from 6.50pm and the lights going on at 7pm.
Aladdin gets underway at the Beacon on Friday 9 December, with performances held until Hogmanay.
The panto, which also stars River City’s Jimmy Chisholm, is being produced in-house at the Beacon, and promises to be fun-filled and action-packed as audiences are transported on a magic carpet to the fairy-tale kingdom of Greenock.
Tickets start from £14.50, with discounts for groups and family tickets, and are available to book by phoning the box office on 01475 723 723.
Jane McCarry, who will play Jeannie the Genie, said: “It’s time to light the lights and sprinkle some magic in the very best place in Scotland. There’ll be more sparkle than a Strictly Final.Cannae wait. See you lot there.”
Pauline Kane, director of Beacon Arts Centre, said: “We are thrilled that our panto stars will be in Greenock to officially launch the festive period by switching on the town’s Christmas lights.
“Our annual panto, which we’re proud to be producing in-house for the first time since 2014, is always the highlight of the year at the Beacon.
“Aladdin promises to be a magical show for children and adults of all ages, featuring the usual festive mix of humour and songs — all with a local twist.
“We’re delighted that people will get a sneak peak of the cast and their characters at this year’s Christmas lights switch-on.”
Provost of Inverclyde, Drew McKenzie, said: “We’re delighted to have the stars of the Beacon’s panto coming along to add some extra sparkle to our Christmas lights switch-on event.
“Like our lights switch-on events, the panto and the cast, have become firm favourites in the Inverclyde calendar and I’m sure people of all ages will be thrilled to see them in Cathcart Square to help us officially begin the countdown to Christmas.
“Of course, we will all be upstaged by our extra-special star guest, Santa, who is also taking time out of his busy diary to join us for the festivities along with his reindeer.
“I look forward to seeing lots of families joining us for what will be a fun-filled evening of entertainment in Greenock town centre.”