The winds are picking up in Stewartstown and rumour has it that they might even carry a curious, little Kansas girl right into the Burnavon Theatre, Cookstown.
Stewartstown Amateur Dramatics Society are delighted to be back at The Burnavon with a pantomime fan-favourite – The Wizard of Oz – for twelve nights this January.
Pantomime Director Brian Morgan gave Tyrone I an insight into the preparation work that has gone into creating this year’s show, he said: “I picked The Wizard of Oz as this year’s pantomime, mainly because it is just so well known, by adults and children alike. Everyone knows the story! It’s family orientated and fun and was everything we wanted to get people back out to the theatre.
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“This will be our first year back on stage in three years. Covid meant that we couldn’t perform our shows as normal for the last two years so we are really very excited to get back”.
Brian has been a Director with the amateur dramatics society now for 15 years, having originally started out on stage himself. He explained: “The Director and the committee at the time must have seen something in me that I didn’t know was there. They encouraged me to bring my ideas forward and they saw that I worked well with the kids.
“We have all ages involved in the show, from 6 years to 60 years of age. We are deeply invested in inclusivity and welcome children from all backgrounds and of all abilities. We have some children who have hearing difficulty and autism, as well as, children who are just not interested or gifted in sports but need a hobby”.
They have a large cast and backroom team of between 70 and and 125 altogether with their beloved Dame who has been with the show for a total of 23 years, John Glendinning.
John attempted escape a few years ago declaring his retirement, although in true traditional panto fashion, it was a “oh no he didn’t!” moment, as Brian persuaded him to rethink his decision and once again don the dress for his adoring audience.
According to Brian it really is an “all hands on deck” performance with the support extending out into the community and show sponsors.
Brian said: “The community show overwhelming support to the show, we always sell out! The sponsors are vital to our success too, in fact, without the sponsors it couldn’t be put on”.
Dorothy is due to blow into The Burnavon for the first night on Friday January 6, 2023 and will perform every Friday evening, with Saturday matinees, until January 28.
The Burnavon, Cookstown
Friday January 6 – Saturday January 28, 2023
8pm | Adults: £12.00 | Children: £9.00