Wexford People

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The Oyster Lane Theatre Group is busy preparing to pace the boards once again this month with what promises to be a fantastic show for all the family. The Disney classic 'Beauty and the Beast' will be brought to life on stage as part of the 59th annual Wexford Fringe Festival, which coincides with the Opera Festival. This glittering production runs from October 24 to 30 at the Dun Mhuire theatre.

The cast and crew, who have been busy rehearsing since June, took Saturday night off to officially launch the show at the Westgate Heritage Centre in Selskar. Caroline O'Connell who plays Mrs. Potts described the night as the point of no return. 'It's just two weeks until the show opens. Now there's no turning back!'

Alan Corcoran, outgoing President of OLTG, spoke of the founding ethos of the group, ' to blend youth with experience' and essentially to 'give young people a chance'. A Powerpoint presentation of the group in rehearsals echoed this, as it showed members - young and old - getting to grips with dance routines choreographed by director Suzanne O'Leary. Maria Gore, who plays the role of Babette, paid homage to the enthusiasm and dedication of all the young people involved in the show. 'Without them it would be impossible to cast a show like this,' she said. Special guest on the night was Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin who explained that although he is tasked with regenerating the country's economy, he is certain that shows such as the OLTG's 'Beauty and the Beast' will help 'regenerate the country's spirit and soul'. When asked after the launch if he had ever been involved in acting on a personal level, Minister Howlin jokingly remarked that people often consider the role of a public representative as an actor of sorts.

Tickets for 'Beauty and the Beast' go on sale this Saturday and are available at the Dun Mhuire Theatre box office, 053-9123061.

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