Pictures: Christmas Panto returns to Douglas Community School

There was huge excitement in the Cork city secondary school as the Transition Year Christmas panto returned following a Covid disrupted absence said the school principal. 
Pictures: Christmas Panto returns to Douglas Community School

Santa and his choir of singing elves greeted young visitors to Douglas Community School as schoolchildren for local primary schools visited the school to see the annual Christmas Drama by the transition year pupils. This years production 'Spider-Eile' is created by the 90 transition pupils of the school. Proceeds from the raffle will go towards the Surgeon Noonan Medical Aid for Africa charity. TY students onstage at the show. Pic: Larry Cummins

“IT is lovely to see the excitement and the smiles on the faces of the young students,” said the principal of Douglas Community School Pat Barry as the school held its annual Christmas pantomime and winter wonderland arrived at the school.

There was huge excitement in the Cork city secondary school as the Transition Year Christmas panto returned following a Covid disrupted absence said the school principal. 

“Each year we do a school panto. With Covid we didn’t get a chance to do it for a couple of years. There is huge excitement at this time of the year. We often do our own interpretations of pantomimes. We are doing one this year called Spiderella,” he said.

Mr Barry said this year’s pantomime features all the Transition Year students who help in a variety of roles. 

“The full TY group would be involved in it from being on stage, helping backstage, making props, doing make-up, selling tickets, designing posters, ushering people in and out. There is a job for everybody in the TY group.

Principal Pat Barry joined Santa (Oscar Casey) and his elf Adam O'Keeffe greeting visiting pupils Paddy, Mike, James and Matthew from St Anthony's BNS.Pic: Larry Cummins
Principal Pat Barry joined Santa (Oscar Casey) and his elf Adam O'Keeffe greeting visiting pupils Paddy, Mike, James and Matthew from St Anthony's BNS.Pic: Larry Cummins

“The feedback we have been getting is extremely positive,” he said after Douglas Community School held daily shows for local primary school children and evening shows for parents and the local community. 

“We held day shows for local primary schools over four days. All the feeder schools come in to see the play. We would have close to 12 schools in total coming in. We also held two evening shows for parents and for the local community.

Michael Morley as Cinderella with (left) Cormac Byrne as the Godmother onstage at the show. Pic: Larry Cummins
Michael Morley as Cinderella with (left) Cormac Byrne as the Godmother onstage at the show. Pic: Larry Cummins

“The show was very good. The primary school students got a great kick out of the various characters in the panto and the costumes. There was a lot of interaction with the audience. Some of the characters ran down through the crowd and they exchanged high fives with the audience,” he added.

Douglas Community School also held a Winter Wonderland in their school for the first time this year said the school principal. 

“To coincide with the primary school students coming in for the panto, we created a Douglas Community School Wonderland. 

Driving the 'Polar Express' is (right) Roman Saalfeld with Emil Balszuweit and (left) Adam O'Keeffe. Pic: Larry Cummins
Driving the 'Polar Express' is (right) Roman Saalfeld with Emil Balszuweit and (left) Adam O'Keeffe. Pic: Larry Cummins

"The school foyer was beautifully done up with inflatables and reindeers. The little office nearby became Santa’s Grotto. The primary school students were able to come in and post a letter through the letter box. They were also able to have a word with Santa.

Santa and his choir of singing elves greeted young visitors to Douglas Community School as schoolchildren for local primary schools visited the school to see the annual Christmas Drama by the transition year pupils. This years production 'Spider-Eile' is created by the 90 transition pupils of the school. Proceeds from the raffle will go towards the Surgeon Noonan Medical Aid for Africa charity. Spiderman meets children in the audience during the show. Pic: Larry Cummins
Santa and his choir of singing elves greeted young visitors to Douglas Community School as schoolchildren for local primary schools visited the school to see the annual Christmas Drama by the transition year pupils. This years production 'Spider-Eile' is created by the 90 transition pupils of the school. Proceeds from the raffle will go towards the Surgeon Noonan Medical Aid for Africa charity. Spiderman meets children in the audience during the show. Pic: Larry Cummins

“The school choir sang a few hymns and Christmas songs in the main assembly area. This got them in the mood before the pantomime. The train then took them to the outdoor area where there was a full-size Santa’s sleigh, and they got their pictures taken there before the performance. It was a great success. The decorations, props and the singing set the tone from the moment they came in,” he added.

This years production 'Spider-Eile' is created by the 90 transition pupils of the school. Proceeds from the raffle will go towards the Surgeon Noonan Medical Aid for Africa charity. Pic: Larry Cummins
This years production 'Spider-Eile' is created by the 90 transition pupils of the school. Proceeds from the raffle will go towards the Surgeon Noonan Medical Aid for Africa charity. Pic: Larry Cummins

Mr Barry paid tribute to the woodwork department for their help in creating Winter Wonderland. 

“The woodwork department was very much to the fore with this project. The teacher Mr McNamara was helped by some TY students in putting it all together. They made a full-size sleigh, a train with a bell. The sleigh also had a place for a driver to sit in. We can use this again going forward.” 

Visiting 3rd class pupils Charles, William, Eoghan, and Dean from St Anthony's BNS onboard Santa's sleigh as they show off their tickets for the show. Pic: Larry Cummins
Visiting 3rd class pupils Charles, William, Eoghan, and Dean from St Anthony's BNS onboard Santa's sleigh as they show off their tickets for the show. Pic: Larry Cummins

The Cork city secondary school are gearing up for a great festive season. The school principal said there is a ‘lovely’ Christmas atmosphere in the school. 

This years production 'Spider-Eile' is created by the 90 transition pupils of the school. Proceeds from the raffle will go towards the Surgeon Noonan Medical Aid for Afica charity. Pic: Larry Cummins
This years production 'Spider-Eile' is created by the 90 transition pupils of the school. Proceeds from the raffle will go towards the Surgeon Noonan Medical Aid for Afica charity. Pic: Larry Cummins

“Everybody is upbeat and feeling the positivity. It is a nice time of the year. There is a lovely Christmas atmosphere in the school.”

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