Castlebar Pantomime presents Sleeping Beauty

Ger McLoughlin as Nanny has a laugh during rehearsals with Aoife Magee as Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) in Castlebar Pantomime's production of Sleeping Beauty.

Ger McLoughlin as Nanny has a laugh during rehearsals with Aoife Magee as Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) in Castlebar Pantomime's production of Sleeping Beauty.

With 21 pantomime years behind them since their last production of Sleeping Beauty, this year’s production by the Castlebar Pantomime from Thursday, January 9 to Sunday January 12 promises to be one to remember. The usual high standard of production that Castlebar Pantomime has become known for will be on full display as it re-stages this classic fairy tale, last presented on the Castlebar Town Hall stage in 1992. The 2014 version is directed by Donna Ruane, with Jason Guthrie as choreographer and John Flatley being promoted from the 1992 band member to musical director. Having been involved in the 1992 version of Sleeping Beauty, 21 years ago Lar Davis, Deirdre Guthrie, Jimmy Murphy, Tom McGrath, and Garry Wynne again find themselves involved in the 2014 production. This year’s Castlebar Pantomime’s production of Sleeping Beauty has moved down the town to the Theatre Royal stage where anything is possible as this traditional tale is magically brought to life through wit, drama, dance, musical moments, a wealth of singing talents, and glamour. Mairead McDonnell from Manulla and Castlebar's Garry Wynne in their roles of Queen Merry and King Jolly are very evidently in love and delighted with the arrival of their baby girl Aurora, played (as an adult of course ) by Aoife Magee. But not so overjoyed is the evil fairy Deadly Nightshade, played by Natasha Crouch from Castlebar, when she finds out she is not invited to the christening. She gatecrashes the event and announces to all that one day Aurora will cut her finger on a spinning wheel and die. But when she leaves the kind Fairy Snowdrop played by Gemma Todd weakens the spell saying Aurora will not die but she and the castle will fall into a sleep for 100 years and only could be awoken by Aurora receiving a prince's kiss. Naturally King Jolly removes anything even resembling a spinning wheel from the Kingdom of Happy Land. Fast forward to Aurora’s approaching 17th birthday when she meets the handsome Prince Nicholas of the nearby Pleasant Land, also known as Niall Fahey from Castlebar. He and his travelling companion William, played by Shane Dunne from Westport, promise to return to celebrate her birthday with her. Obviously still holding quite a grudge at not being invited to the christening, along with her foul smelling accomplice Compost played by Ester Henry also from Westport, Deadly Nightshade hatches a plan to complete her curse. Deadly Nightshade tricks Princess Aurora into an unused part of the castle, where yes you guessed it, she succeeds in getting Aurora to cut her finger. Will the princess be found in such a desolate part of the castle, can any prince be found to awaken her, or will Deadly Nightshade’s curse succeed and Aurora dies? Ah but Deadly Nightshade does not take into account the royal staff. The maid Velcro, played by Sandra Morely from Kiltimagh, is in awe of the well known Castlebar musician James Garvey who plays a very well spoken Mr Prim the butler. However her would-be boyfriend Zipper played by Antoinette Starken is not too happy about this obsession. So cue Velcro, Zipper, Mr Prim, along with Dame Nanny Fanny, played by Ger McLoughlin from Claremorris, heading off in search of Prince Nicholas to bring him back to the castle. But will they succeed? Will Aurora and the rest of the castle fade from people’s memories gathering dust and cobwebs, will the staff ever find any prince, anywhere, will they even bother to risk getting cut with brambles and just save themselves? Plenty more locals will take to the stage to join in the fun and frolics over the four nights of what promises to be side-splitting laughter. For more information or tickets log on to www.theroyal.ie or call 094 9023111.

 

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