Twink still the ‘King’ of Panto with show in Limerick

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

Leanne Moore, Twink - Adele King - Kamal Ibrahim, part of the central cast of UCH's panto Aladdin, opening in December
TWINK - Adele King - is relating a hilarious tale of high jinks with her old pals Maxie and Dick, involving Richard Harris, his brother Dermot, an open window in a city hotel and a Japanese tourist.

TWINK - Adele King - is relating a hilarious tale of high jinks with her old pals Maxie and Dick, involving Richard Harris, his brother Dermot, an open window in a city hotel and a Japanese tourist.

“I remember Richard and Dermot lifting Dick up and shoving her through a window and the next thing there were screams,” she roars.

“There were a Japanese couple in the room and we threw Dick in the window on top of her. I’d say they are still recovering back in Japan!”

There is something immediately likeable about the star of stage and screen, now approaching her twilight years at 62, calling herself “semi-retired”.

Adele is back in Limerick again this Christmas for another stint in the fully professional panto in the UCH, after a phenomenally successful run last year in Cinderella.

The booking continues a long association with Limerick that King believes is “magnetic”, continually drawing her back to a city that holds her, and her forthright honesty, in high regard.

“The first time I ever played the UCH years ago, from the very first time I stepped on that stage, there was something magic happened,” she explains.

“You can’t put your finger on it, it is a connection with you and that audience and that venue. They treat me so well, they are so warm - the audience and the people in Limerick. Right from the Maxi, Dick and Twink days, I have had a great relationship with Limerick.”

Emma Foote of the UCH talks about Adele’s ‘enormous fanbase’ in Limerick, reflected in the numbers who attended the 25-plus shows in the concert hall last year.

“I just can’t explain it,” says Twink of her popularity in these parts.

“In the worst of my troubles and my times and my marriage break up being all over the papers, I still had about 75% of the wonderful cards and letters I got, come from Limerick and its environs, I couldn’t believe it. It was extraordinary, there is something about the area; me and it are like a magnet to each other.”

The panto queen took some persuading to return to the form she made her own in Dublin.

“They were asking me for quite a few years to do panto, and I said no way, I had long finished that,” she says.

“Then the producer Robert C Kelly took me to UL and they put me up in gorgeous house in the middle of the woods - I was heart broken leaving it, I really was. I loved it. It is the most fantastic complex.”

Dublin’s loss is our gain, as King returns for Aladdin in December, again starring alongside Leanne Moore, Richie Hayes, Richard Lynch and Myles Breen - plus newcomer Kamal Ibrahim in the lead role.

“The calibre of the cast is amazing, everybody is X-Factor, grade A standard,” she says. “They were such happy shows and people sang their way out the aisles and when you see that, you think we must be doing something right. It is such a good feeling and it will be the same again this year.”

Aladdin opens on December 17. See UCH.ie for details.