Pantomime and Union Terrace Gardens

His Majesty's Theatre lit up with coloured lights

It has been three years since we last went to the pantomime thanks to covid. Although it did run last year they had to cancel after Christmas and our tickets were for New Year’s Eve so we missed it. This year everything is back to normal and indeed covid seems like a thing in the distant past now.

Daniel, Ben, and Elizabeth standing outside His Majesty's Theatre
Selfie of the four of us sitting in the theatre

This year’s show was Peter Pan and the special guest was Brendan Cole of Strictly Come Dancing fame. He’s a New Zealander so a funny theme throughout the show was Dame Celeste (Alan McHugh) and Smee (PJ Corrigan) calling him Australian over and over because we all know how much New Zealanders hate to be referred to as Australians.

Alan McHugh is a local treasure who has been writing and performing in Aberdeen pantomimes for 19 years. He always plays a woman and wears the most over-the-top costumes. The shows are filled with song and dance, tongue twisters, puns, slap-stick comedy, toilet humour, cross-dressing and there’s usually audience participation which involves getting a child to accidentally say something funny. One year there was a “Smart fellow” rhyme which, when said quickly, become “fart smeller”. I won’t give away what it was this year. The Pantomime is a Christmas tradition throughout the UK that’s loved by children and adults alike.

View of the stage from inside His Majesty's Theatre
His Majesty's Theatre lit up with coloured lights.

On the way home we were lucky to be one of the very first to walk through the just opened Union Terrace Gardens which opened this afternoon after years of closure. There has been a lot of controversy about its fate going back a decade now. It was always a dark, deserted and fairly dingy gully beneath Union Street but people couldn’t agree on what to do with it. At one point there was talk of filling it with concrete. The multi-million pound transformation fortunately did not involve filling it with concrete but will people use it? Only time will tell. What I can say is that the architect/s have done a wonderful job. Here are some photos.

A leopard’s head: the symbol of Aberdeen.

Sculpture of a leopard's head made like a mosaic using small steel shapes.

Beam me up Scotty?

The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland.

A unicorn mirror

I thought this was quite cleverly made to look like a ship.

Restaurant will a tiered base to look like a ship.

It will be nice to see it in summer in a few years once the gardens have had time to become established.

View of Union Terrace Gardens from Union Street looking towards His Majesty's Theatre.
View of Union Terrace Gardens looking towards Union Street

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