Hi Ho, Hi Ho it’s off on stage we go!

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COLERAINE Provincial Players will raise the curtain on another show next week, Thursday 17 January, as they take to the boards at the Town Hall to perform ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’.

The show, which runs until January 26th, is a fun, family night out with it’s 10.15pm finish and reduced ticket prices and is full of the usual Provincial Players magic from slapstick comedy to top class singing and choreography.

The local amateur last performed Snow White in 2007 and writer Sean Magee has pulled out all the stops to update the sript and put his own spin on it and have the audience in fits of laughter. Noeleen McAuley takes on the Producer role after being Co-Producer last year. With her years of stage experience Noeleen is enjoying passing her Knowledge on to the up and coming local talents. This production duo have been hard at work since as far back as August holding auditions and getting the wheels of the production going.

This year’s cast is yet again with a great mix of youth and experience. The production team are delighted to have some new young actors in the show who have been working hard and are growing in confidence all the time.

Emma McKeary steps up to the lead role of ‘Snow White’ for the first time. Emma is no stranger to the stage having played various main roles in her school productions and she was also part of the dance troop last year. Emma has enjoyed taking on the challenging part and has proved to be not only a great dancer, but also a great up and coming actress.

This year playing the part of the ‘Prince’ is Chloe Neill. Having made her acting debut last year moving from the dance troop, Chloe is once again pulling out all the stops. Chloe has the joy of acting with virtually nearly all the cast in her role and believe me there is some colourful characters and moments.

Next up is the ‘Evil Queen’ played by Joan McLaughlin, who gives the part 110% and is looking forward to all the booing and hissing that the kids will give her. Joan has an extra task in this role as an evil Queen to also keep on the good side of her newly wed King.

Speaking of the ‘King’, this year Jordan Parke takes on the role of the old King, having a lovely daughter and trying to do the best for her turns out quiet difficult. Jordan, a lover of magic, has to perform some in the show, having taken on a second role of Quasimodo the place hired handy man who just so happens to be bossed about by the evil Queen so some quick changing will be required.

The last of the palace staff we have to introduce to you is the ‘Page of the Palace’, played by Zara Kelly. The role of page is one where you have to be a friend to all, but even when she knows all about the evil Queen can’t do anything about it for fear of losing her job.

Jonny Johnston takes on the role of the ‘Dame Hilda’ and it’s a role that Jonny does so well. He is one of the many long serving members and has played nearly every part that there is to play in panto. Not only a well-known actor, Jonny has also been prone to give us a good old feet stomping and hand clapping song and this year is no different.

Dame Hilda’s son ‘Odd Job’ is played by Mark Crawford. This character really brings out Mark’s comedy side and playing alongside Jonny, the pair sometimes find it hard to stick to the script with some very funny improvisation.

The roles of ‘Dilly and Dally’ are played by Leroy Dempster and Donna Ashford. Leroy, who is making a comeback after taking a year out, is no stranger to the town hall stage and along with Donna, who herself has been with the group six years, this duo show how well they have gelled together and will have you wondering just what is coming next, especially when they are under the employment of the evil Queen.

The next seven members of the cast need no real introduction it’s the small hard working ‘Dwarfs’. This year the players have been lucky enough to have seven really strong cast members in the roles. With Gemma Campbell, Niamh Morrison, Shannon Campbell, Juile Hutchinson and Benn Barbour all young experienced Provincial Players and add three new additions in Adam Mullan, Shannon Myles and Megan Alexander we have a band of up and coming youth talent that would make any parent proud.

This year’s dance troop have been hard at work, to try and match the bench mark set with last year’s dances. The dances this year are upbeat and modern and will have the audience dancing along in their seats.

There is also another new member taking on the role of ‘Fairy Godmother’ this year as Sam Swart, who is also a member of Portrush Music Society, takes on the role and she has enjoyed her time with crew and also enjoyed working with the fairies.

The fairies themselves have been working hard since September on their song and have been a pleasure for our Fairy Coaches Sarah Culbertson and Lavinia McMullan to work with.

“I cant wait to see them on the stage,” said club Chairman Phillip Kelly. “It’s hard to believe that some of these girls are only starting school and to have them performing in front of a hall full of people, is a credit to not only the coaches but the parents.

“This year we have the pleasure of having students from NRC Production Arts Students involved. It’s nice to give people with a passion for production arts an insight into sound, back stage and hall stewarding in a show like our own. There is nothing like learning the ropes on the job, and I am led to believe their time with us will be done as an assignment.

“It’s great to give the youth with such interest into arts a look at how we do things as a group we recognise that promoting youth is the only way forward, they are our future.”

The stage crew will be under the watchful eye of ‘Mr Panto’ himself, Sean Magee. They have been hard at work since October. Sean and Brian Willis have had the hard task of putting ideas from paper into action.

Off the stage totally is a crew of people managed by Heather Doherty, who not only manages the booking office, but has also been given the task of overseeing the tuck shop, programme sales and also Hall Manager. These are all very important parts to the show and with Heather at the front leading the way are in good hands.

The Provincial Players are delighted to have the Lodge Hotel on board as the main sponsor. The hotel has been involved with the local panto for years and the Players’ committee are delighted to link up with such a top class performer.

Now all is left to say is there is still some seats left so call in to Coleraine Town Hall where the booking office is open from Monday to Saturday 10am-4pm. The booking office will also be open during the shows.

Shows this year start 7.30pm for the evening performances and 1.30pm for the Matinees.

Come along and see a pantomime for all ages, and join in a great nights craic...