Beauty and the Beast characters: Mark Duffy, Aidan Byrne, Sarah Brennan, Edward Hayden, Claire Henriques and Maeve Tierney. PICTURE: HARRY REID
Twelve sell out shows, a cast and crew of eighty, and one of the best theatre directors in Ireland – the Watergate sure know how to put a pantomime. Beauty and the Beast was the hottest ticket in town for the past two weeks at the Watergate Theatre, with the final curtain bringing the show to a close at Sunday's Matinee.
Beauty and the Beast is a brilliant story for pantomime. ‘A tale as old as time’, warmed audiences hearts, young and old, as one of the world’s greatest love stories unfolded at the Watergate to a full house every night.
The extremely funny script was written by Richie Smith and adapted for the Watergate by director Christine Scarry. Christine has over twenty years’ experience in producing theatre, and directed the well-known Olympia panto for eight years.
Like any good panto a lot of punch lines were added about local people and current events. The new KK1 Bus and the GAA, among others were on the receiving end!
This panto has outdone itself with two comic duos. Very well established comedy panto duo - Claire Henriques and Sarah Brennan played the hilarious not to be trusted palace workers ‘Croissant and Croquette’. The second comedy team was made up of newcomer Edward Hayden who played ‘LeFool’ and David Doyle as ‘Gastric Band’.
It’s Edward Hayden’s first year in the Watergate Panto and he was a great fit for it. The award winning actor, proved that he can turn his hand to anything as he entertained us in full panto guise.
For professional actor and teacher David Doyle, it was his second year in the Watergate Panto. As well as playing ‘Gastric’, he also choreographed the show, bringing all his years of performing at the Olympia Panto with him.
More great assets to the casts are fabulous singer, Amy Mulholland as Crepe Suzette, newcomers Leah Comerford as Soufflé and Mark Duffy from Thomastown, who played Belle’s Dad. With newcomer Aoife Doyle from Carlow who played the loveable Mrs. Potts and professional singer Aidan Byrne, who returned to Kilkenny from his act in Raglan Road (Disney, Florida) to play the Beast.
Stacey Taylor who played Belle, fulfilled a lifelong ambition in this role. In a mission to locate her ageing father, Belle finds herself lost in the Beast’s enchanted castle where she befriends some larger than life characters.
Aidan O’Dwyer and Carol Knox created some amazing hair and make-up looks and John O’Donoghue an incredible set design. Lighting was by Gerry Taylor, the stage management by Nicola Brennan, assisted by Bobby Reade. Not forgetting all the back stage crew, cast and the incredible group of young boys and girls in this utterly hilarious pantomime of Beauty and the Beast.