Monday, February 11, 2019

THE Raheen panto was literally great gas, as Flatulence was one of the stars of the show!

Ugly Sisters Flatulence and Petulance, perhaps better known as Josh Bergin and Liam Oxley respectively, had them rolling in the aisles at Heywood CS with explosive performances in audience hit Cinderella.

Raheen Panto Group’s 32nd production was a resounding success, with terrific turns by veterans and newcomers alike in a tale featuring romance, friendship, evil shenanigans and hilarious comeuppances, all with a delicious local flavour.

Cinderella’s dad Baron Hardupp, aka John Oxley, was joined in Stony Broke Mansion by a colourful cast featuring Stasia Kilroy as his scheming wife Medusa, Aaron Sheil as Buttons, Caoimhe O’Keeffe as Scary Mary the Apprentice Fairy and a wonderful Colette Fennell in the title role.

Rachel Bonham was a perfect Prince Charming in her first major part with Raheen Panto, while Darragh Hosey was a delightful Dandini and Eoin Hosey a magnificent Major Domo. The lion’s share of laughter went to well-seasoned duo Eamonn Oxley as Touch and Ben Barrett as Go, who vied valiantly with the Ugly Sisters in the classic comic antics department.

Veteran director John Hosey multi-tasked effortlessly, as he filled the roles not only of producer and musical director but also played keyboards in the pantomime orchestra, where he was joined by Ian Whelan on guitars and the talented Pit Singers. John was ably assisted by Pat Phelan as co-producer and co-director.

The 29-strong chorus line featured many young singers and dancers making their stage debut and they did themselves proud, under the capable direction of choreographer Tanya Grant, while a huge backstage team also played a vital role in the memorable production.

After a matinee and three nights to remember, the group thanked Heywood CS principal Philip Bowe for providing Raheen Panto with an ideal home in the school sports hall for the third time. The modern and easily-accessible venue makes a huge difference to the success of the annual show, which has brightened the dark days of winter for more than three decades.

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By Carmel Hayes
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