Backstage panto gets ready for opening night

The now annual panto season in Longford opens at the end of the month, with the 'Wizard of Longford' - written and directed by Brendan Williams - running for six performances, including three matinees.

The now annual panto season in Longford opens at the end of the month, with the 'Wizard of Longford' - written and directed by Brendan Williams - running for six performances, including three matinees.

This year's pantomime is being produced for the first time by Backstage Youth Theatre (BYT) and will feature thirty of the most talented young people Longford has to offer.

'The Wizard of Longford', is loosely based on the famous film 'The Wizard of Oz', and imagines what would happen if events took place a little closer to home.

Names and places have been changed - the action starts in Kenagh, there is a 'Wicked Witch of Drumlish', a talking dog, an 'X Factor' scene, and the ending has been changed ever so slightly.

There are loads of laughs, plenty of singing and dancing, lots of colour and a pinch of inspired lunacy - typical ingredients for a good panto to please young, and old alike!

The annual pantomime has been an audience favourite for the last eight years in Longford, and BYT hope that they can continue the tradition of delighting and amusing audiences, young and old, with this new show.

In the past few years, BYT have become more and more involved in the pantomime, providing chorus members, principal cast and crew members for each production. As a result, it was agreed that this year, the entire show would be produced and performed by Backstage Youth Theatre.

The nine principal parts will all be played by young local actors, Dorina Birsanu, Darragh Cooney, Carolyn Egan, Denise Waters, Mark Neville, Dean McTiernan, Christopher Hewitt, Roisin Shanley and Philip McCarthy. In addition to the principals, there will also be a chorus of twenty young people.

BYT have included three matinee performances in this year's run, as well as three evening shows. The variety means that audiences of all ages will have a chance to see the much-anticipated show.

The BYT Pantomime 'The Wizard of Longford' will run in Backstage Theatre for six performances - Friday 21st Jan at 8pm, Saturday 22nd & Sunday 23rd Jan at 3pm (Matinees), Thursday 27th & Friday 28th Jan at 8pm and finishes on Saturday 29th Jan at 3pm (Matinee). Tickets are priced at €12 & €8 and are available from the Theatre Box Office (043) 33 47888, online at www.backstage.ie and from Farrell Coy.

Pictured left and right are cast members rehearsing this year's production of 'Wizard of Longford' in Backstage Theatre.

Photos submitted.