BYT to stage ‘Alex in Wonderland’

Following the sell-out success of ‘The Wizard of Longford’, Backstage Youth Theatre (BYT) will stage ‘Alex In Wonderland’ in January 2012 at Backstage Theatre, Longford.

Following the sell-out success of ‘The Wizard of Longford’, Backstage Youth Theatre (BYT) will stage ‘Alex In Wonderland’ in January 2012 at Backstage Theatre, Longford.

Written by Brendan Williams, the story is a take on the Alice in Wonderland stories. The twist in this panto, however, is that the White Rabbit gets the wrong girl, and brings ‘Alex’, and not Alice back to Wonderland, where she meets some of the familiar Wonderland characters; Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee, the Cheshire Cat, the Red Queen and her nasty side-kick Dr Evil, and of course the Mad Hatter.

The Red Queen is about to take over Wonderland, unless our heroes can come up with a plan to stop her. As with any panto, there will be lots of music and dancing, plenty of comedy moments and more than a few surprises, which will enchant young and old alike.

“We have literally just cast the principal parts, and we are very excited to get started,” said Paul Higgins, director, speaking to the Leader.

“The next thing to do is get our chorus in place and get working on the songs and dances, which are a huge part of any pantomime. Then we can get the production team working on costumes, make-up, lights, sound, set and props.

“There is a lot of work that goes into a show like this, and all of our members will be involved. Everyone in the group gained so much experience from staging last year’s panto, and we are all looking forward to making ‘Alex’ an even bigger, and better show.”

The eight principal parts will be played by Manini Linuza (Alex), Darragh Cooney (Mad Hatter), Heather Moore (Red Queen), Philip McCarthy (Dr Evil), Carol Cooney (Tweedle Dum), Clodagh Healy (Tweedle Dee), Luke Casserly (Cheshire Cat) and Hannah Carleton (White Rabbit).

The panto’s author, Brendan Williams, who also wrote ‘The Wizard of Longford’ spoke about writing a pantomime for a young cast.

“This year’s show was written specifically for BYT. I learned a lot from last year’s production, and tried to make ‘Alex’ tailored for youth performance.

“We did a number of reading-workshops with the script over the last month, and that really helped me refine the dialogue, and develop characters and scenes. BYT did such a great job with ‘The Wizard’, I am just really looking forward to seeing what they do with this script. It should be a fabulous show.”

Paul said the interest in youth theatre is once again extremely strong and they are full for this year. Anyone joining next year must be at least thirteen years of age, and have completed one year of second-level education, by September 2012.

For more information on BYT, or to join the waiting list, please call (086) 7362000. BYT’s production of ‘Alex In Wonderland’ will run for six shows, including three matinees, in Backstage Theatre in January 2012.