ONE of Scotland’s biggest pantos has become a bit of a pantomime – after signing up its third Captain Hook.
Injuries and ‘personal reasons’ have plagued the Peter Pan show at Glasgow’s King’s Theatre.
Last month Still Game actor Gavin Mitchell, better known as Boaby The Barman, was forced to withdraw from the role of Hook because of a cycling injury.
Now his replacement, Warren Brown from the BBC TV series Luther, has suddenly left the stage early citing ‘personal reasons’.
It has fallen to West End actor Alex Bourne to save the day and rescue thousands of festive theatre goers from disappointment.
It is the 50th year of panto at the iconic King’s Theatre with the production predicted to break box office records.
The Christmas Peter Pan is expected to see 85,000 people, paying up to £50, fill the theatre if the production can hold on its villain long enough.
Warren, who plays Luther’s sidekick in the hit TV detective series, had previously said to journalists: “Well I didn’t expect to be donning a Hook this Christmas, but I am so glad this opportunity has come along and I can’t wait to get started.
“I have heard such fabulous things about the King’s panto that I am honoured to be joining such a wonderful tradition.”
It was just a few weeks ago that he took over from Still Game’s Gavin Mitchell, a seasoned panto star who took on the role despite suffering from a cycling injury.
Mitchell told reporters before walking the plank: “Peter Pan is my all-time favourite book. Hook’s the biggest, baddest villain and I’ve always wanted to play him. So I had to do it.
“I still feel like the inexperienced one a lot of the time at the King’s, yet I’m seen as the veteran. But it’s great that we have our 50ths together.
“The injury has been a worry, so there’ll be no flying for me, thank goodness.”
The panto panic has taken its toll on the rest of the cast.
Scottish Comedian and star of Gary Tank Commander Greg McHugh, who is donning a pair of tights to take on the role of Smee, Tweeted: “One day I’ll write about the last two weeks. In the mean time, it’s time to welcome a new colleague and get to woyk! Let’s do this!”
A statement from the Ambassador Theatre Group, which runs the King’s said: “West End star Alex Bourne is thrilled to be taking on the role of Captain Hook.
“His theatre credits include the lead role in Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story at the Victoria Palace Theatre and Khashoggi in We Will Rock You, a role he played for six years at the Dominion Theatre.”
It continued: “The King’s Theatre would like to wish a warm welcome to Alex Bourne who will be joining Greg McHugh, Des Clarke, Scott Fletcher and Joanne McGuinness in a spectacular production of Peter Pan which will have audiences of all ages hooked.”
The Scottish panto industry is no stranger to controversy and spells of misfortune.
In 2012 a panto star was sacked from a Production of Cinderella after is was discovered Prince Charming was a former porn star.
Bosses at the Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline, discovered Craig Chalmers had appeared in an adult movie as Ryan Ryder.