‘Pinocchio’ on his way to Castlecomer – oh, yes he is!

Pinocchio is escaping from the land of Oz – and heading straight for Castlecomer.

Pinocchio is escaping from the land of Oz – and heading straight for Castlecomer.

It’s all in store as Deenside Players present their annual pantomime in the Castlecomer Community Hall next week.

Pinocchio Escapes from Oz is this year’s quest, and director/ Dame John Coogan says it’s all coming together nicely for the show that opens on Tuesday night.

“The story goes that Geppetto is after making the puppet Pinocchio come to life, but then Pinocchio gets fed up with what’s happening in the town of Twinkletrot,” he explains. “So the two comics Fagin and Snatch, played by Chubby Brennan and Midgy Dowd, come to town and persuade Pinocchio to come to the Land of Oz to have a better life.

“They bring him to the wicked witch Esmerelda, who has turned ‘good’ because Dumbledore the wizard has cast a spell on her – but if they bring someone who is good, she will turn back to evil,” he says.

So the plan of action is that Dorothy sets off to save Pinocchio, along with the Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow – and of course no story would be complete without Agnes the Dame.

Some familiar faces are to be found among the cast, with Sinead Byrne as Pinocchio, Barry Byrne as Dumbledore the wizard, Michael ‘Mousey’ Brennan as the King (“a completely different role from last year when he played Shrek,” John says – “he won’t be green”) and Susan Boland as the Queen, Mary Buggy as Esmerelda, Michelle Burke as the Scarecrow, David O’Rourke as the Tin Man, Martina Harding as the Lion, and Colm Maher as Geppetto.

Sarah Brennan is assistant director for the show, and costumes are by Liam Dowling. Over 90 young people are taking part in the show, with choreography by Michele Wise and music by Ollie Hennessy and Jimmy Byrne.

“It’s all coming together this week,” the director says, adding with a laugh: “This is where the last bit of hair will be really pulled out.”

“It’s getting near the time. This is the good, fun time, and the time when we really start to see it all coming together.”

And from Tuesday to Sunday of next week, audiences will see it all coming together too.

Deenside Players are presenting ‘Pinocchio Escapes from Oz’ from January 31 to February 5 at 8pm nightly, plus a matinee performance on February 5 at 2.30pm. Tickets can be booked on 056 4441922 from 2-4pm Monday to Friday.