Newbridge's Panto Group and Teen Theatre take Cinderella to Naas Moat Theatre

Children revel in stage performance

Niamh O'Donoghue


Niamh O'Donoghue


Newbridge's Panto Group and Teen Theatre take Cinderella to Naas Moat Theatre

The Teen Theatre Group in rehearsals

A new youth group has become a huge hit in Newbridge giving children and teenagers a love of drama and performance art.

Final rehearsals are now taking place as the Panto Group and Teen Theatre get set to bring Cinderella to the Moat Theatre in Naas from Friday January 20 to Sunday 22.

Teen Theatre cast member, Orlaith Murray says: “Now in 2017 I am a member of Teen Theatre which is a progression of Panto Club. It's all teens my age. We have a great laugh. I have made great friends and I still get to do what I love best — acting.”

Panto Group member, Dianaimh O’Shea remarks, “Panto — it only has five letters but it is five million times better than anything I do.”

The Panto Group, which was set up in 2013 by Mary McLaughlin, caters for 7-12 year olds and hold their rehearsals at Newbridge Educate Together School. It’s aimed at children and teens who may not be interested in sport, gaming or other hobbies. They will stage their show on Friday at 7.30pm, Saturday at 7.30pm and Sunday at 3pm.

The Teen Theatre group was recently formed by Mary and caters for teenagers. They rehearse at the Cross and Passion Secondary School in Kilcullen and any profits from their performances will be donated to the school library project.

They will be on stage on Friday at 10.30am, Saturday at 3pm and Sunday at 7pm.

“The club was set up to give kids a way of expressing themselves on stage and build their confidence,” said Mary.

The scripts are written by Mary to ensure everyone has a speaking part. The team also includes acting coach and Gaiety graduate, Gina Burke; choreographer and well known adjudicator, Melissa Bolger; as well as Kildare tenor, Philip Scott.

“I want to say how deeply grateful I am for the financial assistance Panto Club gets from Kildare County Council Arts Services and both Lucina Russell and Eoghan Doyle are fantastic supporters of us here in Panto Club and Teen Theatre,” she said.

“We received an Arts Act grant in 2015 to go towards the hire of a curtain and in April 2015 they sponsored my participation in actor training with the then theatre in residence Theatre Lovett. In 2016 I was the lucky recipient of a bursary to attend the Drama League of Ireland Summer School where I studied The Principles.”

Tickets cost €10 and are on sale now.