THE props have been assembled, Noeleen Murphy has been busy with the needles and pins designing the costumes and cast members have been feverishly learning lines, as the opening night of Sixmilebridge Youth Club’s panto draws near.
For the past few months, under the watchful eyes of producer, Frances Downes and co-producer, Suzanne Carmody , the club members have been having the time of their lives as they prepare for Hansel and Gretel.
The pantomime follows the story of the brother and sister, played by David Carroll and Caitriona Gallagher respectively, as they set off on an adventure to find a house of candy owned by Witch Winnie Wonka, a role played by Shauna Kerin.
The duo’s father Sonny Day, portrayed by Gerard O’Dea, decides to bring a slice of colour and singing to the household, so he hires a nanny named Mary Poppins, played by Liam Togher, as he takes on the role of the traditional panto dame.
Ciara Downes assumes the role of Tamara Blackheart, who is adored by Sonny but disliked by everybody else for her cruel treatment of Hansel and Gretel. Mary Poppins’ two children, Dora and Diego, are played by Áine Freeman and Kate Flynn respectively.
The pantomime is narrated by Cristel Shannon, in the guise of fairy Perfect Day, while Edward Shannon features as Prince Elvis and Donagh Cadogan takes on the role of Prince Charming.
Witch Wonka’s three sidekicks, the Oompa Loompas, are played by Pádraig Shannon, Andrew Shannon and Sean Devanny. The cast is completed by Alanna Marsh, Amy Stanley, Aoife Downes, Finia O’Brien, Ciarán Semahadi, Paul Hamilton, Áine Sweeney, Cathal Greene and Grace Reid.
There will be plenty of colourful costumes, singing and dancing along with, as always, a great deal of audience participation. The show is expertly choreographed by Lauren Kelly.
The show runs over two weekends, with all performances at 8pm. The first show kicks off on Friday, February 21 in the local GAA hall and there will also be a show the following evening. The following weekend’s performances are on Friday, February 28 and Saturday, March 1.
Ray said it was a very easy decision to stay with the pantomime theme, given the success of past productions.
“I think it’s safe to say this time of year is pantomime season in Sixmilebridge” he acknowledged.
“The standards have been set and maintained over the last few years but this year the cast are determined to raise the bar even higher. It promises to be a very enjoyable and entertaining show and we hope the club gets the support it deserves from the local community,” he added.