KEITH Duffy is to replace Twink in the UCH Limerick panto Jack and the Beanstalk, it has been confirmed.
The Boyzone star will replace Twink, who was released from her contract last week due to ‘artistic and contractual differences’. It will be Duffy’s first appearance in panto in Ireland.
Producer Robert C Kelly said that Duffy would take on the role of the ‘Baddie’ in Jack and the Beanstalk, with Limerick actor Myles Breen to step into Twink’s shoes as the Dame in the production, which opens on December 16.
“I’m very excited to be heading to University Concert Hall for Jack and The Beanstalk,” said Keith in a statement issued this lunchtime.
“This will be my first time in panto at home in Ireland and I’ve heard great things about this one in Limerick so I look forward to getting into the rehearsal room and getting started. It’s an added bonus to be playing the Baddie – I can have great fun with that!”
Panto veteran Myles Breen, who has appeared alongside Twink and fellow cast members Richard Lynch, Leanne Moore and others over the past two years as the Concert Hall tackled fully professional panto, said he was “honoured to be asked to play the role of Dame”.
“It is fantastic for me to finish Limerick’s City of Culture year at home, in Ireland’s starriest pantomime and in a professional production of this standard,” he said.
“2014 has been a fantastic year for Limerick and for me, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and now I’m delighted to be ending it with a bang,” he added.
Fair City’s George McMahon also stars in the show, alongside Richie Buckley.
Twink confirmed in an interview with the Sunday Independent at the weekend that she was “fired” from the show.
A statement from producer Robert C Kelly and the UCH sent out late on Friday said she would not be appearing in the panto having been released from her role due to ‘contractual and artistic differences’.
It was due to be Twink’s third straight panto in Limerick under the producer and long time collaborator, but this has unravelled.
She said she was “devastated” by the decision, apparently made after she turned up late for the recent press launch. In his dismissal letter, Mr Kelly reportedly said she did not “comport herself in an appropriate manner”, missed the photocall and speeches and made “derogatory comments when media were in the wider vicinity”.
Eyebrows were raised when she was not made available for interviews - unlike at previous launches - with assembled media.
She claimed in the interview that she had been accused of “vile things” and “could not speak to media and assembled guests about a production I knew precious little about”.
Jack and the Beanstalk opens on December 16 and runs until January 4.