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It’s Pantomime time in Portlaw

Being a proud native of Portlaw, the Tannery Town’s annual pantomime represents one of the few yearly events held on home soil that I’ve been able to depend on over the course of my life. Over the course of four different decades, and a cast of literally thousands, it’s become part of our village’s social fabric, and we’re very and justly proud of it. My family, like so many others, has played its part in Portlaw Musical Society’s enduring success story, be it on stage, backstage, through set design, front of house and at committee level.

The Seven Dwarfs who will be treading the boards at the Premier Hall between Wednesday and Sunday. Centre: David Walsh (Sleepy), Top: Fred Kelly (Sneezy), Bottom: Rachael Butler (Grumpy), Bottom Left: Gemma Maher (Bashful), Bottom Right: Kieran Laffan (Dopery), Top Left: Niamh Doherty (Doc) and Top Right: Lillian Clery (Happy).

The Seven Dwarfs who will be treading the boards at the Premier Hall between Wednesday and Sunday. Centre: David Walsh (Sleepy), Top: Fred Kelly (Sneezy), Bottom: Rachael Butler (Grumpy), Bottom Left: Gemma Maher (Bashful), Bottom Right: Kieran Laffan (Dopery), Top Left: Niamh Doherty (Doc) and Top Right: Lillian Clery (Happy).


There’s hardly a door in Portlaw and its environs which hasn’t produced a contributor to the annual board treading capers in the Premier Hall, which kicks off this Thursday, February 14th, also running nightly on both Friday and Saturday (8pm) before concluding with a matinee this Sunday, February 17th at 3pm.With a production team of Damien Walsh (Director), Damien O’Brien (Musical Director), Sharon O’Brien (Choreographer) and Claire Cully (Chorus Mistress and Rehearsal Pianist), a cast of 18 principals, a 14-strong chorus, and 68 members of the Junior Musical Society, ‘Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs’ represents another mammoth effort.

The Musical Society was conceived during a night shift chat in the Portlaw Tannery almost 40 years ago. The late Freddy Kelly, Billy Corcoran and Bill Furlong (both deceased) along with Freddie Laffan (still alive and flying, I’m happy to report) lamented the decline of the vigorously contested ‘Tops of the Streets’ competition, as they discussed its potential replacement.
Something that could bring all the town’s streets together was the logical way to go, something fun that would put down the long, cold winter nights and give the people of Portlaw a good laugh each and every Spring.

In October 1980, a public meeting was held in the village to see what could be done: and within four months, the cast of ‘Cinderella’ took to the stage. And the rest is history. It takes a village to raise a child, so the old saying goes. Well, in Portlaw’s case, it takes a village (and a few hardy souls from ‘out the country’) to stage a pantomime. Break a leg, one and all!

Tickets for ‘Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs’ are priced €12 for adults and €8 for children with booking available at the Portlaw Community Centre until tomorrow, Wednesday, February 13th (5-7pm). From Wednesday, phone booking is available
from 3pm to 5.30pm via 086-0519210

For full story see The Munster Express newspaper or
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