Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without a trip to the theatre for that annual festive tradition - the pantomime.
This year, the Grand Opera House in Belfast is staging Peter Pan, filled with music, dance, pirates, fairies, lost boys, and even the odd crocodile.
And of course no Opera House panto would be complete without the queen of the stage herself, May McFettridge.
Celebrating her 28th consecutive year of pantomime at the Grand Opera House, May McFettridge will lead the star-studded cast as Mrs Smee.
She will star alongside Coronation Street’s Claire King as the Magical Mermaid, double Olivier award-winning David Bedella as Captain Hook, Paddy Jenkins as Hook’s right hand man Smee, Britain’s Got Talent funny man Paul Burling as Starkey, and Northern Ireland’s own Mikey Jay-Heath, who will play the title role of Peter Pan.
Looking forward to returning to the Grand Opera House stage, John Linehan, who plays the indomitable May, told the Guide: “It is great working in your own home town. I am far too young to give it up yet!”
Renowned for playing the panto dame, as well as her banter with the audience, May will be joining the pirates in Peter Pan: “This year I am playing Mrs Smee. I will be on board the ship to cook for the pirates and Captain Hook.”
Rehearsals for the panto got underway this week and with such a tight schedule, May and the rest of the cast have to be on their toes to get it ready for opening night on December 2.
“From the first hour you really need to get your head around the script and commit it to memory. You really have to make sure you know what you’re doing. When you have a good cast, you are having a good time, and everyone is enjoying themselves it just flies in. It is all good fun.”
This year’s pantomime is bursting with all the traditional ingredients the Grand Opera House panto audience have come to expect; lots of laughter, stunning costumes and a magical set, ensuring quality entertainment for all the family.
Peter Pan runs from Saturday December 2 to Sunday January 14, 2018, with shows at 7pm evening, as well as matinees each afternoon. With tickets flying out the door, do not leave it any longer to ‘hook’ your seats at goh.co.uk.