Love/Hate's Johnny Ward Plays A Fantastic Alternative Prince In This Year's Gaiety Panto

By AmyBell

November 30, 2017 at 6:18pm


Christmas is just around the corner and that means that it's pantomime season across the country.

If you ask me, nothing gets you more in the festive mood than going to see a panto, whether you are bringing kids or not. 

Although pantomimes are not exactly festive themed, they bring some of the classic stories from our childhood to life on stage.

Last night I went to see the Gaiety Theatre's production of Rapunzel and although I am 23-years-old, I felt like a small child sitting in the audience watching it in awe.

If you're looking for a pantomime with the 'wow' factor, here's 8 reasons why I think you should consider going to see it.

1. Legendary Joe Conlon puts on a classic performance as Nanny Ninny Noonah 

The iconic pantomime star who has been in the industry for over 28 years is hilarious as always.

His bright and vibrant performance as Nanny Ninny Noonah will keep you laughing until the very end.

Joe Conlon and Nicholas Grennell who plays King Larry Lilly Loolah have a special bond on stage and their energy bounces off one another quite well.

2. The stage design and props are breathtaking 

In terms of the production, The Gaiety Theatre really outdid themselves this year.

The stage was transformed into a magical space that was simply out of this world.

The graphics were mesmerising, particularly when it came to the lantern and boat scene.

The picture below does not do it justice:

3. It has a very funny and alternative 'prince' 

Johnny B Goode who is portrayed by Love/Hate's Johnny Ward is not your typical hero. While the Prince role can traditionally be a little cardboard and milky-watery, he injected some serious comedy into the part. Edgy, silly and hilarious - he stole the show for me. 

His script is incredibly witty and has an essence of 'slapstick comedy' that had all the kids (and adults) in stitches of laughter.

4. The evil step-mother is as wicked as ever

We all love a good 'baddie' and Kathryn Rutherford was a stellar one as the evil step-mother.

Her presence on the stage was extremely captivating and although she was mainly booed by the audience throughout for her evil nature, she deserved a massive round of applause at the end.

5. Double and Trouble will have you in stitches

The duo take on the role of being the two 'idiots' who help the step-mother with her plot.

They have some killer dance moves as well and who doesn't love a bit of slapstick comedy?

6. Ciara Lyons masters the lead role as Princess Rapunzel

She plays a bold and brave Rapunzel who has a stunning singing range that gave me goosebumps.

The children in the audience loved her and it was easy to see why.

7. The choreography is slick. 

No one does choreo like Daryn Crosbie, and these dancers are the absolute best talent in Ireland. 

These spectacular moments dazzle the grownups of the audience, and provide a welcome break from the kiddie friendly "He's behind you!"s. 

8. The cast of young children gave it socks

You would think that a stage would be quite daunting to a young child but every single one of the children in the young cast were professional and little stars.

What I was really impressed by was how natural they looked on the stage and their amazing dance moves that I couldn't even pull off.

I laughed, I shouted those renowned 'it's behind you!' lines and I had a very entertaining night indeed.

If you're thinking of seeing it for yourself with your friends or family, you're definitely in for a treat. 

You'll leave the theatre with the catchy songs stuck in your head.

Rapunzel runs in the Gaiety Theatre until January 21 with tickets priced from €19.50.

You can find more information here.

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