There's still time to catch Cork's pantos... and other Christmas gigs

What does our theatres have in store this Christmas week? Jo Kerrigan finds out
There's still time to catch Cork's pantos... and other Christmas gigs

The Ugly Sisters (Fionula Linehan and Graham McDermott) and Stepmother (Irene Warren) in Cinderella at the Everyman. 

PANTOMIME has been a beloved Cork tradition for a very long time, and although we may not have the amazingly high number of options available in the 1950s and early ’60s (when every hall big enough would stage its own homegrown show), we certainly have superb and polished productions at both the Opera House and Everyman which would delight audiences anywhere.

Sleeping Beauty is everything you would expect from a theatre like the Opera House, and performances have been packed to capacity, so if you have still to book those tickets, better not delay.

Matinees in particular are very much in demand for this delightful fairytale packed with songs, dances, slapstick comedy, and thrilling special effects. It runs until January 22.

And don’t forget the special relaxed performances for children with autism. There are two of these, both on January 4, catering for those who have sensory or processing issues.

Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty
Maleficent in Sleeping Beauty

“We will be adapting our environment to create an experience where children will be free to make noise, move around and, most importantly, relax and be completely themselves while enjoying Sleeping Beauty,” says CEO Eibhlin Gleeson.

Booking for all performances on 021 427 0022 or www.corkoperahouse.ie.

The late night Improvised Panto at the Opera House has proved enormously popular too, with its crazy scenario of a different show every time, depending on audience suggestions.

But there are only two performances left - tonight (Thurs) and tomorrow (Friday), at 10.30pm - so if you are planning to get in there with your friends (and it’s the ideal show for groups to enjoy themselves) better be quick. Booking as above.

The delightful thing about Cinderella at the Everyman is that it is so happy and good-natured all through, that you come out smiling. Every single character is memorable, and even the wickedest among them (Stepmother? Ugly Sisters?) is somehow so charming, even when behaving most badly, that you feel you want to know them better!

As always, the teams of young people from CADA perform with incredible polish, backing up the professionals with smooth confidence, while the live music adds much to the overall enjoyment.

It runs until January 15. To book, call 021 450 1673 or see www.everymancork.com.

Bernard Casey is at the INEC in Killarney tonight, while the Wolfe Tones are here on December 27, followed by the Coronas on the 28th.

A great way to celebrate the festive season, perhaps with an overnight stay?

Booking for all INEC events on 064 667 1555 or inec.ie.

Or head over to Banteer and the Glen Theatre after Christmas, where Banteer Drama Group will be presenting God Rest His Soul, by John Hank Regan, on Thursday and Friday, December 29 & 30.

This great little home of the drama is looking forward to welcoming back all its patrons as well as new friends, so make sure of your tickets now.

Booking on 029 56239 or 087 7558752.

Finally, don’t forget that theatre tickets make wonderful gifts for friends and family!

If you’re stuck for a last-minute solution, check out what’s on where in the forthcoming season, then choose the one that you know would please your friend best! Couldn’t be easier, and you will be supporting our local theatres too!

A very happy Christmas to you, one and all. May the curtain rise on a new and exciting year for us ahead!

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