TIME FLIES when you're having fun: a decade flies even quicker.

Since 2009, the touring Glasgow Arts Community Panto has brought Yuletide cheer and high-quality theatre to people's homes no matter the situation.

On December 3rd, the curtains will be raised from Shettleston to Castlemilk, marking a decade since the first showing. Beauty and the Beast is this year's production, and with 21 performances scheduled, some 4,000 people across Glasgow are expected to see the show.

“The value of this community pantomime is huge,” says Mari Binnie, who has been a community pantomime producer since their beginning.

“In past years, I’ve stood at the door saying goodbye to audiences at community centres and heard from adults and children alike about how good it is to have such fun-filled, joyful performances on their doorsteps. It means so much, to so many people".

The pantos tour throughout December to fourteen community venues, including Glasgow’s Lodging House Mission, a charity dedicated to providing care and support to homeless, vulnerable and socially excluded people.

The first was the 2009 production of Cinderella, written by River City’s Johnny Mcknight. Adapted from a longer version of Cinderella for Stirling’s Macrobert Arts Centre, the panto visited eight venues.

“Watching the show in Easterhouse was joyous,” recalls Johnny McKnight.

“People dancing in the aisles, the quality and hysterical heckling of a Glasgow crowd, the deafening sound of ‘He’s behind you’… It’s the reason we all work on panto.

“It’s a pleasure and privilege to bring Christmas, and the Christmas night out, to the communities of Glasgow.”

Glasgow Times:

Rehearsals begin on Monday for this year’s community rendition of Beauty and the Beast at Barmulloch Community Centre.

Written by Alan McHugh, directed by Julie Brown with Karen MacIver as musical director, it features a stellar cast including Storm-Skyler McClure as Belle along with Kevin Lennon and Andrew Marley as her good pals, Betty’n’Boaby. They are determined to break the curse cast on unfortunate Prince Sebastian and his faithful housekeeper Agnes by nasty witch, Deadly Nightshade.

Along with the excitement of this years's production, many people who have worked on previous Community Pantos still hold the memories of them close to their hearts.

“I think the ethos behind the touring pantomime is absolutely essential, especially when we’re amid high-end, extremely high-priced commercial pantos" said Johnny Mcknight, who wrote 2015's Cinderella.

Glasgow Times:

"The cost is, for many, far too high for a family to attend. Add to that issues of childcare, transportation, cost of food and drink in the venue. Many venues have lost sight of the spirit of the pantomime. It should be available and easily accessed to all. The joy of the community panto not only brings the product directly to people’s door, it also provides a much-needed entry point to theatre. Long may it last!”

“Theatre has the power to make us view the world differently, switch off from everyday stresses or simply make us experience laughter or empathy” adds Mari.

“Everyone should have access to high-quality arts and theatre. In just a couple of hours, people feel totally different. What's not to celebrate about that?”