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headshot of Tyler Collins

headshot of Tyler Collins

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By guest columnist Tyler Collins, who stars at Cumbernauld Theatre this year

CHRISTMAS theatre is very different in the States, I had never seen a panto before I came over to Scotland. We’ll have a couple of productions of Scrooge going on and some musicals, whereas there is a much bigger tradition in the UK. It’s really cool over here, you come and see a show and the actual activity of going makes you feel more festive, people go to these pantos religiously at Christmas and spend time with their friends and family, it’s great.
Alaska is more like mime theatre, panto-mime whereas here it’s the big Christmassy thing with lots of jokes and audience interaction, so it’s a very different kind of production.
Pantos get kids into theatre which is really important for me, some families might only go to the theatre once a year and it will be to see a panto. What got me into theatre was watching live shows, going to the theatre, watching musicals, and after watching a panto kids might think ‘that looks like fun, I want to try this’ or at least get excited and want to come back, I think pantos are a great way to get people into going to the theatre.”