independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Starring role in Snow White is fairytale come true for Megan

**** NO REPRODUCTION FEE **** DUBLIN :  20/12/2013 : Pictured was Snow White (actress Megan Cassidy) with members of the Dublin Gay Men's Chorus Choir. Snow White sparkles at Simon Carolathon. Panto star launches 24 hours of singing to end homelessness. Snow White (actress Megan Cassidy) brought a bit of magic to Grafton Street this afternoon as she took time out from performing in this year's panto at the Gaiety Theatre (running until Jan 19) to launch Dublin Simon Community's 24-Hour Carolathon along with the Dublin Gay Men's Chorus Choir. The event marks 24 hours of singing to raise funds for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and runs from 5.30pm on Friday 20th December until 5.30pm, Saturday 21st December. Hundreds of people including many professional choirs, Dublin Simon Community residents, volunteers and staff will use their voice to help end homelessness. Picture Conor McCabe Photography.
Megan Cassidy as Snow White. Photo: Conor McCabe

THE star of 'Snow White' is living her childhood dream as she appears as the leading lady in one of the country's favourite pantomimes.

Megan Cassidy is making her Gaiety panto debut this year, but it was another panto that first inspired her to get into acting.

"I remember seeing Samantha Mumba as Maid Marian in a production of 'Robin Hood', I think in the Olympia, when I was about eight," she recalled.

"She did a meet-and-greet after the show and it was possibly the most exciting moment of my life.

"I remember how that felt, so today when I'm doing my meet-and-greets, I know this could be the moment that changes someone's life.

"I auditioned for the Gaiety panto almost every year since I was 17 -- I was mad to be in it," she said.

"I'd started doing musical theatre at home in Waterford and was bitten by the bug straight away. There are so many great pantos in Ireland, but the Gaiety is the big one."

TALENT

Megan (24) also presents and scripts 'The Curious World of Professor Fun and Doctor Dull', a children's art programme for RTE.

When she was still in school, she auditioned for BBC talent-search programme 'How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria' and reached the final 30 out of 6,000 hopefuls.

"I was about to do my Leaving Cert, but I knew then what I wanted to do, and that was perform.

"This panto is my dream come true -- there really is nothing quite like playing to a packed house twice a day."

The longest-running pantomime in Ireland is at the Gaiety Theatre, which opened in Dublin's South King Street in 1871.

Part of the licence granted to the original owners included permission to stage pantomime, which they did for the first time in December 1873.

Panto has its origins in a form of theatre developed by travelling Italian actors, who followed the rule that "a man will be dressed as a dame, a woman will be the principal boy. There will be some slapstick and buffoonery".

Irish Independent

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