The Take

Crit­i­cal picks for Christ­mas week

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS -

Look be­hind you! Prin­ci­pal boys, panto dames and sneer­ing vil­lains are all gain­fully em­ployed for the next while with the panto sea­son of­fi­cially in full swing around the coun­try, and con­tin­u­ing in some cases well into the third week of the New Year.

Some of these shows are al­ready heav­ily booked or even sold out, but it’s al­ways worth check­ing with the in­di­vid­ual box of­fices. There are too many shows to men­tion in full here, but you can con­sult irish­ cul­ture for full listings and re­views.

Among the high­lights in Dublin is The Snow Queen, at the Gai­ety, a Frozen-es­que tale warmed up as usual by the ir­re­press­ible Joe Con­lan as Granny Hurdy-Gurdy. Ex­pect some spec­tac­u­lar sets and ef­fects (un­til Jan­uary 20th). Then there’s Snow White and the Ad­ven­tures of Sammy Sausages (with Sammy played as al­ways by Alan Hughes and Joe Duffy ap­pear­ing in holo­graphic form as the Magic Mir­ror), which is, sadly, the last ev­ery Chee­rios panto to be staged at the soon-to-be-no-more Tivoli Theatre (un­til Jan­uary 13th)

Polly and the Magic Lamp, which has opened at the Olympia Theatre and runs un­til Jan­uary 6th, also fea­tures a starry cast in­clud­ing Rory Cowan, Ryan An­drews and Jake Carter.

Stay­ing in Dublin, Robin Hood , at the Helix, sees Theatre­worX take on the time­less tale of Sher­wood For­est’s good­ies and bad­dies (un­til Jan­uary 20th), while those in search of a slightly gen­tler en­ter­tain­ment might pre­fer to try Bra­nar’s word­less adap­ta­tion of Oliver Jef­fers’s much-loved How to Catch a Star in the Ark (un­til De­cem­ber 30th). And Beauty and the Beast is billed as “sixty min­utes of panto pan­de­mo­nium” at the Mill Theatre, Dun­drum (un­til Jan­uary 6th). That run­ning time might prove at­trac­tive to some.

In Cork, Aladdin, this year’s tra­di­tional and mag­i­cal panto at the Opera House, re­ceived the full five stars from The Ir­ish Times for its “mag­i­cal chore­og­ra­phy per­formed by a tin­sel-en­crusted and ap­par­ently tire­less cho­rus line” (un­til Jan­uary 20th), while, at the Every­man, a “ri­otous” Cin­derella will def­i­nitely be go­ing to the ball (and con­fus­ingly, get­ting en­tan­gled with the goose that laid the golden egg) un­til Jan­uary 13th.

In Belfast, Jack and the Beanstalk is an­other tra­di­tional-style bells-and-whis­tles pan­tomime fea­tur­ing David Bedella as the giant at the Grand Opera House (un­til Jan­uary 13th), or there’s the through-the-look­ing-glass op­tion of Alice the Mu­si­cal, a new mu­si­cal ver­sion of Lewis Car­roll’s topsy-turvy mas­ter­piece by Paul Boyd, which runs at the Lyric un­til Jan­uary 5th. There’s also the op­tion of the clas­sic Beauty and the Beast at the Water­front (un­til Jan­uary 6th).

Lim­er­ick panto-go­ers can en­joy Snow White, with Kather­ine Lynch as the Wicked Queen, at Univer­sity Con­cert Hall un­til Jan­uary 6th, while in Gal­way the Ren­more Play­ers are cel­e­brat­ing an im­pres­sive 40 years in the panto busi­ness with Sleep­ing Beauty at the Town­hall Theatre un­til Jan­uary 13th.

Fair City’s Ge­orge McMa­hon ap­pears in Sleep­ing Beauty, de­scribed as Ire­land’s only tour­ing pan­tomime, which runs at the Na­tional Opera House, Wex­ford, from De­cem­ber 27th to De­cem­ber 30th, and at INEC, Kil­lar­ney, from Jan­uary 3rd to Jan­uary 5th.

Is that all? Oh no it isn’t. In Derry there’s Peter Pan at the Mil­len­nium Fo­rum un­til De­cem­ber 30th.

Is that it? Oh no it isn’t. In En­nis, Hansel and Gre­tel get the satir­i­cal treat­ment in a tra­di­tional panto pre­sented by Pan­taloons at Glór Ir­ish Mu­sic Cen­tre (un­til De­cem­ber 31st). And Cin­derella gets a poppy treat­ment from Water­ford Panto So­ci­ety at the Theatre Royal un­til De­cem­ber 30th.

Alice the Mu­si­cal, by Paul Boyd, at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast

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