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A frosty festive delight

REHEARSALS: Marty Maguire with Eimear Barr, Catriona McFeely, Nicky Harley, Gavin Peden and Jo Donnelly REHEARSALS: Marty Maguire with Eimear Barr, Catriona McFeely, Nicky Harley, Gavin Peden and Jo Donnelly
By Ciara Quinn

THE ‘coolest’ pantomime in town is set to cast its spell across Belfast audiences as The Frozen Princess is magically brought to life in time for Christmas.
Presented by GBL Productions and directed by Christopher Robinson, The Frozen Princess is an icy tale of adventure, friendship and bravery with heaps of sprinkles of festive magic as the story of sisters Emily and Anna Snow unfolds. The story is one fraught with peril, much laughter and has all the ingredients of classic panto to ensure audiences of all ages have a evening to remember. In the role of Dame Amanda Merry Weather, theatre stalwart Marty Maguire is one of six cast members.
“The Frozen Princess dame is one who looks after the palace, Merry Weather keeps everybody fed, watered and clean, you could eat your dinner of that castle floor,” he laughed. “There is a big wedding coming up, Princess Anna is set to marry Prince Foundered but her sister, under an evil spell, has cast a horrible freeze over the whole city of Belfast. Merry Weather isn’t having any of it and her boyfriend, Mr Frosty the Snowman, comes alive and a plan is hatched to go up the Cave Hill to rescue the Prince in time for the wedding. It’s a story of peril, love conquering all with big dance and song numbers.”
Gavin Peden, in his fourth GBL panto production, stars as Prince Frederick Foundered.
“The rehearsals started on Monday and it’s going really well, it’s great to have Chris directing, it’s a real collaborative effort. The cast are constantly moving with the actors, with the creatives and we are looking forward to curtain up,” he said.
Starring as Anna Snow, Eimear Barr told the Andersonstown News that this was her first contract after graduating from the MGA Academy of Performing Arts in Edinburgh.
“I play Anna, Emily’s sister, and she is determined to rescue Prince Foundered and release Emily from her spell. We are days into rehearsal and we are all having so much fun, it’s going to be a great show.”
Marty added: “Some casts have hundreds in them, we are a cast of six people creating a whole world for wee minds that just believe what they are seeing on stage. It’s a great responsibility.
“You have two hours to make 300 wee kids believe and ensure they and their parents have a great night. To work on panto is a great joy. Panto is one of the greatest learning fields an actor can ever get involved in. It tests your determination as you are performing two, three shows a day. You have to keep yourself fit, be up, be ready for your audience. If you’re in show 47, you have to go out and perform like it’s show number one again.
“It’s the best craic. I’m working with five incredibly talented actors who make my job easy. You’re always challenged every year, it’s so, so fulfilling.”
The Frozen Princess runs at the Waterfront from November 26 until December 30. For ticket details visit or telephone 02890 334455.

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