Friday 19 July 2019

Panto time in the TLT

Tommy Leddy will be saying 'hello now' to another traditional panto this year in his TLT (oh yes he will) and Seamie Briscoe goes backstage

The town of Drogheda and its hinterland will be spoiled for choice at Christmas time this year when a variety of entertainment concerts and pantomimes will celebrate the festive season.

The management at the TLT will continue to stage a Christmas Pantomime this year, something they have been doing since the concert theatre was built by owner Tommy Leddy.

When the town of Drogheda was bereft of suitable venues to stage concerts and pantomimes, it was a pledge successfully undertaken by Tommy Leddy to rectify this situation.

"Last year we put on a professional show which continued our tradition of a Christmas Pantomime, and this year, we decided to run "Sleeping Beauty", something which was decided as far back as last February," says Tommy.

"A year of planning goes into each show, and would you believe we have also already decided on our 2019 Christmas Pantomime which will be "Cinderella".

It has also been confirmed a great script has been commissioned for this year's show and auditions have revealed some fantastic talent for the leading roles and cast of this year's Pantomime.

The TLT assumes huge credit for discovering the burgeoning talent in recent years which the town and surrounding area's now boast since the theatre was built; outlining the success of such ventures as "School Stars" which has seen many young performers emerge from this initiative which is produced by TLT manager, Patrick Leddy, who puts in an enormous amount of work to these talent shows every year.

Patrick is very much a "behind the scenes" operator but, nevertheless, is steeped in the tradition of showbusiness and has been a panto expert himself since he was a teenager. A very shrewd judge of talent, he is the motivator behind the staging of this tears Pantomime in the TLT.

"We did intend to run another professional Pantomime this year but things didn't work out, so we decided to run with the professional script and audition and recruit our own cast," explains Patrick.

"We ran auditions and were overwhelmed with the response we received and as a result we have a splendid cast and excellent frontline leading roles".

The part of "The Dame" will be played by popular Rathkenny Revels man Shay Carey, who has performed in the past with the Navan Pantomime and is a regular performer with 'The Revels".

His comedic skills are well known. The coveted part of "The Princess" will be played by a local girl whose family are steeped in the entertainment tradition Beth Murtagh, who is a product of "KidKast" which is run by her mother, Tracey Martin.

When it comes to playing the part of "The Baddie", this role has been given to Kelly Kierans, a performer who can act and sing and will give "Maleficent" a new dimension. His "sidekick" will be Jack King who will provide ample fodder to Maleficent's antics. Another Rathkenny Revel, who has been described as a natural comedian, will give the audiences plenty of laughter in the part of "Muddles" is Charlie Cullen.

Another panto debutant is Conor Whearty, who has a fine singing voice along with a cheeky comedy side, who will play the role of "The Prince". Clogherhead native Morgan Matthews will assume the aloof part of "The King".

The task of making sure these principle roles fulfil their full potential falls to director Sarah Louisa Nolan, who is a professional vocal teacher and has worked at such prominent theatres such as Bord Gais. Putting the chorus line through their paces will be choreographer Annaleigh Meegan-Murtagh who hails from Clogherhead.

Proceeds will go to Boyneview House on the Dublin Road, Drogheda, in recognition of the care and attention that Tommy's late wife Marie received from the staff and management for the time she was a patient there.

"Sleeping Beauty" will feature in the TLT on the following December dates; Wednesday 19th, Friday 21st at 7pm. Saturday 22nd at 1pm and 7pm, Sunday 23rd at 1pm, Thursday 1pm & 7pm, Sunday 30th at 1pm and 7pm.

Drogheda Independent