15 November 2022
By Tom Collins
Two ‘relaxed performances’ scheduled and new sponsorship deal with Skechers
Cork Opera House have revealed a thrilling cast for a mammoth 67-performance run of its new Panto production of Sleeping Beauty. Rehearsals have begun for the show which opens at the venue on December 1 and already ticket sales are on track to surpass previous records as Cork’s public make a welcome return to one of its favourite annual events.
Legendary Dame, Frank Mackey, reprises his ever-popular role as Nannie Nellie, while he is joined by rising stars and Panto debutants; Chloe O’Riordain (Sleeping Beauty), Eamonn Walsh (Prince Charming) and I’m Grand Mam podcast favourite, Kevin Twomey (Chester the Jester). Renowned Panto and theatre stalwarts Michael Grennel (King Cedric) and Shirely McCarthy (Maleficent) complete an exciting cast under the directorship of long-term Cork Opera House collaborator, Trevor Ryan.
Over 60,000 patrons are expected to attend Sleeping Beauty and Cork Opera House also announced this week a new sponsorship deal with international footwear brand, Skechers. In a new departure for the Panto at the venue, Cork Opera House have also revealed that this year’s run will be the first to host two ‘relaxed performances’, aimed at including and accommodating autistic children and patrons who may find it challenging to attend traditional Panto performances.
Cork Opera House CEO, Eibhlín Gleeson, spoke about what it meant to initiate these new performances
“Our Panto team is very much looking forward to making these important performances happen, for some very important patrons. These shows will prioritise an inclusive experience for autistic children and patrons who have sensory and/or processing difficulties.
“We are working on these shows with the autistic community, as well as parents and carers to help inform this process. The result, we hope, is that we will adapt our environment to create an experience where children will be free to make noise, move around and most importantly – relax and be completely themselves while enjoying Sleeping Beauty.”
Paul Gallagher, MD Shuz4U Ltd T/A Skechers Ireland said
“We are delighted to sponsor the 2022 Cork Opera House Panto, Sleeping Beauty – a Cork institution at the heart of our local community and something that brings families together every Christmas. The base of the business is in Cork, with stores in Opera Lane, Mahon Point and Wilton and our head office in Little Island so the Opera House Panto is something that’s very close to all of our hearts. Many of us go every year with our families so it was a natural fit for us.”
With rehearsals in full flow, Sleeping Beauty director, Trevor Ryan, expressed his delight with the cast and promised a welcome return for one his favourite productions. “Frank and I began our Panto journey with Sleeping Beauty almost ten years ago so to return to the Opera House with this new version is very fulfilling for us. We have a few new tricks up our sleeve and can’t wait to share it with our loyal audience next month.”
Sleeping Beauty opens at Cork Opera House on Thursday December 1, with two ‘relaxed performances’ taking place January 4. Tickets are on sale from the Box Office on 021 427 0022 or www.corkoperahouse.ie