Sinbad panto was well worth going to sea!

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It’s over for another year – oh, yes it is! Portadown’s superb pantomime, that is. This year, it was ‘Sinbad the Sailor’, and it was well worth going to sea, and going to see!

It was the 31st in the series of pantos staged by the Gateway Theatre Group, Having built up a marvellous tradition and following over the years, the show this time played to 14 packed houses at the Town Hall.

And none were more pleased that stalwarts Nigel Dawson (producer) and Millie O’Kasili (director) who have been involved virtually from the start, and have done it all on-stage and off-stage to keep the panto going.

Craigavon Mayor Mark Baxter was certainly impressed when he joined the cast on-stage on Saturday (the final night) to congratulate everyone on the quality of the most professional ‘amateur’ show in the province.

And Nigel, in his traditional last-night speech, thanked everyone concerned, especially the loyal, expert behind-the-scenes people.

He was joined by Millie the producer, choreographer Deborah Fleming and musical director Ryan Harris for the final curtain.

Still, it’s what the audience sees that thrills them, and what a show! All the principal characters shone, with Daniel May in the title role of Sinbad – his fifth Portadown panto, having had experience in shows like Joseph, Les Miz, Grease and The Sound of Music.

Of course, he got the gal in the end, the gal in question being Talida, aka Charlotte McClelland, making her Portadown Panto debut, but having had oodles of experience as a member of MADS and the Jacquie Keegan School of Speech and Drama. Georgia Meredith also shone on her debut as Princess Pearl.

Of course, no Portadown panto would be complete without the outrageous Dame, played for the past 15 years by the hilarious Eddie Drury – his alter ego this time was well-padded Semolina Sinbad. His old mate Lawrence Cinnamond played the fiend (Sinistro the Sorcerer) with his usual frightening aplomb.