By Ryan Dinsdale

Goldilocks and the Three Bears, King’s Theatre, Edinburgh. Saturday, November 30 to Sunday, January 19. Tickets from £18.50-£36.

0131 529 6000

High expectations fall on Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre as its 2018 performance of Beauty and the Beast won Great Britain’s Pantomime of the Year Award. This year's contender is Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and the King’s is promising to blend the worlds of circus and panto. A strong cast is returning with perhaps the most notable being Andy Gray, who was forced to sit out last year after being diagnosed with leukaemia. Gray was given the all-clear in August and will return with a bang this Christmas. Actor and presenter Allan Stewart, who has performed at several Royal Variety shows, will join him, alongside award-winning presenter and the King’s in-house villain Grant Scott.

Jack and the Beanstalk, King’s Theatre, Glasgow. Saturday, November 30 to Sunday, January 5. Tickets from £12-£52.

0844 871 7615

It’s difficult not to be impressed by the bright lights and regal atmosphere of Glasgow’s King’s Theatre, whose annual pantomime has become a Christmas staple since the days of Stanley Baxter in the 1970s. Jack and the Beanstalk claims the stage this year, returning to the King’s for the first time since 1989.

The esteemed duo of Elaine C Smith and Johnny Mac will play the leads in a partnership that dates back nearly a decade with a great onstage chemistry. Add in the King’s spectacular special effects and stage design and the wonderful world of Cloudland will quickly come to life.

Rapunzel: A Hair Braiding Adventure, MacRoberts Art Centre, Stirling. Friday, November 22 to Tuesday, December 31. Tickets from £17.75 to £21.75.

01786 466 666

Johnny McKnight is taking his talents to Stirling for this year’s pantomime as he writes, directs, and stars in Rapunzel: A Hair Braiding Adventure. The performance is brimming with McKnight’s typical sarcasm and Scottish wit. Rapunzel’s biggest problems include not having wifi access or dry shampoo, and wondering if she’ll ever visit the mythical land of Tullibody. His pantomime pedigree has been honed to perfection as McKnight’s career on stage and screen dates back 14 years, making him one of the top talents in all of Scotland.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, SEC Armadillo, Glasgow. Saturday, December 14 to Tuesday, December 31. Tickets from £18.75-£33.50.

0844 395 400

An all-star cast is coming to the SEC Armadillo for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. BAFTA-award winning Greg McHugh, the creator and star of Gary: Tank Commander, will headline the show. While McHugh doesn’t have too much panto experience, expectations are high after his live version of Gary: Tank Commander sold out its three-night run at the SEC Hydro in 2016. Doon Mackichan of Two Doors Down and Leah MacRae of River City will join McHugh to form a team of experts in wicked Scottish comedy. The killer cast will be matched by the SEC Armadillo’s signature 3D effects that will add an extra dimension to this year’s performance.

Dick Whittington, Theatre Royal, Dumfries. Saturday, November 30 to Saturday, December 14. Tickets at £12

01387 254 209

Established in 1913, the Guild of Players are one of the oldest amateur drama groups in Scotland. This year they’re also celebrating their 60th anniversary of owning Dumfries’s Theatre Royal and are throwing a pantomime extravaganza to celebrate. A rendition of Dick Whittington will take the stage in a seafaring, globetrotting adventure. Whittington travels with his cat Tommy in search of fortune, coming up against a variety of dramatic villains. Though not as grand as some other pantos on this list, Dumfries’s Theatre royal offers a more intimate performance featuring plenty of singalongs and audience participation.

The Magical Adventures of Pinocchio, The Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow. Thursday, November 28 to Sunday, January 12. Tickets from £19.50-24.40.

0141 332 1846

The Pavilion is continuing its “Magical Adventures” pantomime series that began in 2005, this time telling the story of Pinocchio. All the key cast members have returned, headlined by TV presenter and panto veteran Liam Dolan playing Jiminy Cricket. Now in his 15th year of pantomime performing, with extensive experience hosting television shows, Dolan is guaranteed to deliver a premium performance. Stephen Purdon of River City and Scottish wrestling sensation Grado are both returning this year as well, playing Pinocchio and Geppetto respectively. The Pavilion promises hilarious fun for all the family with a unique twist on the original Pinocchio story.

Sinbad, Perth Theatre, Perth. Friday, November 29 to Saturday, January 4. Tickets from £11.50-£23.

01738 621 031

Perth’s pantomime follows the story of a young Sinbad as she desperately attempts to sail home for Christmas. The performance is packed with witty local charm and contemporary characters, like Sinbad coming from Perthepolis; her being friends with the Tayside Beavers; and the appearance of a young, nature-loving girl called Greta. Who could that be? Perth’s own Barrie Hunter lives up to the stage name of Dame Jackie Alltrades as he writes, directs, and stars in the show. Hunter is featuring in his ninth Perth panto and has promised to deliver all the usual fun and frolics that the audience has come to expect.

The Pure Amazing Wiz of Oz, Websters Theatre, Glasgow. Saturday, November 30 to Wednesday, January 4. Tickets from £9 to £17.50

0141 357 4000

The Pure Amazing Wiz of Oz reeks of Scottish humour. If you’re unsure what to expect, have a glance at Websters’ previous pantos like A Belter of a Cinderella Story or Snow White and the Seven Wee Muppets. Basically, this is a Glaswegian panto that’ll remind you of that at every turn. The story follows bored Partick lass Dotty, who gets whisked off to Oz where she must inevitably defeat the Wicked Witch of the Westend. See feature in tomorrow's Scottish Life magazine.

Snow White, Gardyne Theatre, Dundee. Saturday, December 7 to Monday, December 30. Tickets at £22.

01382 434 940

Dundee’s premier pantomime returns to the Gardyne Theatre this year with a contemporary twist on Snow White. Thirty-year veteran Robert C Kelly is producing the show while Jenny Douglas takes the lead role of Snow White. Douglas featured on BBC’s Over the Rainbow and was part of the We Will Rock You world tour. She also has plenty of panto experience, regularly featuring across Scotland since her debut at Glasgow’s King’s Theatre in 2013. Accompanying Douglas is Tom Urie of River City and Darren Connell of BBC’s Scot Squad.

Cinderfella, Tron Theatre, Glagsow. Wednesday, November 27 to Sunday, January 5. Tickets from £9-£23.

0141 552 4267

Glasgow’s Tron Theatre is putting a spin on Cinderella with Cinderfella. Cinderella, as per, lives an unhappy life. The difference in this version comes with the other lead, Prince Charming, who isn’t there at all. Instead? Princess Charmaine, who throws a “men only” ball which Cinderella must infiltrate. The bigger twist comes in the casting though, which is made up of no men whatsoever. Star of last year’s show, Johnny McKnight, is reserved to writing Cinderfella, and the more than capable Sally Reid, who has 17 years of acting experience, will play the lead.

Cinderella, His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen. Saturday, November 30 to Sunday, January 5. Tickets from £20-£36

0122 464 1122

Reality TV star Louie Spence, of Pineapple Dance Studios fame, is heading north to star in Aberdeen Performing Arts’ Christmas panto: Cinderella. A traditional telling of the tale, Cinderella, Prince Charming, and the Fairy Godmother all feature in the beloved rags to riches story, brought to life by wonderful stage design and an impressive live orchestra. A star-studded cast accompanies Spence, including Call the Midwife’s Laura Main, River City’s Paul-James Corrigan and Sall Howitt, and Emmerdale’s Paul Luebke.

Beauty and the Beast, Eden Court, Inverness. Friday, December 6 to Sunday, January 5. Tickets from £13-£26

01463 234 234

Inverness panto’s beloved duo of Ross Allan and Steven Wren are returning to the stage again to deliver their rendition of Beauty and the Beast. Wren is writing and directing this year’s performance as well, and has brought in some new talent to play Beauty: Christie Gowans. Though her background is in dance, Gowans has gradually become more involved with the wacky world of pantomimes and last year played the lead role in Falkirk’s Cinderella. Chris O’Mara, who debuted at Eden Court last year, is also returning after an incredibly positive audience reaction. Beauty and the Beast will include an exciting mix of old and new, offering something for long-time fans and first timers alike.

An Edinburgh Christmas Carol, The Lyceum, Edinburgh. Thursday, November 28 to Saturday, January 4. Tickets from £20-£50

0131 248 4848

An Edinburgh Christmas Carol is coming to The Lyceum, and if local folklore is believed, the Dickens’ classic is returning to its city of origin.

Whether the rumour that Scrooge was created in Edinburgh is true or not, at least one of the city’s historical figures will make an appearance: Greyfriars Bobby. The wee dug will join Scrooge in this unusual adaption, and though not strictly a panto, the stage is still set for plenty of silliness and Christmas cheer.

Theatre veteran Tony Crownie will write and direct the show, and Crawford Logan, who has more than 40 years of acting experience, will play the lead role of Scrooge.

Oor Wullie, Dundee Rep, Dundee. Saturday, November 23 to Sunday, January 5. Tickets from £12-£27

01382 223 530

Another option for some Dundee drama this Christmas is the Oor Wullie musical. Again, this isn’t technically a panto but features enough singing and on-stage antics to make it worth your while. Celebrating an “awfy braw” 80th anniversary, the cast of Oor Wullie will come to life on stage, including Fat Boab, Soapy Soutar, and Wee Eck. Wullie himself will be played by Martin Quinn, who’s featured in musicals across Scotland and most recently at the Olivier Theatre in London. He also has on-screen experience, appearing in Limmy’s Show and in the upcoming Scottish comedy Our Ladies. The performance will be directed by Dundee Rep’s Andrew Panton, whose extensive experience in Scottish theatre will surely do the national treasure justice.