Ma-Dame, Weeshie and Washie hit the stage

The great Dame: Declan Mangan
The great Dame: Declan Mangan

THE great old dame of Kerry panto is waiting in the wings to return to centre stage.

It’s an incredible statistic but the hilarious Declan Mangan will star in his 53rd annual pantomime when he plays the title role in Ma-Dame Butterfly in Killorglin at the weekend.

The retired primary school teacher will bring the house down – once again –  when he plays the part of the mother of Aladdin, portrayed by Jack Healy.

Slap-stick comedy in Kerry just wouldn’t be the same without the colourful Declan and a Killorglin panto without the well-known local involved would be akin to Christmas without Santa. He is also the scriptwriter and producer of the annual entertainment feast,

This year’s show will run from next Saturday to Sunday, January 23 in the CYMS before the cast and crew hit the road for Killarney for one last show in the INEC on Sunday, January 31.

“I’m sure Puccini never expected his great operatic work to be the subject of a panto but Killorglin panto group has a long tradition of getting unexpected laughs from every corner,” said Declan who appeared in his first local panto – Snow White and the Seven Cromane Men – way back in 1963.

In this year’s show Abanazar (Stephen Mills), Weeshie (Colm Clifford) and Washie (Aidan Clifford) get up to their usual madcap mayhem but the Jeannie of the Lamp (Shona Murphy) and the Peri of the Ring (Rene Kavanagh) happily get the better of them.

Newcomer, Michaela O’Sullivan as Princess Ming Li has a superb voice and her duets with Aladdin should be showstoppers.

The Emperor (Mervn Clifford), The Empress (Geraldine Foyle), Whymi (Lisa Corkery), KooPoo (John MGeever) and the Captain of the Magic Carpet (Sean Joy) all add to the fun and Kevin Moriarty will raise a laugh as Noni, the Dame’s nosey neighbour.

Declan Mangan’s wife, the amazing creative designer of Killorglin’s costumes, has triumphed again and she will ensure that the Puck Panto is every bit as glamorous as the West End.

Musical Director, Martin Hurley, has a huge chorus in tip-top shape and choreographer Jackie O’Mahoney has her dancers moving with an Oriental flow.

Mike Aherne’s stunning scenery provides an excellent backdrop to this fast-moving, slick, colourful extravaganza of music and mirth.

Has Killorglin done it again? Oh yes it has.