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Robinson Crusoe woos the crowds


THE Marian Players' annual pantomime is a firm fixture in the calendar for those residing either side of the Cork/Kerry county bounds. And their current staging of 'Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates' this week is adding to its reputation as a must-see event.

That's down to its unique blend of songs, laughter, joy and intrigue in Rathmore Community Centre.

Those associated in the production are maintaining a long and valued theatrical tradition from the Sliabh Luachra Region of North West Cork and East Kerry.

Robinson Crusoe returns from sea, the evil Pirates has plans to steal the map which leads to the treasure and the pirates will stop at nothing to achieve their goal in the true sense of adventure. The cast, backstage team and technical crew have been working hard to put together something extra special for the 27th hosting.

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Spokesman Val Moynihan relates this year's panto boasts a cast of 50 adults and more than 60 children.

"Robinson Crusoe" will raise funds for the Kerry Parents and Friends Rathmore project, a charity the panto group have been supporting for the past 26 years, " he said.

The cast includes many familiar faces in addition to new talent from Millstreet, Ballydaly, Cullen, Rathcoole, Derinagree, Knocknagree, Banteer and the Kerry side of the border.

"It's community based and allows us to showcase the rich store of talent that exists in North West Cork and East Kerry. For the past 26 years its success can be attributed to the phenomenal work and skills of our cast, volunteers and the assistance from the local community," said Mr. Moynihan.

Given the inclement weather of late, the panto is a joy with dollops of comedy, twists and the best of song and chorus to "In the Jungle", Nathan Carter's "Wagon Wheel", Abba's "SOS", the Lumineers "Ho Hey" with plenty of Miley Cyrus, Lucy Spraggan and Harry Bellafonte also thrown in the mix.

And young and old will sing along to the age old sailor classic "Trasna na dTonnta".

Robinson Crusoe is played by Shane Dillane with Polly performed by Michelle O'Callaghan.

Elsewhere there is Jimmy Kelly, David Twomy, Genie O'Leary, Mike Cronin, Brian Hickey, Margaret O'Sullivan, Matt O'Riordan, Derry Healy, Pat O'Sullivan and Daren Nagle.

Producer is Brian Hickey, Margaret O'Sullivan (director), Mary Dilworth (musical director), Nora Coakley (cheoreography), Eilis Coakley (costumes), Val Moynihan (lighting), Rosie Healy (childrens scene) and Maureen Hickey (patrons night).

A large chorus adds to the enjoyment of the production and the enthusiastic cast is supported by young boys and girls drawn from local national schools. Loyal faces crossing the county bounds are Una O'Mahony, Joanne Dennehy, Rachel Courtney, Michael Dilworth, Tim O'Donoughue (Knocknagree), Jenifer O'Sullivan, Helena Herlihy, Bernie O'Sullivan (Cullen), Enya Guerin, Anne Marie Murphy (Ballydaly), Eileen Hartnett (Banteer), Margaret Dennehy (Millstreet), Denis O'Shea (Derinagree) and Jim O'Sullivan (Rathcoole).

Curtains for the current production are up and running in Rathmore Community Centre on this Thursday (8 p.m.), Saturday, (8 p.m.) and Sunday (3 p.m.).