Leanne Moore is Belle of the ball at University Concert Hall

Panto up and running and already heading to sold out territory

Elaine Holmes

Reporter:

Elaine Holmes

Leanne Moore is Belle of the ball at University Concert Hall

Leanne Moore as Belle with the Beast in the UCH panto, which opened this week Picture: Sean Curtin

THE much anticipated Spar University Concert Hall pantomine began this week with a host of sold-out showings.

This year’s pantomine – the much-loved Disney classic Beauty and the Beast – features performances from well-known faces such as Myles Breen, Leanne Moore, Karl Spain, Aoibhin Garrihy, George McMahon, Richie Hayes, John Brannoch, Richard Lynch and Tom O’Mahony.

Leanne Moore plays the leading role of Belle, and said that she is confident that this year will be “the best year yet”.

“All of the three Christmas shows were completely booked out since last week and all of the shows the next week are heavily booked as well. That’s unbelievable and I don’t think we’ve ever had that before that early.

“This is our fifth birthday in UCH and we’ve put an unbelievable amount of work over the last five years. We will definitely raise the bar even higher this year,” she enthused.

“I love seeing all of the magic happen and seeing everything come to life. The school shows started on Monday and I was so excited.

“I was a bit more nervous this year than other years, but I think that’s because I really believe that this year to be the very best so far.”

Ms Moore also said that the team was working extra hard this year, and that the mix of familiar faces and newcomers to the UCH pantomine is what makes this year so much more enjoyable.

“The whole team is working so hard and we have new faces this year as well. The costumes are absolutely fantastic this year and they are my favourite so far. This panto is really and truly suitable for all ages because the humour applies to all ages.

“There’s jokes that just the adults will get and there’s jokes for the kids too. The fun and the mayhem alone is hilarious, but the hard work and dedication of the team is what ties it all together and has raised the standard so high this year,” she explained.

Ms Moore also encouraged those who haven’t experienced the panto before to give it a chance.

“If there’s anyone coming who has already been to the panto, they’ll know that it’s a night of great fun and hilarious laughs but if there’s anyone who hasn’t been before, I would say to them to give panto a chance.

“Some people are skeptical of panto and think it’s a bit silly but in reality it is an enjoyable and wonderful experience for all. Once they give it a chance, it will become a yearly ritual. It’s just so much fun,” she said.

Panto is something that Ms Moore is extremely passionate about and that she really enjoys.

“This is my fifth panto at UCH and panto is a big part of my Christmas every year. It has become an essential part of Christmas in Limerick. I think that if anyone hasn’t experienced panto they really need to. It’s just brilliant!”

Beauty and the Beast will continue until January 8, with 23 shows between St Stephen’s Day and January 8. Ticket prices range from €15 to €28 per person.

For more details visit www.uch.ie.