Her name was Lola.. what a pantomime Dame

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By Rose Rushe

A Myles Breen Dame Lola 1

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STALWART of the pantomime partnership between University Concert Hall and Robert C Kelly, Myles Breen had his role bumped up to Dame Lola when Twink made an exit early in the season. Dame in this instance means Jack’s mother, Jack as in the boy with the skyscraping stalk.

As for whose your Baddie? The wickedly handsome Keith Duffy will gladden our hearts when ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ opens at the concert hall on Tuesday December 16, running twice daily most days until January 4, a Sunday.

Myles took time out from rehearsals and outrageous costume (“fabulous, my dresses. All the ladies will be jealous”) to outline the fairytale and what the twists to it are.

“Lord Flatulaun’t (Keith), their landlord wants to evict Jack and his mother as they are really, really poor. Jack goes off to sell their cow Daisy but gets magic beans instead for her”. His poor Ma, “suspecting he is not the sharpest knife in the drawer”, is furious with him but sure enough, these beans are magic and grow into an enormous stalk.

“Only Jack and the Baddies get to go up the beanstalk but up there is the Giant’s castle and his chicken who lays golden eggs”. An obvious theft occurs and then it’s fee, fie, fo, fum as the Giant goes after Jack “as he’s very angry at him for stealing his eggs”.

“We play around with the story and although the script is pretty much finalised, it’s how the audience, the most important member of any panto, responds”.

Pop songs abound and Myles tells us that there’s one at which we will all be Happy – young Jack has a romance in the offing with Jill (Leeanne Moore).

As for working with Keith Duffy, “He’s a gentleman and fun be in the room with”. The hero is Unbelievable Man (Richie Hayes) and “remember that this is Panto and love triumphs over evil”.

Myles Breen as Dame Lola, Leanne Moore as Jill, Keith Duffy as Lord Flatulaun’t; Richard Lynch as Rupert Photo: Anthony Woods
Myles Breen as Dame Lola, Leanne Moore as Jill, Keith Duffy as Lord Flatulaun’t; Richard Lynch as Rupert
Photo: Anthony Woods

An Arts page reference to fond pal Richard Lynch as suspect had that saintly man scrubbing up his reputation by text. Twink’s departure resulted in a rewrite and cast jig so Richard is now Rupert, “who is a kind hearted fool and son of the evil baddie played by Keith”.

My sincere apology for calling Richard a ‘serpentine Fleshcreep’. As journalist Fergal Keane once told us schoolgirls in 5th year when he was brought in for a career talk: “The real writing is in the rewriting”.

Contact UCH to book seats at the sensory-friendly matinee on Saturday December 20 and enquire as to economy and family friendly ticket bundles at www.uch.ie. Matinée at 2pm and evening show is 6.30pm until Sunday January 4.