Sunday 15 December 2019

Peter Pan is just one of the great shows

Panto's dying? oh no it isn't!

THERE'S just four words that debunk any notion that the traditional panto is going out of fashion; "oh no it isn't".

It's definitely not, and with a star-studded cast this year's Gaiety Panto, Peter Pan, is shaping up to be one of the best yet; oh yes it… well, you get the picture.

Johnny Ward, Paulie in Love/Hate, plays the hero and is no stranger to the Christmas panto tradition.

"Having performed in the panto two years ago, I know first hand how much hard work, as well as fun it is going to be!"

For those with a deprived childhood, Peter Pan is a swashbuckling story brought to life by Wendy Darling who tells bedtime stories to her brothers John and Michael.

The stories tell the tale of Peter's battles with formidable pirate leader, Captain Hook, and the Darling children find themselves part of the story when Peter flies into their nursery and takes them to the mysterious kingdom of Neverland.

It's probably safe to say most children in the audience won't have seen Johnny Ward menacing about in Love/Hate and director and choreographer Daryn Crosbie believes adults will be surprised by his performance as Pan.

"Johnny is the perfect fit for Peter Pan," he explains. "Not only is he an excellent actor, his singing and dancing skills will surprise you. He brings a devil-may-care attitude to the role, mixed with the boyish charm that you expect from the character of Peter Pan."

Peter Pan begins a six-week run from December 1 and tickets priced from €19.50 (including booking fee) are available from Ticketmaster and the Gaiety Theatre Box Office.

H SANTA Claus might be coming to town but if you can't wait for the big man the best place to catch him is at Blessington Lakeshore.

It might seem like an unlikely destination for our Christmas hero, but the team at Avon Ri Lakeshore Resort and Adventure Centre have created something of a supergrotto in Kildare.

There's the Christmas Trail Quiz, an Elf Zipline, a Magic Wishing Stone, loads of arts and crafts and Christmas Family Movies as well as a Christmas food and local craft market every weekend from now until Christmas.

The €18 entry fee includes a gift and hot chocolate for each child as well as free admittance for one adult. Kids can also eat free in Café Claus and there's discounts available on all Avon Ri adventure centre activities. Booking for Santa's Lakeshore Wonderland is available online at

H JUNE Rodgers has become almost become as much a Christmas tradition as mince pies and she'll be packing them in (people, not pies!) once again this year at the Red Cow Moran Hotel.

Last year's Christmas Show was a phenomenal success and June's antics for this upcoming festive run are set to be even funnier, more irreverent and more unpredictable than ever before.

In addition to the mayhem and madness that comes courtesy of June and her stellar crew, the all-new production features a stock of brand new, hilarious characters.

The fun starts next Friday, November 28, and runs until Monday December 29 before moving to the Silver Springs, Cork on January 2 and 3.

A Shop, Show and Stay package price starts from €99 per person, and includes overnight accommodation, a full Irish breakfast and tickets for the June Rodgers meal and show.

Visit for details.

H NOT even Alan Hughes could have imagined when he first performed as Sammy Sausages that he'd still be playing the much-loved character 18 years later.

But thanks to consistently good performances and a winning partnership with Karl Broderick the Cheerios Panto has developed from humble beginnings in St Anthony's hall on Dublin's quayside into a family festive 'must-do'.

This year's Cinderella cast includes plenty of famous faces like Nadia Forde, fresh from her jungle experience, Rory Cowan from Mrs Brown, Eurovision winner Niamh Kavanagh and the always popular Rob Murray as Buffy.

Cinderella at the Tivoli Theatre will feature this year's top chart hits and lots of mesmerising special effects.

Full details available online at and tickets are available from Tivoli Theatre box office on 01-4544472.

SPECTACULAR: June Rodgers' hilarious new show

FESTIVE FUN: Love/Hate star Johnny Ward and the rest of the Peter Pan cast

Irish Independent

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