Magical Wizard of Westport all set to appear in the new year

Santa And Missus Claus were greeting by some of the cast members of ‘The Wizard of Westport’ on sunday during Sproai na Nollaig that took place at Westport Town Hall. Pic Conor McKeown

Santa And Missus Claus were greeting by some of the cast members of ‘The Wizard of Westport’ on sunday during Sproai na Nollaig that took place at Westport Town Hall. Pic Conor McKeown

Westport Town Hall Theatre is a busy spot at the moment as preparations are in full swing to have the next Community Pantomime ready for January 2019. "The Wizard of Westport" by Brendan Williams will be staged in Westport Town Hall Theatre for seven shows from Tuesday January 1 to Sunday January 6, 2019.

This exciting new Pantomime will see a cast, chorus and crew of over 50 people of all ages take to the Town Hall Theatre stage, following the roaring success of their very first Pantomime in January 2018.

Sitting in the Director's chair for the production this year is Brian Murphy, an active member of St Patrick's Drama Group, who also had a starring role in last year's Pantomime "Prince Handsome".

The music for the production is overseen, directed and performed by Gerry McNally, who will be joined by David "Granny" Ward and Anthony McNamee - whose expertise in the field of music and performing are a welcome addition to the front line of this fantastic, locally produced community project.

Shane Hingerton, who happens to be home in Westport for Christmas, is also delighted to be part of this amazing one-off musical collaboration with McNally and the two lads. Local artist and keen piano teacher, Laurice Van Den Oosten, has also been a welcome addition to the Town Hall production team. Choreographer, Colette McGinty, has also been on hand to put the cast through their paces with the ever-important dance moves - all combined to bring this quirky story to life.

Following open auditions last September, the large cast aged from seven up to 80 years, includes many newcomers to the stage as well as some seasoned, well-known local actors, such as Lennie Grimes in the part of the Good Witch, Philip Murphy as Wurzel and Conor Clarke as Dodo the Dog. New members to the Panto this year include Sharla Greenway, who plays The Bad Witch, Anna O Riain as Doris, Chloe McGing as "Leo", Eliza Carr as Ironman with Ruan McCabe taking the part of the Narrator.

The all-singing all-dancing chorus that brings its own touch of magic to this production include: Adam O'Brien, Chloe Gill, Melody Corcoran, Eleanor McNally, Ivie Carr, Aoibhin Sexton, Emma McDermott, Alex Bennett, Lily Needham, Hannah Sexton, Grace McGrath, Saoirse Monroe, Mary Grimes and Lily Grimes - to name but a few! Other quirky cast and characters include Ciara and Trudy Brennan, Manus Marshall, Sophie Clough, Serena Walsh and Maud McCabe.

This exciting production continues to pool together Westport's unmistakable community spirit and talents to produce an all-encompassing show that will delight and entertain audiences of all ages. The Wizard of Westport is based on a story as old as time that sees Doris and Dodo, a young girl and her talking dog, being magically transported to a strange land, where their house falls and kills a witched witch. In order to get back home they must find the Wizard of Westport while avoiding the other wicked witch. On their way they meet some familiar characters who all need the Wizard’s help. Will Doris and Dodo make their way home safely? Will the wicked witch get her revenge or will everyone live happily every after?

From the panto-people who brought you ‘Prince Handsome’, you can expect an all-singing, all-dancing, laugh-out-loud show. Oh! Yes, you can!!

For full details on "The Wizard of Westport" Panto, check out www.westporttheatre.com or call 098 28459.

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