FAMILIES will be having a ball at the Beacon this Christmas as panto rolls back into town after a year away from stage - star cast members can't wait.

The theatre was unable to present an in-person festive spectacular last year due to coronavirus restrictions but now the Christmas show is back bigger and better than ever - oh yes it is.

Cinderella will grace the stage from December 10-31 and Still Game star Jane McCarry, of Isa fame, will reprise her role as the wicked stepmother in the show.

Jane will be joined by fellow Craiglang favourite Mark Cox, who plays one of the ugly sisters, alongside River City's Jimmy Chisholm.

This year's panto will be Jane's fourth at the Beacon and she says she can't wait to be out there in front of an Inverclyde audience again.

She tarred in the hugely successful Christmas film The Magical Beacon Stone last year but says being back on stage can't be beaten.

Jane, who works as a teacher at Craigmarloch School, said: "We were determined to still do something last year and really enjoyed the Magical Beacon Stone.

"Film and TV are great but you don't get that audience reaction.

"What I missed most last year was the laughter and fun that comes from doing a panto.

"I can't wait to get back on stage."

Jane has performed on stages all over the UK but feels at home here and says Inverclyde audiences are the best in the business.

She said: "Greenock is a brilliant part of the world.

"I love working here.

"My favourite thing about the Beacon is the people of Inverclyde, we have had absolutely fantastic audiences. They are joyous.

"The Beacon is a great size of theatre and when it's full it still feels really intimate.

"I really missed seeing all the wee families coming in last year, I'm looking forward to seeing all the nanas and papas out and about again.

"Everyone becomes a big family at a panto."

*To book tickets for Cinderella call the Beacon on 01475 723723 or visit www.beaconartscentre.co.uk