Panto season in Limerick in full flow

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

NOW that Christmas is done and dusted, the real fun began this week. Panto season kicked off in Limerick as of this Wednesday, with two big budget productions to entertain the masses.

NOW that Christmas is done and dusted, the real fun began this week. Panto season kicked off in Limerick as of this Wednesday, with two big budget productions to entertain the masses.

Limerick Panto Society begin their 27th annual production this Wednesday at the University Concert Hall, while Richie Ryan’s CentreStage saw the return of panto to the Belltable for the first time in several years this Tuesday with the start of their version of the timeless tale, Cinderella.

Both productions run until January 8, 2012.

Ryan’s production of Cinderella is guaranteed to be a rib tickler, given that celebrated playwright Mike Finn has adapted it and Myles Breen and Darren Shine star as the two ugly sisters.

Mike Finn explained that it is “important to get that mix of comedy and plot just right”

“It’s the same mayhem, fun and excitement that always makes the panto such a hilarious show for all the family,” he added.

Cinderella will be played by Hilary Burke while Conor J Ryan plays the part of Prince Bertie and Jarad Nadin plays the part of Buttons. the CentreStage Kids and Teens groups also take part.

Meanwhile, a cast and crew of over 100 - who have been rehearsing since September - take to the stage in UCH this Wednesday for Aladdin.

Spotlight Stage School and Expressive Arts provide the bulk of a big chorus group, while principals are led by the supremely talented Nigel Dugdale in the lead role. Joining him are Tim Cusack as the Dame, Charlene Hurley will as Princess Sukiyaki and Annie actress Nastasia Vashko as the Genie of the Bottle.

Limerick Panto Society continue their long standing policy of supporting children’s charities and this year the charity night - Thursday - is in aid of Cystic Fibrosis Mid West.

John Finn has penned the adaptation of the classic tale and will himself tread the boards as the evil Abanazer and producer Tony Cusack is promising a wildly entertaining show “from flying carpets to popular songs that will have everyone from 8 to 80 rolling the aisles”.

Tickets for both shows are on sale now and group bookings are available. Contact the Belltable on 061-319866 or see www.belltable.ie. Contact UCH on 061-331549 or see www.uch.ie.