Æ News – Lyceum announces Xmas cast

Oct 13 2010 | By More

Full cast announced for Lyceum’s Snow Queen

Helen Mackay plays Gerda

By Thom Dibdin

The full cast has been announced for the Royal Lyceum’s Christmas show which will, for the first time in several years, be using one of Stuart Paterson’s famed versions of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy stories.

Joining Allison McKenzie (River City’s Joanne Rossi), who was previously announce as the wicked Snow Queen – who plans to turn everything to winter – are Helen Mackay as Gerda – the little girl who has to save her friend Kay over whom the Queen casts her vicious spell – and Robin Laing as wicked sidekick Cobweb Spider.

This is MacKay’s first appearance at the Lyceum, although she was recently seen during the Fringe in Sunset Song and The Silver Darlings. Famously, she made her professional stage debut in the Dundee Rep/NTS multi-award winning production of Peer Gynt, stepping into the key role of Solveig at the last minute. Laing has several Lyceum productions to his credit, most recently Mary Rose, and has had many television roles including Murder City and Band of Brothers.

Also in the cast is Mark Prendergast, as Kay and other roles, who has been a regular in the Tron’s legendary Christmas shows for several years. He played Aladdin for director Tony Cownie at the Glasgow King’s last year. Elaine Mackenzie Ellis, who is playing Grandma, has not appeared at the Lyceum since Pygmalion although Neil Thomas, as the Prince, has been a regular in the Lyceum’s Christmas shows for the last four years and was recently seen in Siege Perilous’ fascinating version of King Arthur staged at Craigcrook Castle.

Leo Wringer, another Lyceum newcomer, is Bhima the sun spirit and force for good in the play, while Ashley Smith takes on the potentially show-stealing role of Princes Lena. Recently seen in Catherine Wheels’ excellent production of Pobby and Dingan, ironically, Smith also played Solveig in Dundee Rep/NTS production of Peer Gynt, although in the revival, which toured to the Lyceum.

This is the first of Stuart Paterson’s Christmas shows to be seen at the Lyceum since Tony Cownie directed the excellent Sleeping Beauty in 2004, although they were, for many years, a fixture at the theatre. It is the first time that Paterson’s Snow Queen has been staged at the theatre since Hugh Hodgart’s not production of 1998, which starred Vicki Liddelle as Gerda and Irene MacDougall as the Snow Queen.

The production will be directed by the Lyceum’s artistic director Mark Thomson, assisted by  Sandy Thomson. Ken Harrison is designing the show, which will be lit by Jeanine Davies, and Alan Penman is composing the music.

The production will run Friday 3 to Friday 31 December, with a preview performance on Thursday the 2nd when all tickets will be £16.

Royal Lyceum website


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