PERCHED on her mother’s lap in a city centre hotel, 12-year-old Siún Marron says she’s looking forward to being on the stage of the Everyman in this year’s pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk.
It will be the eighth year that the Carrigaline-based girl, who has Down Syndrome, will be taking part in the festive show produced by CADA Performing Arts.
Siún, the youngest of four children, was only three when she was in her first pantomime, Little Red Riding Hood. This year will be the first time that she will be in the panto without her sister, Siomha, as she is studying for her Leaving Certificate.
But Siún is well looked after by all the gang from CADA and, as her mother Eimear says, is becoming more independent every year.
“Nine times out of ten, she’ll come back out with all her stuff. She’s well able. The others in the panto are kind of leaving her up to her own devices now.”
A sixth class pupil at Scoil Eanna in Montenotte, Siún has always been performing. She does a drama and dance class on Saturdays in Glanmire. Eimear says that dancing has really benefited Siún, who was born with a club foot.
“She had operations on her foot and dance has helped her. She loves to dance and has loads of friends that dance, mainstream friends.”
With CADA, Siún also does drama as well as dance, including ballet, tap and modern dance.
Every fourth night, Siún will be on stage for the pantomime in which she plays a storm-trooper. All her friends go to see her and cheer her on.
Last year, Siomha had to step in and play Cinderella when the actress playing the role got laryngitis. Siún, when she wasn’t on stage, was allowed to stand in the wings and watch her big sister sing, act and dance in the role. She was very proud of Siomha.
Despite being the youngest in her family, Eimear says that Siún isn’t at all spoilt.
“She has to empty the dishwasher and do her jobs just like everyone else. The others don’t like to see her getting away with much!”
Siún, who plays the tin whistle, says she recently took up playing the bodhrán. Of all her activities, it ranks up there as her favourite. She also does swimming and Special Olympics gymnastics. She is a member of Owenabue Special Olympics Gymnastics Club and does both artistic and rhythmic gymnastics.
She has won many competitions in Ireland and the UK. Next April, Siún will be returning to Wigan in England for another Special Olympics competition. She swims with Cork Special Olympics Swimming Club.
Siún went to Wigan two years ago and her family is very proud that she will again be representing Ireland there, wearing a special green jacket.
Life is good for Siún and she is not too bothered that she and her friends in CADA didn’t make it through to the Late Late Toy Show this year. They were in the last 36 hopefuls. She says that maybe in another year they will get to go to Dublin for the annual TV show.
Next year, Siún will go to Scoil Bernadette. Her best friend at Scoil Eanna is Julie. They have sleepovers together.
Every year, Eimear takes Siún and Siomha to London to see a few shows. They have seen Les Miserables, Cats, and probably the most memorable show that Siún saw in London was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat. At home, Siún loves watching musicals and the Disney Channel as well as hanging out with her friends. For Christmas, she is getting a Barbie doll.
Siún’s grandparents and cousins are coming down from Dublin to see her in the pantomime. No doubt they will be enchanted at the colourful spectacle and charmed to see Siún on the stage.
Eimear is a second level music teacher on a career break from Colaiste an Phiarsaigh. Her instruments are the fiddle and the harp. “I love teaching music,” she says.
She has no problem driving Siún around for her various classes. It’s all part of being a proud busy mum who makes sure that Siún is given every opportunity to acquire skills and express herself.
A visit to a traditional pantomime is an essential part of the excitement around this most lovely time of the year.
Jack, the star of this year’s Pantomime at The Everyman Theatre in Cork, is learning all his lines, the songs, and the dances, and he is looking forward to welcoming old friends and new into his world and he hopes that everyone will enjoy the wild and wacky adventure.
Jack and the Beanstalk, will arrive on the stage of The Everyman Theatre this Saturday, November 30.
Jack, played by Jimmy Brockie, will be joined by Michael Sands as Professor Saxophen, Fionula Linehan will bring her own particular brand of parenting as Jack’s Mother, Marjorie Dawe, and Ciaran Bermingham is Charlotte Cowhee, who says everything that people think privately. The loveable Goose is back, played by April Kelly, and Jack’s ‘special’ friend Jill will be played by Margarida Silva, with Alex Hindmarsh as the Giant with the monster appetite.
Get ready to climb the magic beanstalk with Jack to see, enjoy, and explore what happens. Jack and the Beanstalk will have everything people want from Cork’s best loved traditional panto: favourite songs, dance routines, slapstick capers...
The pantomime is presented by the Everyman and CADA, director and produced by Catherine Mahon Buckley.
Discounted rates are available for groups of 20 or more. Phone 021 4501780 or email email@example.com
An ISL interpreted performance will take place on Friday, January 3 at 1.30pm.
For full details see www.everymancork.com
Price from €30. Family price from €105 (4 tickets). Wonderful Wednesday tickets €22 (December 4, 11 and January 8). Booking on www.everymancork.com or call 021 4501 673.