Wednesday 17 October 2018

A panto comes to town for first time

Ciara Finan

"He's behind you!" These words remind us that as Christmas draws closer, pantomime season is upon us again.

Manorhamilton's The Glens Centre and The Rabbit's Riot Theatre Company are now throwing their hat into the ring with the town's first ever pantomime, Little Red & the Black Dog.

Based on the classic fairy-tale Little Red Riding Hood, this version has a few surprises in store and promises to put a unique twist on a much-loved classic.

Written by local playwright Treasa Nealon, who has had work performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, says: "the idea of showcasing a pantomime has been in talks for a long time, with the concept first being established by The Glens Centre Director, Susan McKay."

Treasa continues: "The pantomime was written in September and for the past two months, the entire cast has been dedicating their time to rehearsing twice weekly."

It's been full steam ahead with preparations for opening night as Teresa says: "The cast is made up of a group that ranges from all ages, with the youngest performers being six years old."

Everyone was welcome to take part in the production. Quite the production indeed, according to Treasa there is "an army of talent behind it."

Directed by Sonia Norris, co-founder of The Rabbit's Riot Theatre Company, the show also features an original song from singer-songwriter Cian Rock and Kila's Dee Armstrong has given a guiding and helping hand with set and costumes.

No doubt there are some future stars amongst the cast as well with aspiring young actors from St. Clare's Comprehensive, Ursuline College and Sligo Grammar School featuring in the production.

Treasa Nealon explains that the funding for this exciting new pantomime has come from Creative Ireland, a government programme that is a five-year initiative, from 2017 to 2022, which 'places creativity at the centre of public policy.'

No doubt the production will be a massive success. Already Treasa has not ruled out writing another pantomime for next Christmas.

Treasa gives a sneak peek at the story of Little Red & the Black Dog: "When the villainous Mr Toad and his side-kick, the Wolf, want to bulldoze Granny's house in order to build a new resort, it is up to Little Red, her country girl band and their manager (who bears a resemblance to celebrity 'momager' Kris Jenner) to save the day."

To find out what happens, Little Red & the Black Dog will be showing at The Glens Centre, Manorhamilton from Friday 15th to Sunday 17th December with a total of four performances. Tickets are already selling out quickly so make sure to book, fun for all the family is guaranteed.

Sligo Champion