Wednesday 23 July 2014

Time for a pantomime

Kevin Hughes

Published 22/01/2014|05:36

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Finbarr Coffey (Judge), John McGeever (Marquis), Liz Corkery (Marchioness) and Sean Joy (Seamus).

AS sure as night follows day, panto fans can expect a performance to remember as Killorglin Pantomime Group kicks off its 51st annual series of shows on Sunday.

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AS sure as night follows day, panto fans can expect a performance to remember as Killorglin Pantomime Group kicks off its 51st annual series of shows on Sunday.

What's less certain, though, is that the impressive crew will stick to the traditional panto script.

This year it's Puss in Boots and, true to form, the show has a few unusual twists as it also stars a witch and a wardrobe for good measure.

The fun-filled proceedings kick off with an atmospheric black and white mime before cast members enter the wardrobe for surprise after surprise, helped by 'Wardrobe Mistress' Edel Conway.

Puss in Boots is played by Hazel Devane who has been given a speaking part this year after last year's 'silent' Mother Goose and with plenty to say she certainly hasn't looked back.

Playing the Dame is the evergreen Declan Mangan, Finbarr Coffey plays the Judge and the comedy duo duties this time fall on the shoulders of Colm and Aidan Clifford who perform the roles together for the first time.

The Dame's poor widow has three unfortunate children, the eldest, Seamus, is played by Sean Joy, while Bunny and Daphne are the posh siblings played by Renee Kavanagh and Anita Mangan who returns for her first panto since 2009.

Throw in a Marquis and 'Marchioness', played by Colm McGeever and Lisa Corkery, a Princess (Caroline Hennessy), a wicked witch (Jackie O'Mahony) and an Indian Chief (Kevin Moynihan) and there'll be plenty to keep the audiences entertained. And if all that doesn't work, then there's a special performance by virtuoso Andre Rieu to boot.

Director Declan Mangan says the uptake for this year's show has been stronger than ever.

"We've had a huge turn-out with chorus numbers at 28, our highest ever, and with over 90 per cent turning up each night it's just been great," he said.

Declan revealed that there's been more than a little romance along the way too.

"You know it's going to be a great year when your Musical Director (Martin Hurley) gets engaged on Christmas Day to the Wicked Witch (Jackie O'Mahony) and our Wardrobe Mistress (Edel Conway) also gets engaged to our Indian Chief (Kevin Moynihan) on New Years Day, so there has already been plenty to celebrate," he added.

Meanwhile, Costumier Anne Mangan has again come up trumps with her usual flair for colour and design.

Artistic Director Mike Aherne has created a fairytale background and Stage Manager Paul Walker will have his crew on their toes to cater for the many set changes and a huge chorus.

It all kicks off with a matinee in CYMS Killorglin on Sunday, January 26, at 3pm.

Four evening shows (8pm) follow from Wednesday, January 29, through to Saturday, February 1, and the Killorglin run ends with a 3pm matinee on Sunday, February 2. Booking at CYMS is by phoning 066 9790961.

A further show will be held in the INEC on Killarney Sunday, February 16, at 6pm. Booking is at 064 6671555.


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