A TALENTED chorus of young performers will join the professional cast for the pantomime Hansel and Gretel at The Brunton this festive season.

The new production for the Musselburgh-based theatre has been created by award-winning writer and theatre maker John Binnie, who wrote past pantos Jack and the Beanstalk and Cinderella, which were well received by audiences.

In 2020, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, he also wrote and directed Rapunzel, which was enjoyed by many schools and families who viewed it online during the festive period.

Auditions took place last month to recruit 34 young performers from East Lothian, Midlothian and Edinburgh for the panto.

They will work alongside a few familiar faces – Eilidh Weir, who plays the role of Gretel, and Ross Donnachie as her wee brother Hansel.

Experienced panto dame Graham Crammond returns in the role of Dame Maisie Nature, with panto baddy Wendy Seager as Witch Wart-Nose.

The chorus is made up of: Group 1 – Maggie Boyd, Robyn Devine, Eve Fairbairn, Jenny Hansen, Lily Paxton and Kharim Mather; Group 2 – Halle Walls, Rachel Bennie, Roma Millar, Marianna McCartney, Keira McCartney, Emily Bain, Lexie Blance and Martha Stitt; Group 3 – Kristin Boby, Faith Dowie, Ziara Franklin, Willow Fraser, Rose Grant, Erin Benson McGinley, Pippa McNeill and Niamh Maya Ritchie; Group 4 – Amy Clark, Rebecca Davis, Caileigh Greig, Ailsa McKinnie, Caitlin Quinn and Isla Ridley; and Group 5 – Carrie Steedman, Isla McEwan, Tegan Taylor, Abbie Lumsden, Hope Harvey and Ella Davies.

The Hansel and Gretel creative team includes set and costume designer Robin Mitchell, musical director Tommie Travers, and Amy Robinson as choreographer.

The show, which has been described as “a festive production and a treat full of fun and laughter with oodles of gags, local references, chart hits, outrageous costumes and shouting out”, will run from December 7 to 31.

Tickets are available from The Brunton on 0131 653 5245 or thebrunton.co.uk