Page last updated at 16:26 GMT, Wednesday, 26 November 2008

New exhibit celebrates pantomime

He's a lady: Stanley Baxter as Bo-peep
He's a lady: Stanley Baxter takes to the stage in panto dame mode

An exhibition celebrating decades of Scottish pantomime is opening its nationwide tour in Edinburgh.

The University of Glasgow exhibition features pictures, photographs and playbills from a variety of sources.

There is also rarely-seen archive film footage of pantomimes in Edinburgh and Glasgow in the 30s, 40s and 50s.

"Your other national theatre" will visit five theatres in the north east over the next two months. It will tour Glasgow and the west next year.

It tells the story of Scottish pantomime from its Victorian origins to the present day, using images and other memorabilia from the Glasgow University library Scottish Theatre Archive.

It also uses material from the collections of performers, producers and audience members.

Pantomime favourites such as Stanley Baxter, Jack Anthony, Elaine C Smith and Una MacLean all feature in the free exhibition, which is part of a three-year academic research project.

'Panto joy'

Legendary pantomime actor Stanley Baxter said actor and director Lewis Casson was absolutely right when he said "pantomime is the national theatre of Scotland".

Baxter said: "Pantomime was always very close to my heart and I loved it from a very early age.

"I saw Tommy Lorne when I was almost too young to remember it - almost, but not quite. It was a joy to be involved in pantomime for so much of my career and I wish this exhibition all possible success."

The exhibition, which will invite visitors to contribute their own memories and experiences, begins at the King's Theatre, Edinburgh, on Saturday.

It will then travel to Perth Theatre and The Byre Theatre, St Andrews, before Christmas.

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen, and the Eden Court Theatre, Inverness, will host the exhibition before it tours the west of Scotland later.

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