PANTO season is back at the Beacon with a local children's charity helping fill the theatre.

Cinderella and her wicked step sisters were forced off the stage by the pandemic last year, but this time round they were ready to bring the laughs back.

As the doors opened for the first performance director Pauline O'Kane and her team were front of house to welcome all the excited children and grown ups.

Taking pride of place in the audience were some of the youngsters treated to a memorable trip thanks to Children in Poverty Inverclyde, a cause that has touched the hearts of local people.

Director Pauline O'Kane said: "I can't tell you how it feels to have everyone back in here for panto. We are delighted to welcome Children in Poverty Inverclyde, who are always so supportive of the Beacon.

"It is lovely to see them all again. We also have other schools as well which is great

"It is great to see all the happy faces. The tickets for our shows are going great and long may it continue."

Pauline and her team were gutted to have to cancel the panto last year as the Covid pandemic hit.

This year they were delighted to get the green light.

Children in Poverty Inverclyde gave youngsters from Bluebird Family Centre, St Francis Primary and St Patrick's, were all at the first show.

As they came in the door youngsters four year old Naiya Carpenter, from Bluebird, said: "Cinderalla is my favourite princess I can't wait."

She was with three year old Hallie Hannah.

They were then treated to a fantastic explosion of panto fun with favourites Jane McCarry, as the evil Baroness Demonica, Mark Cox, a wicked stepsister.

The group are joined Lucy Hutchison as Fairy Aurora and Kim Allan, as Cinderella.

Aileymill Nursery and Larkfield Early Learning Centre are also at another show.

A charity foundation run by Scotland football captain Andy Roberston AR26 also joined forces with Pat to welcome the children as they came in.

Head of partnerships Amanda Nisanci said: "We are always delighted to help Pat and his charity. He does incredible work. It is great to be here."

Photos by Duncan Bryceland.