independent

Wednesday 23 January 2019

Tally ho! It’s panto time in town!

Chris Doyle as Barney the Bear and Jane Kent as Blossom the Fairy
Chris Doyle as Barney the Bear and Jane Kent as Blossom the Fairy
Stephen Byrne as Robin Hood and Niamh Cullen as Maid Marian
Members of the chorus
Neal O’Leary as the Sheriff of Nottingham and Robbie Duggan White as Mumsie

Anna Hayes

Panto season is upon us once again and Wexford Pantomime Society is all set to entertain the audiences at the Dun Mhuire Theatre from tonight (Tuesday) until Sunday.

The group brings its newly penned, very Wexford-centric interpretation of 'Robin Hood' to the stage of the parish hall, with plenty of contemporary references to keep kids and adults alike entertained.

Written and directed once again by Tom O'Leary, the script is a tight, pacy affair with lots of laughs, song and dance. He has assembled a front line cast that is awash with experience from young leading lady Niamh Cullen to panto stalwarts like Mick Farrell and Barry Wadding.

All the elements of the traditional Wexford panto are here in abundance - Stephen Byrne is the likeable if somewhat feckless hero Robin Hood while Niamh Cullen plays a particularly feisty Maid Marion with great naturalism, something that isn't usually in great supply in panto!

There is one particularly funny 'battle of the sexes' incident in a jailbreak scene that illustrates the two characters perfectly.

The duo are ably supported by Wadding as a stoic Little John, Farrell as Alan of Ferndale who provides authentic Wexford comedy(!) and Brandon Cogley as Will Scarlet.

Neal O'Leary enjoys the role of the Sheriff of Nottingham, plotting his evil plans with Robert Duggan White's Monty Python-esque Mumsie. Dylan Walsh as the infant-like Prince John and Martin Conway as silent assassin Guy of Gisborne complete the villainous quartet.

Linda Hynes once again showcases her comic talent in the role of Maid Mavis while Jeanette Sidney Kelly and Ruth Donegan as gardai Niamh and Nuala make for an inspired double act, complete with original song touching on various aspects of garda current affairs from the past year.

Chris Doyle and Jane Kent as Barney the Bear and Blossom the Fairy are the narrative double act, keeping the story ticking along with their own sardonic observations.

The show runs from until Sunday, at 8 p.m. nightly with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2.30 p.m. Tickets are available now from the Dun Mhuire Box Office, and online through wexfordpanto.com.

Wexford People

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