Ramelton > Festival/Events > Pantomime '10  

Mother Goose
weaves her magic in Ramelton Panto
by John McAteer

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Tirconaill Tribune photographers
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It's their 47th production and when the curtain rises on the Ramelton pantomime, ‘Mother Goose' on Monday March 1st it will be yet another great show, for which the Town Hall is renowned.

Amid the hustle and bustle of preparations down at the Town Hall there is a very determined team to ensure that the show must go on. And at a time when the town is deeply traumatised it is all the more commendable that the production team and cast are continuing with the panto because it is what binds the many strands of community life. As a consequence it is this community ethos that gives strength and motivation to every aspect of daily life in this town.

The deaths of John and Sean Gallagher have left a deep imprint on the community and the sense of mourning and loss is deeply felt. They were such an integral part of life and the panto, both on and off-stage. In so many ways they will continue to be for many years to come. And in the proud traditions of the pantomime society it is very reassuring that members of the Gallagher clan will continue to be an important part of the production.
And the community knows that this is what John and Sean would have wanted and I'm sure their inspiration will be there in the wings urging all those involved that every thing will be all right on the night.  

The Ramelton Pantomime has always created new bonds, new friendships and fostered harmony and John and Sean were so much part of that cycle of memories that gives the show its vibrancy and that is now more important than ever.
It is this unique sense of belonging and knowing one another that is one of the town's greatest strengths and which will keep the memories of John and Sean forever alive and the Pantomime Society has a very honourable and special role in fostering that spirit.

Mother Goose was first produced in Ramelton in 1965 and again in 1980. The current links with that show include the production team, Jean Winston, Tony Boyce and Patsy Boyce and Joe Birney was one of the performers, as was Brian Winston, among others. 

Mother Goose is a poor woman in the village of Merrilea who is in danger of being thrown out of her home by the wicked Squire Clarence Creep. She finds Priscilla, wandering outside her house ands brings her inside. Priscilla quickly discovers that she has given shelter to the magic goose that lays golden eggs.  The wealth she now has, however, causes her to become vain and she wants to become one of the ‘beautiful' people. She is about to fill in her CV to join NAMA, obviously. 

(Any of this sounding familiar in post-Celtic Tiger 2010?)  She trades with the wicked Fairy Discord and exchanges Priscilla for eternal youth and beauty. Thus begins Mother Goose's journey into loss, repentance and redemption. (This bit doesn't sound familiar, in Ireland at any rate - it is a highly ‘derivative' story).

The cast is, for the most part, the tried and trusted veterans of the pantomime with the addition of exciting new talents Emma Gunn as Harmony (The Good Fairy) and Breiffni Dunworth as the Queen of Gooseland.  Emma made a great impression on audiences recently when she played Katie Brown in Loreto Milford's production of Calamity Jane.  Breiffni gave a towering performance as Ineen Dubh in the Ramelton Community Youth Project's production of the original Mary Haggan drama of the plantation “In Cathaoir and Uisce”.

The principals Jill and Colin will be played by Maggie Cullen and Damien Duffy, both accomplished actors and vocalists and long-serving members of the cast.  The Squire is Brian Winston, turning full circle this year since his first speaking role in 1980's Mother Goose.  The bailiffs will be played by Dermot Mills and Mickey McHugh who made for a wonderful double-act in last year's Goldilocks.

James Friel, who has been playing the Dame since 1979 “Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs will be bringing all his years of experience to bear on this, one of the most fondly regarded Dame parts, Mother Goose.  Bernadette Norry has returned this year as James's personal costume designer... a Diva must have one you know!
The Wicked Fairy will be Catriona McCafferty (top) who has made quirky comic roles her domain.  Martin Duffy, who has been a stalwart of the Ramelton Pantomime cast since he was Happy, one of the dwarfs in 1979, will be playing Billy Goose.  Regulars Tom Egan and Mark Bolton will be the King and Prime Minister of Gooseland respectively.

Few people, if anyone, could equal the amount of time and effort Tony Boyce has put into the Pantomime in the course of his life.  This year again he has been working steadily on the props and effects that have become one of the great features of a Ramelton show.  The Goose of course is the major creation this year and Tony has been helped by Joe Boyce and Danny McLaughlin who will also be ‘playing' the part of Priscilla, regarded as the most difficult ‘skin' role in pantomime.  So there!

 It is a privilege to watch the masterly John Harkin at work on his signature scenic creations.  When the curtain opens they assure the audience that they are going to be treated to a show where talent and work combine to create quality entertainment.  The lighting and sound will be in the capable hands of Mick Geever, Dominic Boyce, Christopher and Joe Birney.
The children's scene has been devised and produced by Musical Director Ronan Doherty, Gerald McFadden, and Jean and Brian Winston.  This is Jean's 21st year as co-producer.
Gerald McFadden and Laura Harte have designed the choreography and are assisted by Kerrianne Coyle, Aoife Gallagher, Megan Gallagher and Danielle McNamee.  

Ladies Chorus: - Kerrianne Coyle, Shirley Speer, Nicole McDaid, Lynne Stevenson, Megan Gallagher, Jemma Boyle, Catherine Stewart, Sarah McCloy, Tanya McCahill, Lisa Egan, Laura Egan, Alice Murray, Rachel Moore, Laura Bryant, Emar McDaid, Eilish Gallagher, Noelle Dunworth, Deborah McPaul.
Gents Chorus: - Garvin Gormley, David Gardiner, Luke Ramsey, Pauric McFadden, Glen Hamilton, and Cormac Gallen.

The Pantomime “Mother Goose” was commenced in the Town Hall, Ramelton and ran from Monday 1st. March until Saturday 13th. March 2010 (Sundays excluded). Doors were open at 7.15 p.m. and the show started at 8.00 p.m.  

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