With standing ovations and many of the 3,500 audience returning to see the show, Castlebar Pantomime's version of The Wonderful Story of Mother Goose was easily the most enjoyable in 26 years for both audience and cast. The original script became unrecognisable with the directors doing their best to re-write a shorter version, while Walter Donoghue as Mother Goose did his absolute best to ad lib in as many new lines as possible as the shows progressed. But local references, many recognisable faces from around Mayo, a cast of 150 people including 70 junior chorus members, outstanding solo singers, comic lines, colourful dance routines, the hard working Castlebar Pantomime committee as producers, amazing harmonies by musical director John Flatley, imaginative choreography by Jason Guthrie, along with clever direction by Sharon Lavelle and Donna Ruane all resulted in a widely enjoyable production.
Of course no Castlebar Pantomime would be complete without a few unintentional mistakes on stage. This year saw Mother Goose's underskirts parting company from the rest of Walter Donoghue's costume during the ‘You’re The One That I Want’ number, James Murray's moustache while playing Clarence Creep just would not stay put on the Wednesday night show, but was cleverly covered by James who claimed to have a close shave between scenes and carried on, Billy's teddy bear fell off its podium all by itself during a dance number such was its amazement at the standard of the senior chorus dancers. Walter Donoghue was so enthusiastic about using a cane as a prop in the school scene he ended up striking his own hand by accident, the golden eggs proved to be very resilient as they bounced around the stage like gold painted rugby balls, props necessary to the plot being left back stage, and some younger members of the audience, returning for a few shows, shouted up stolen lines to the cast.
Celebrating 25 years within Castlebar Pantomime, an on stage presentation was made to choreographer Jason Guthrie, to Josephine Hall and Maria Summerville for the contribution to the senior chorus, as well as to Walter Donoghue to acknowledge the extent of the work he put into his role as the 2011 Dame. Not forgetting Lar Davis who celebrated his 26th year in Castlebar Pantomime. Even as the props were being taken away, the costumes were packed and stage make was removed for the last time, the cast and crew were already looking forward to returning for its 2012 production. Oh yes they were.