You will have a ball at The Strule Arts Centre Community Panto ‘Cinderella’ but will Cinder’s make it to ball ?…….
After Cinderella’s father married the evil baroness, she has always dreamed of leaving her dull life as a servant at Hardup hall to meet the man of her dreams.
Dreams become reality and she finds the man of her dreams but will she ever see him again?
A trip to the royal ball may just be what Cinders needs, but with the Ugly Sisters around, who knows what will happen.
Will the fairy godmother work her magic?
Will the village of Much Idling get a new Princess?
The only way to find out is to get yourself down to the Strule Arts Centre between Thursday 17th January- Saturday 19th January and Thursday 24th January- Saturday 26th January
If you would like to meet some off the cast check out the highlights on my Instagram page.
I love performing. From a young age I was involved in drama groups, appearing in many productions which led me on to studying performing arts. within this I took on so many roles not just acting I got to head up a lighting team, PR team and much more. I got so much out of it and got to work with fantastic companies such as Polydor Records, Townhall Theatre Galway, Groove Drama group, even a secondary school where I was left to teach the classes and the student were only a few years younger than me. Now that was scary lol.
Dance was a big part of my life Doing Ballet, Tap, Modern, Jazz, Irish dancing and of course Majorettes which the love came from my aunt Val who had us nearly twirling a baton before we could walk.
As the years went on and I had J, life changed a lot. Somethings happened in my life which took a major effect on my confidence and how I thought people seen me. That put an end to my performing, even singing which I love ( I’m not that great but I wake up singing and go to bed singing) without singing I’m lost.
I became a dance tutor which I loved and the group of girls I had were amazing, I’m still in touch with a lot of them. We laugh at how some of them have made me a granny, aww I’m too young to be a granny lol. But I really missed the participation.
Life as a single mum to a child with special needs is not easy but my main focus became J, everything I done was for him. Watching him grow up despite all the sayings ‘oh someone with autism wouldn’t do this or that’ J was quite the entertainer. He loved music, dressing up, dancing. I even taught him tap at home.
It was easy to see that the performing bug had bit him to. He loved taking part in school productions. Just after he took sick and had his treatment, when he was well enough he took part in a summer camp called ‘Stage Stars’ taken by Stuart Gibson and Orlágh Devine. It was there he took his 1st sole role taking centre stage singing a song from Charlie and the Chocolate factory. From then his confidence grew. Sadly mine was still lagging behind.
3 years ago I sat looking at Facebook and kept seeing friends post about taking part in a panto in the Strule Arts Centre, Jack and the Beanstalk. They looked to be having so much fun and it made me miss the whole buzz of performing. I still didn’t think I would be confident to go for it. It’s was only the summer after that when details of auditions came out that I said to myself ‘Enough’s enough’ I had a passion for something yet if I didn’t shake myself that’s all it would be a passion.
So came the day of boot camp for Snow White and J came along with me, the experience was great but then panic set in the week after when we were given our roles. It felt like I won the lottery when J was given the roles of one of the seven dwarfs, his talent was finally recognised. I was so proud. Then when my role was given out I smiled, I finally got to play a girlie role. I was to be the fairy. But then I realised I would be opening the show with a solo song I freaked. Poor Orlágh the Musical Director had her work cut out for her, but when working with someone that has a true passion for music and believes in you I can say she really helped me put the Magic in ‘Could it be Magic’
The whole experience of panto from start to finish was unreal. The wonderful friends I made became family. My confidence grew each week and I started to believe in myself more.
As a family it was the best thing me and J done together, it brought us closer. J developed many skills that before he struggled with like communication and socialisation. It really was better than any therapy or treatment for us both.
When notification. Came out for this years panto without a doubt we had to jump on the bandwagon.
So for the 3rd year running the Strule Arts Centre we’re presenting the Community Panto under the direction of the amazingly talented production team with Stuart Gibson as Director, Orlágh Devine as Musical Director Vicky O Neill and Joanne Mc Causland as Choreographers
This years panto was to be Cinderella.
It was great to see so many back from last year and new members from the community joining. Just meant our family was getting bigger. As numbers are so large the cast is made up of two groups, Glitz performing the first week and Glam the second.
My confidence took a bit of a stagger this year, which left me wondering if I ever wanted to sing again but I thought to myself I will just deal with that if it ever arises again.
People look at panto and say ‘aww sure that would be great craic’. Without a doubt it is the best craic but there is so much more to panto than people see. It is a massive commitment especially coming up to the festive season, I missed out on a few events but I didn’t mind as it was my decision and to me panto was more important. There is the learning lines, developing your character, remembering your blocking, building relationships, learning songs and dances, helping with costumes props etc. and of course the most important thing to have fun.
My character this year is Dandini. Very different to last years, I have more interaction with the rest of the cast, so I found that I was learning off others lines so I knew where my line came in. Keywords weren’t cutting it for me as I thought the big anxious head on me would freak if they used a different word lol. So a lot of learning had to be done. I recorded myself reading the whole scenes and then again recording them leaving my line out. This way when I was rushing about as usual I could stick my headphones in all great until I was meeting people calling them ‘your highness’ lol.
I’m also playing the role of a villager which some people might think there is not much to do, for one getting up on a Saturday more to go to dance rehearsal was a killer. Saturdays in our house normally become wined down days so we found it a struggle but we got there. Another thing I found with the chorus is that I have more costume changes than I would have in a week lol. It’s definitely taught me to be more organised, costumes all hanging up in suit bag ready to go in fear that I may have forgot something.
J has two roles this year. One week he is the Courtier and the other he is the Lord Chamberlain. Again very different to last year’s as this year he has a lot of waiting around and believe you me that boy doesn’t do waiting lol. So you can see the challenges that cast can face, no two years are the same and we have to adapt to that. It’s all part of showbiz.
Each individual member of cast will take their own thing from panto and it is something they will cherish. This is something that can’t be taken away. For me there is so much I have taken and a big thing would be the friendships and bonds that I have made.
We are now in the final few days before curtain up. I would urge you to get your tickets as they are selling out fast.
If you would like to see me performing as Dandini I will be on stage:
Thursday 17th school matinee
Friday 18th school matinee
Thursday 24th School matinee
Thursday 24th evening performance
**Note school matinees are open to the public but please be aware that seat allocation will be given on the day and it may be a bit noisier.
I’m telling you folks get your tickets as I won’t be on the dvd so you will have no proof that I done it lol it has to be seen to be believed 😉.
I’m running a local competition over on my Facebook and Instagram pages to win a pair of tickets for Thursday 24th head over and check it out. You gotta be in it to win it.
I will leave you now as final touches have to be done, yes I know that is actually me with a sewing kit miracles will never cease lol.