Pam Howat has taken on the role of directing this year’s Blairgowrie Players’ panto, The Wizard of Oz.
Local girl Pam, who has been with the Blairgowrie Players for four years and was also previously a member of the theatre group for a number of years when she was at school, is looking forward to the challenge.
She said: “This is the first time I have directed a panto although I have directed a small play before for the One Act Festival.
“I chose The Wizard of Oz because it has been 26 years since Blairgowrie Players last did this show - and I was in it as a munchkin that time!
“It is a script that appealed to me, it is a very well known, popular and much loved story and hopefully the people of East Perthshire will love our interpretation of it too.
“There will be a mixture of traditional songs as well as some new favourites and lots of local references too.”
The cast of 40 started rehearsals in September following auditions in August.
Pam said: “It is a big cast, made up of members, many of whom are returning to the players and some of whom are completely new members.
“Lots of the chorus have dual roles too - they might be munchkins and witchlets.
Pam said: “We have mixed things up a little bit this year as well - for example, the traditional pairings that people might have expected to see in the past have been changed.
“And of course, Graham Reid, who has directed the pantos for something like fifteen years, is back on stage this year playing Wavey Wanda, the Good Witch of the North, which will be fantastic for audiences to see.”
Pam added: “Graham had been mooting for a couple of years that someone else should take over in the director’s seat and I thought that I might like to have a go at it.
“I have a vision of what a panto should look like, I want it to be simple and slick - I’m not into complicated sets, I think people are capable of using their imagination to transport themselves into the story in front of them.
“It has been something of a steep learning curve but everyone has been very supportive. It has been exciting and scary in equal measures, and I am missing not being part of it on stage but I am glad I took on the challenge. I just hope it all goes smoothly!”
The Wizard of Oz runs from Monday December 3 to Sunday December 9 at Blairgowrie Town Hall. Weekday performances take place at 7pm with two matinees at 2pm on the Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost £8 for the balcony, £7 for the stalls and £6 for concessions (stalls only). Available from The Music Box in Allan Street.