Stars of Sleeping Beauty launch Edinburgh King’s panto

If one thing in Edinburgh says Christmas is coming more than the switching on of The Dome's decorations it's the launch of the King's panto, which took place yesterday, not at the Old Lady of Leven Street, as you might expect, but at the Festival Theatre. Oh, yes it did!

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Right now, the cast are relaxing after a day of press interviews and photos, catching up on their social media over coffee – all except Allan Stewart, the Capital’s legendary Dame.

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Earlier, with the venue's studio space transformed into a... well, a studio, in the photographic sense, the principal performers in this year’s spectacular donned their costumes together for the first time in an explosion of festive colour.

The cast of Sleeping Beauty, the 2021 King's panto: Clare Gray, Grant Stott, Allan Stewart, Nicola Meehan and Jordan Young

Sleeping Beauty is this year’s title and leading the company, as always, Allan Stewart was resplendent as Queen Aunty May, bedecked in regal red, purple and gold. Firing quips to camera with all the assuredness of a Dame at the top of their game, he’s in his element.

Other cast members await their turn; there's River City and Scots Squad star Jordan Young, making his return to the King's as court jester Muddles. It may only be his second festive season here but last year's lockdown makes it seem like he's done more.

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Someone who is doing her third Edinburgh panto appearance is Clare Gray, daughter of long-time favourite Andy, who left us earlier this year. In a fiery red number, Clare is ready for the boos as Narcissa, daughter of the evil Carabosse, played by the Capital's newest River City star Grant Stott. He's not here right now, but will be soon.

Grant Stott chills on Queen Aunty May's throne - Sleeping Beauty

Completing the line-up, in shimmering white and silver, her magic wand ever ready, is newcomer Nicola Meehan, not the BBC Radio Scotland one, but the Leith-based musical theatre star who, having played panto in cities across the UK is delighted to be making her home debut as the Fairy Godmother.

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And then there's Grant Stott, he’s now in his civvies, his beard, grown for his River City role as Sam Spiller has been causing all sorts of problems – Carabosse doesn’t have a beard. Thankfully, with just a dash of panto magic, it’ll be gone in a flash.

Watch: Meet the cast of Sleeping Beauty at

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The King's panto cast relax after launch of Sleeping Beauty: Allan Stewart is Queen Aunty May, Grant Stott is Carabosse, Clare Gray is Narcissa, Jordan Young is Muddles and Nicola Meehan -is the Fairy Godmother
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