As we approach our 110th King’s Theatre Edinburgh panto and warmly welcome the return of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, here’s a ‘top twelve’ history on a veritable Edinburgh institution.
1. Goldilocks and the Three Bears first came into being as a pantomime in a version penned by W.S. Gilbert (Gilbert & Sullivan) and performed at the Lyceum Theatre London in 1867. The story was first set in a circus in 1925 in Howard & Wyndham’s Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the King’s Theatre Edinburgh, starring Eve Lynn and Tom D. Newell. The production focussed on the rivalry between two circus owners - one evil and one good - and as they say in show business, ‘if it ain’t broke’….
2. Last seen as the Kings’ panto in 2007 starring Allan Stewart, Grant Stott, James Mackenzie and Tweedy and only previously performed seven times as a title in King’s panto history, it’s a very warm welcome back for the classic Goldilocks.
3. The most frequently performed panto titles in King’s history are: Cinderella (18 times), Jack and the Beanstalk (12 times), Aladdin (12 times) and Babes in the Wood (10 times).
4. The King’s Edinburgh panto has the second longest run this year (2019-20) throughout the whole of the UK, falling just behind the Theatre Royal in Newcastle which runs from 26th Nov to 19th Jan – just four more days than Edinburgh.
5. The King’s Goldilocks is one of only two productions of Goldilocks running this season (the only other is the London Palladium). The show stars Gillian Parkhouse as 'Goldilocks' returning in her third King's Edinburgh panto, alongside Allan Stewart, Andy Gray, Grant Stott and Jordan Young.
6. Goldilocks and the Three Bears has a total of 83 performances (82 public performances and 1 performance for Edinburgh’s Special Schools) over the course of 51 days. During the run, the cast just have seven days off so are on stage for 44 of those 51 days this winter. Wish them luck!
7. Jimmy Logan, Ricki Fulton and Carol Eric starred in the 1955 Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the King’s Edinburgh. Jimmy was back in the 1966 Goldilocks with Jill Howard and Bob Temple.
8. Allan Stewart celebrates the 30th anniversary of first performing in the King’s panto this year. He did his first King’s panto in 1989, playing a bad robber in The Babes in the Wood and holds the record for playing Dame in the King’s panto more times than any other actor. He played ‘Dame’ for the first time in 1997, so Goldilocks and the Three Bears is his 22nd year wearing a dress on the King’s stage at Christmas.
9. 1998 was the first King’s panto that featured Allan Stewart, Andy Gray and Grant Stott together in the cast. This year, the three amigos are reunited after Andy Gray took a year out last year.
10. Allan made his panto debut in Cinderella at the Glasgow Pavilion in 1975, Andy Gray performed in his first panto in 1979 and the baby of the three Grant Stott made his panto debut at the King’s in 1993 in Dick Whittington starring Allan Stewart and Christopher Biggins.
11. Over the decades all the top dames have sashayed onto the King’s stage including George Lacy, Stanley Baxter, Douglas Byng, Jimmy Logan and Terry Scott of Terry & June.
12. Stanley Baxter starred in eight of the 110 King’s pantos including Cinderella in 1967, playing an ‘ugly sister’ alongside Ronnie Corbett.