Cork Opera House Panto returns

Frank Mackey will return to the pantomime stage for the first time since 2019 with a brand new show, Nanny Nellie’s Adventures in Pantoland 
Cork Opera House Panto returns

Frank Mackey onstage as Nanny Nellie in Cork Opera House.

NOW that the days of a panto-free Christmas are ‘behind’ us, Cork Opera House is ready to welcome audiences back to pantoland.

More specifically, to Nanny Nellie’s Adventures in Pantoland, a brand new show that will mark the stage’s first Christmas panto since 2019.

Audiences will join Cork’s beloved Nanny Nellie as she sets off on a magical adventure to save Pantoland from the evil magician Balthazar with her friends Jack, Jill and Fairy Tonkerbell.

Expect other favourites, like Princess Jasmine, Peter Pan, Snow White, and even Harry Potter, to make an appearance.

Running from December 9 to January 9, organisers are hoping that the show will provide all the sparkle, magic and fun that Cork audiences missed last year.

“We were all hopeful that this day would come and were preparing the script in the background in anticipation,” said director Trevor Ryan.

“Now, we are finally in position to present our very own fairytale story that brings together all the fun gags and giggles that we love, while capturing the heart of what makes panto so very special to all of us.

“I’m just so happy that we are able to give Cork audiences some much-needed panto magic to enjoy with their families this Christmas.” 

As well as co-writing the script, Leeside favourite Frank Mackey will return to the stage as Nanny Nellie, while Jimmy Brockie will make his Opera House debut as Nanny’s nephew, Jack.

Other familiar faces on stage will include Valerie O’Leary as Fairy Tonkerbell, Phoebe Dipple as Jack’s best friend Jill, and panto veteran Michael Grennell, who will return to play the role of the evil Balthazar.

In a new departure this year to prioritise patrons’ safety, the Cork Opera House Panto will be a 75-minute show without an interval.

“We are simply overjoyed to bring panto back to the Opera House stage this Christmas. It is such an important part of Christmas in Cork and it means so much to so many people,” said Cork Opera House CEO Eibhlín Gleeson.

“This Christmas, our panto is extra special, as it is one of the first opportunities for families to come out and go to a show together in a very long time. The moments we create with our pantos last a lifetime, and we are so excited to be back doing what we do best.

“We can’t wait to welcome generations of families coming together to join in the fun and all the panto shenanigans.” 

Tickets (€24.50 to €26.50) are available on

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