celeb panto stars keep the crowds coming
Panto is still a big draw for children. The rise of the celebrity guest star, such as Pamela Anderson and David Hasselhoff in pantomimes in the UK, has helped keep the crowds coming.
This year the announcement that Jedward will join Linda Martin in 'Cinderella' at the Olympia theatre next month was particularly popular. The Grimes twins will be on stage as fairy godbrothers from December 22 to January 9.
"Panto is a big deal and is a harder sell these days with all the competition. Jedward were great to get. When we had them outside for a photo shoot there were over 200 screaming kids outside," says event promoter Brian Hand.
"They were signing autographs and chatting to fans for an hour. All the kids started Facebooking and texting each other so they all know when they're around.
"Ninety-nine per cent of the panto cast are kids," he says. "There are six to eight traditional show themes that are rotated from year to year and this year it's 'Cinderella'. Families come up to Dublin for the day to see the show. The key thing is that it's fun, fast paced and always has a live band."
There's more 'X-Factor' fun in store in Dublin's Gaiety Theatre's Christmas panto, where Louis Walsh will play the voice of The Master of the World in 'Aladdin'. The Gaiety has also lured Boyzone star Mikey Graham and it opens on November 28.