Buttons (Colin Hughes) and Cinderella (Rachel Duffy, former Rose of Tralee) at the switching on of the Tullamore Christmas Lights. Photo: Ger Rogers.

Cinderella panto a complete sell out!

The decision of Tullamore's Colin Hughes to bring pantomime to a local audience this Christmas has proved to be a huge success with tickets for all 14 performances of the universally-loved story of Cinderella now completely sold out.

The panto, which will run in Esker Arts Centre for 14 performances between December 5 and 17, will see 2022 Rose of Tralee, Rachel Duffy, taking the lead role of Cinderella and will feature a cast of 20 adults and 55 children.

Such has been the unprecedented demand for tickets that it was decided to stage an extra performance on Thursday, December 14, but tickets for that show sold out in less than ten minutes when they went on sale at 10am on Tuesday morning!

Colin Hughes, who is no stranger to the stage himself after years of stand-out performances with Tullamore Musical Society, says he is “tremendously excited” to be bringing panto to Tullamore, and hopes that it can become an annual tradition for local families.

Havng been involved in panto professionally for the past 15 years at the Helix Theatre in Dublin, he says he was always struck by the numbers of families from Tullamore and surrounding areas who travelled to Dublin “every single year” to attend the panto.

“I always said if we had the right venue in Tullamore I would bring panto to a local audience, and that's exactly what we are doing,” he says, adding that he has been "blown away by the demand for tickets”.

Referring to the universal appeal of panto, Colin adds that it is “a family tradition for so many families and is an integral part of the whole Christmas experience” and says that he is delighted to be able to give local families the opportunity to attend a panto in their home town.

Many families who started going to the Helix panto 15 years ago “are still coming along with their families even though their kids are all grown up, but they still see it as an integral part of Christmas, and that's what we are hoping to achieve in Tullamore.”

Even though they could probably sell out the Esker Arts Centre for the entire month of December, Colin Hughes says there will only be one extra performance, which will take place on Wednesday, December 13, and it will be specifically geared towards children and adults who have sensory needs. Tickets are expected to go on sale for the sensory performance next week and Colin is appealing to those who wish to purchase tickets that the organisers have tailored the show towards an audience made up of those with sensory needs.

As well as being the director of Cinderella, Colin Hughes will also perform on stage, much to the delight of local audiences. Taking on the role of assistant director and choreographer is another stalwart of Tullamore Musical Society and Mullingar native, Chris Corroon, while Regina McCarthy steps into the role of musical director.

Colin paid tribute to the local community in Tullamore and surrounding areas for their unwavering support and also to Tullamore Credit Union, who are the main sponsors of Cinderella. He also praises the “hugely committed cast” and promises a hilarious a panto for those who were lucky enough to bag tickets.