Highlands & Islands

Malice in Wonderland event to launch winter festival

Sir John Tenniel's illustration of Alice in Wonderland
Image caption The Halloween show will give its own twist to Lewis Carroll's original story

A Halloween show called Malice in Wonderland will launch this year's Inverness Winter Festival.

Taking place on 29 and 30 October, the performances will feature more than 100 people and characters called Malice and Mad Morag.

Last year's Halloween show, which had a pirate theme, saw a Jolly Roger flown above Inverness town house.

However, the flag was later removed after a complaint from a former merchant seaman.

It was understood the former sailor complained that it was inappropriate given incidents of piracy off Somalia.

This year's performances will include an opportunity for spectators to walk a 1,300m circuit around the city's Ness Islands.

With performers from Eden Court Theatre, the event will give its own twist to Lewis Carroll's story Alice in Wonderland.

Characters will include the Queen of Tarts and the Mad Hatter's Scottish mother, Mad Morag.

Highland's events officer Gerry Reynolds said the unusual title for the show reflected efforts to attract and entertain people of all ages.

The winter festival runs from October through to 31 December and is regarded as one of Highland Council's biggest celebrations.

Other events include a fireworks display and Christmas lights switch on in November and a Rudolph's Christmas Party and a Hogmanay Party in December.

Thousands of people attended last year's Halloween event, with many wearing fancy dress.

Festival chairman Roy Pedersen said "We decided to announce details of the theme for this year's show early because we have received a number of messages in recent weeks from folk who wanted to know what we had in mind so that they could get started on sorting out their costumes and getting all their friends organised."

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