Mayo's longest running pantomime, the Castlebar pantomime, presents at the Royal Theatre, Castlebar, from January 12 to 16 its production of The Wonderful Story of Mother Goose. Mother Goose, who is played by Castlebar pantomime dame supremo Walter Donoghue, has it all — family, friends, Fairyland fairies looking out for her, and a magical golden egg laying goose. Mother Goose lives with her beautiful daughter Jill Goose (Tara Kelly from Kiltimagh ) and a loveable son Billy Goose (David Tobin ) in their humble home in Merrilea. The only shadow on people's happiness in Merrilea is the aptly named Clarence Creep, Squire of Cheatham Hall (cleverly played by James Murray from Coarsepark, Castlebar ). His brother was the previous Squire of Merrilea but strangely did not make out a will to protect his son Colin (Terry O'Hara ) from a life of poverty and by law all rights as a squire were passed to Clarence Creep. Was this really justice or the work of the conniving Clarence Creep?
Meanwhile in Fairyland Mother Goose is recognised as a poor, hard-working, loving mother who has been drawn to the attention of the good Fairy Harmony (Paula O'Neill ). However this opinion is not shared by the wicked fairy Discord (Antoinette Starken ), who sets out to prove that mortals do not deserve the fairies’ blessings. The Fairy Queen (Karen Conway ), takes up Discord’s challenge against the goodness of mortals, stating that if Discord can tempt Mother Goose into a selfish life Discord can have her throne, but if Discord fails, Discord will be taught a severe lesson. Will Discord succeed or will she fail only to be banished forever more from Fairyland? Or will the Fairy Queen's plan of sending Priscilla the magic goose (Annie Sheerin ) to earth played save Mother Goose from the evil fairy Discord?
Clarence Creep intends on evicting Mother Goose from her home with the help of his bungling bailiffs Sage (Philip McDonagh another Castlebar Pantomime veteran ) and his side kick (Joe Maher ). However his plans are hampered by the return of his nephew Colin who also has won the heart of Jill Goose, none of this sits well with Clarence Creep who is in fouler mood than usual. However he is soon distracted with thoughts of obtaining Priscilla the Goose as she makes Mother Goose rich beyond her dreams as she lays golden egg after golden egg. Will Clarence succeed in tricking Mother Goose into believing he cares about her and steal Priscilla the Goose away from her? Or will Mother Goose keep a clear head and see through his deception even though she wants to be loved? As the bad fairy Discord tempts Mother Goose with youthful looks, will Mother Goose realise that these will not make her any more popular or desirable than she already is or will she prove that Fairy Discord,s claim that “Mortals are selfish and vain” and so win Discord the Fairy land crown?
With a hilarious script, talented actors, dancers, singers and the splendour of the Royal Theatre, Castlebar, plus tickets now on sale, this is one panto you cannot afford to miss in the pantomime land of Merrilea and The Wonderful Story of Mother Goose. Shows running nightly from Wednesday January 12 to Saturday 16 of January at 7.45pm and matinees Saturday January 15 and Sunday January 16 at 2.45pm. Special rate of €12 for all tickets on Wednesday night. All tickets including family tickets are on sale from the Royal Theatre box office and usual outlets.