12 Shows of Christmas

12 shows of Christmas

There are many things that we only do at Christmas in this country. It’s the only time outside of a funeral that some of us will darken a church door without the promise of a free meal and a loose bridesmaid after it. It’s the one time we slide things as disgusting as eggnog and mince pies into our gob and it’s the one time we actually spend time socialising with our work mates/family/foreign dwelling friends, although lubricated with lashings of alcohol. It’s also the only time a lot of us go to the theatre, opening our mind to some festive culture, though often we’re sipping from the swill, more interested in the flashing gizmos, pink cowboy hats, bells, whistles and salt and sugary treats than the corpse of creativity staggering to pyrotechnic life before us on stage. As I mount my high horse and shoot my schnoz skyward, grab your wallet as I take you on the NewsFour Guide to the 12 shows of Christmas. I could actually only find six, but after the sixth pub you’ve usually just thrown your Christmas bonus up on yourself, your boss and your novelty jumper and have been bundled into a cab home anyway so the analogy still stands.

The Gaiety Theatre
You got Maureen Potter and June Rogers. Your child gets Samantha Mumba and Mikey Graham. I blame the IMF. They’re to blame for everything else that’s gone down the swanny, why not throw the decreasing standards of panto in for good measure? Although, the mass marketing of entertainment was a problem long before Merkel darkened one’s door. I can’t tell you that much about the show, other than its name and its sponsor, Tayto. So Mr Tayto will most likely figure in some way. Just like in previous years we had the Nesquick Bunny dancing about the stage and Jack caught the Nightlink down the Beanstalk.

The Gate Theatre
My Cousin Rachel
My Cousin Rachel, which ran earlier in the year is back in time for Christmas, depriving us of a decent staging of A Christmas Carol, although it also saves us from Andrea Corr reviving Jane Eyre. Stephen Brennan is in it of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas or the Gate without him mugging about the place. But it received solid reviews on its first run so, for the adults this adaptation of Du Maurier’s Gothic Masterpiece might be the Gin and Tonic to the Gatorade elsewhere.

The Olympia
Jedward and the Magic Lamp
When I was a kid the highlight of my little life was getting to stay up late for the Eurovision and going to the Panto in the Olympia. Jedward have officially ruined both. All they need do next is be entered for The Rose of Tralee and pull on the green geansai for Trappatoni and they’ll have scalped what fond memories I have of staying up late as a young’un. If you want to asphixeate your child with hairspray, rot their soul and warp their idea of manhood then this is the show for you.

The Tivoli
Snow White and the adventures of Sammy Sauceages
Golden Bridge don’t make pantos, but…

Bord Gais Energy Theatre
Neil Morrissey plays Fagin. Enough said!

The Abbey
The Dead
For the most perfect Irish movie ever made you should check out John Houston’s The Dead. The casting is perfect. It’s a bit all over the shop for this production of James Joyce’s short story; Stanley Townsend, who plays Gabriel is older than the actresses playing his aunts, and Derbhle Crotty is around 15 years too old for Gretta. They’re both magnificent performers though and they are joined by a top notch cast. Lorcan Cranitch, Fiona Bell, Rosaleen Linehan and Alison McKenna all have supporting roles so it is safe to say this is not one to miss.

By Ebenezer Scrooge