It’s panto sea­son so raise the roof!

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Living - - THEATRE -

Wher­ever you live in Ire­land, there’s a whole lot of fun com­ing to a theatre near you, writes Jonathan deburca But­ler

IT’S the most won­der­ful time of the year... oh no it isn’t... oh, yes it is... it’s panto sea­son and this year, there are a seem­ingly un­lim­ited num­ber of sparkling spec­ta­cles fea­tur­ing men in dresses and kids in cos­tumes to choose from.

Whether you’re in Dublin or in a county far-far away from the cap­i­tal, this year, it’s just a click of the heels to a theatre near you. Jack Frost but in the end love will con­quer all... or will it? Un­til Jan 20; from €17; group and school dis­counts; gai­etythe­atre.ie

Tem­pus Pro­duc­tions is bring­ing Cin­derella to the north-side this year. Their pro­duc­tion boasts a star-stud­ded cast which in­cludes Red Rock and Tu­dors ac­tor, John Lovett, and ev­ery­one’s favourite Fair City bad guy, Eric Lalor.

You will be glued to your seat as Cin­derella goes up against her two ugly step­sis­ters, Whit­ney & Brit­ney, and tries to get to the ball. For fans of ro­mance and tales of tri­umph over evil this show is sure to be a shoe-in (ker-tisch!). Dec 19-Jan 6, from €19.50 lib­er­ty­panto.com Jam-packed with the mag­nif­i­cent scenery, cos­tumes, live mu­sic, spec­tac­u­lar dance rou­tines, com­edy ca­pers and mag­i­cal spe­cial ef­fects, this pro­duc­tion of Aladdin prom­ises to rub you up the right way. When it comes to panto, Cork Opera House re­ally does go to town and this year it’s go­ing to do it on a magic car­pet. Ev­ery­thing you and your fam­ily could wish for. Now to Jan 20, from €27.50; Fam­ily tick­ets €90 & €120 grass, splishy splashy rivers and oozy, squelchy mud in search of a bear. Dec 19-Dec 30, from €17.50; Fam­ily, scools and group dis­counts avail­able

Wex­ford’s Opera House is run­ning just eight shows over three days at the end of De­cem­ber — so you’ll need to be up early in the morn­ing to catch tick­ets. The cast fea­tures Fair City’s Aoib­heann Mccaul as the evil Malef­i­cent who tries to ruin Christ­mas by cast­ing a spell over Beauty, played by Clara Mur­ray of RTE Jr fame.

One can only hope that the Hand­some Prince (Ge­orge Mcma­hon) can save the day and bring a ray of hope, love and maybe a slice of toast with straw­berry jam to the sunny south­east. Pricey, but worth it for the venue alone. Dec 27-30; from €25; fam­ily ticket €80

Af­ter a planned wed­ding be­tween two of Ire­land’s most suc­cess­ful Euro­vi­sion stars, for the sole pur­pose of pro­vid­ing a ge­net­i­cally per­fect Euro­vi­sion star of the fu­ture, Beauty has been se­lected to rep­re­sent Ire­land in the Euro­vi­sion Song Con­test.

The Wicked Queen has other ideas, and puts the Princess to sleep for 100 years. While many of us, in­clud­ing RTE, hope she stays asleep, her fam­ily and friends try to wake her in time for her per­for­mance. Doc­u­men­trary or dra­matic panto?

Ren­more Pan­tomime So­ci­ety are cel­e­brat­ing 40 years this year and this show fea­tures elec­tri­fy­ing dance rou­tines and the charm­ing Ren­more Smurfs who will bring their sparkle to this sea­sonal feast of fun. Prom­ises to be a bit out there. Dec 29-Jan 13; from €16; Sen­sory friendly per­for­mance Jan 6; tht.ie

If you want a break from all this talk of a-har­rrrrrrrd bor­der then why not join Peter Pan, Wendy and the Dar­ling Fam­ily as they take to the skies of Derry this year and tackle the crook that is Cap­tain Hook, and his mur­der­ous mot­ley crew.

Un­like Peter Robin­son, Peter Pan prom­ises to be “buck­et­fuls of fun” and much like the DUP will be “packed with fan­tasy and amaz­ing stunts”. There will be plenty of op­por­tu­nity for au­di­ence par­tic­i­pa­tion with lots of mu­sic and danc­ing. With plenty of ex­cite­ment and ad­ven­ture, this pro­duc­tion is sure to set you up for the fes­tive sea­son to come. Un­til Dec 30; from £12.50; Schools £9.50

The Gai­ety’s Snow Queenis bound to en­thral chil­dren and adults alike

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