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He's behind you! We stop by the Greatest Panto in the land

Last night GNI were invited to the press night of the greatest panto in all the land at the Grand Opera House Belfast Sponsored by Dale Farm. This years show being Peter Pan in 3D with the panto veterans May McFettridge and Paddy Jenkins taking the helm of the show as per the norm for Belfast as May Smee and Smee. This years special guest stars include Soap Star Claire King as Mimi the magical Mermaid, Britain's got Talent star man with a 100 voices Paul Burling as Shipmate Starkey and multi-award winning theatre and TV star David Bedella as the evil Captain Hook.

As is the norm with any panto production the Opera House put on the cast were playing to a full house of children, their parents, teachers, aunts and uncles and nobody was safe when it came to audience participation. May was her usual tongue in cheek self throughout the show with an array of comical costumes, witty one liners and banter with the audience no one was safe adult and children alike.

As every seasoned panto goer knows this is always a great opportunity to see up and coming stars of theatre and this year was no exception with local rising star Mikey Jay Heath playing the title role of Peter Pan, Natalie Windsor as Tiger lily and Ireland's very own theatre starlets Hollie O'Donoghue as the roller skating Tinkerbell and Kweeva Garvey as Wendy darling. All put on a sensational performance with great vocals and amazing acting ability bringing their character's to life. A special shout out must go to the children of the show who are from local Stage school McMaster Stage school and play tigers and lillie's along with the two darling brothers. An extra special shout out has to go to the little kid that break dances at the party in Peters secret rocked it kiddo!

The show itself is a thrilling entertaining show with flying, sword fighting, bad jokes and a 3D under water section that is sure to get a few screams from the younger members of the audience.

Bedella carries the role of Captain Hook exceptionally well with his menacing laugh, comical timing and his base\baritone vocal styling's....all the elements required for a great panto villain.

King isn't too far away from her usual glamour puss soap roles, but a little out of her comfort zone in terms of her fish tale costume in which the greatest of queens would struggle to get around that stage, yet she managed to stay upright....most of the time *wink*.

With over 70,000 tickets already sold, it is advisable to get yourself over to to pick up any of those last remaining seats or alternatively call the box office on 02890 241919 as we don't want any disappointed kids big or small this festive season.

P.s wee love our goodie bags provided Dale Farm for the Press night, full of amazing dairy products, think of all that calcium!

Images taken by McCracken Photography

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