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With winds over 35 miles an hour and sideways rain, an outdoor pantomime on the Isle of Skye was always going to demand some creative stage management.
But Daniel Cullen, producer of the island’s first drive-in panto – a production of the Grimms’ fairytale Rapunzel, with a Scottish twist – is confident he can reach an accommodation with the wintry weather.
There will be “contingency umbrellas” to protect the cast’s radio mics, and coordinated rainwear to match their multicoloured costumes. The stage is a 14-metre HGV trailer parked outside the Sligachan hotel with a view of the Red Cuillins. And the audience, who will tune in to the dialogue on their car radios, have been instructed to bring blankets and whatever else they need to keep warm.
With many venues across the UK still closed because of Covid, the traditional pantomime – which Cullen points out is often the only time a family experiences live theatre all year – will be missing from many festive calendars.
But after the success of socially distanced drive-in events over the summer, the format has been repurposed to offer some welcome end-of-year release, even as restrictions tighten for many.