Cast and crew going all out to put on Snow White show in January
New Ross Pantomime Society have only had to cancel two shows in their storied 100-year history and the crew and cast are determined the show will go on in January.
What show you ask: why it’s Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs.
“Trying to keep the magic alive has been challenging,” Mary Nolan admits.
Having worked in props and behind the scenes doing quick costume changes and getting people and materials ready at the last minute, Mary – like all the crew – is used to working under pressure and to a deadline, but one suspects the upcoming show has caused more stress than any prior.
Having stepped into the breach, Mary said: “I am pedalling fervently under the water and trying to look like a swan above.”
Like all productions these days, Snow White is on a tight budget as the cast and crew have not been able to do any fundraising due to Covid restrictions.
“This show was due to run last year when Covid hit. Keith had written a great script. Linda Grace was the director. We already had the cast and people had started to learn their lines and then Covid changed that for all of us.”
To Mary, St Michael’s Theatre is a place of magic.
“No matter what age you are there is nothing quite like sitting down in a theatre and watching a live performance on stage. It’s a shared experience for everybody.”
She said being a part of a show; whether that means you’re an actor on stage or someone sourcing a pink telephone out back, has a magical appeal all its own.
“It’s the laughter, it’s the fun, it’s the banter. There is no politics; no hidden agendas. It’s pure fun and joy. You see it back-stage: everyone working together when sets are being moved around and the lighting and the sound. We all have to work together to bring that onto the stage.”
There will be 11 shows of Snow White, starting on January 8 with tickets already on sale from St. Michael’s Theatre.
“It’s a long time to be together. There is a bond. The panto family has been that way for generations. People will say ‘my great-great-grandfather has tread the boards’ so there has been a connection for many people on that stage. Members of the committee – everyone here – shares that connection.”
Having rehearsed in a hall initially, the cast were thrilled to get back up on stage.
“Tomás has kindly donated this free space to us. We rehearse Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s great because we have the dancers in the green room and the cast on stage and vice versa.
“It’s much better of us to have a stage to develop the characters on. You become that person a lot quicker than you would in a hall. You mix better together when you are on a space you are used to and will be performing on.”
Mary said everyone on the production is excited to finally perform the panto. Keith Flanagan the script writer and Linda Grace the director and choreographer Anne Marie Cooney are working hard to get this show ready for New Ross. Mark Hayden and Ray Shannon are making a magical set in true panto style.
The panto really lights up the social calendar every year in January. “There’s a tradition of families coming for years bringing their children, grandchildren etc. It’s instilled in the town for generations: when you live in New Ross you go to the panto. It’s a right of passage for many.”
The New Ross Pantomime Society will have some upcoming fundraising events over the next few weeks and if you would like to donate and help get this show on the stage then visit their Facebook page where you will find their Go Fund Me Account details.