Oh no they haven't, Oh yes they have! The Junction panto is back

THE Junction Retail and Leisure Park in Antrim has announced that its award-winning Christmas Panto, Elves Got Talent will return in a face-to-face audience setting this December.

Following nine sell-out shows that were performed as a Drive-In format last year, the revamped show, created by leading arts organisation Cahoots, will showcase budding new elves ready to show off their talents in the hope of winning over the audience.

Supported by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and Arts and Business NI, the festive spectacle will feature renowned Northern Irish actor and writer, Dan Gordon – best-known for roles in Give My Head Peace and Cahoots’ Broadway production, Nivelli’s War - alongside aerial circus artist and performer Lennin Nelson-McClure, and magician Caolan McBride.

Commencing on Wednesday December 15, the 45-minute show will run three times daily until Sunday December 19, with all proceeds from the ticket admission sales going direct to St John Ambulance Antrim, NI Children’s Hospice and Women’s Aid.

Centre Director Chris Flynn said it was easy to decide if the show should go on.

“Elves Got Talent was originally commissioned last year in response to the pandemic, when live indoor theatre performances were cancelled due to restrictions,” he explained.

“The arts sector had been severely impacted, and as a retail scheme, we saw an opportunity to collaborate with the talented team at Cahoots to create space for local talent and in the creative industry to perform, and also offer a magical ambience for our customers.

“It was the first time we’d ever hosted anything like this at The Junction – and we were overwhelmed by the demand and positive response from customers about the show.

“With the support of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and Arts and Business NI, we are thrilled to bring this festive spectacle back to the scheme and have no doubt it will be another sell-out show.”

Paul Bosco McEneaney, artistic director at Cahoots, said audiences were in for a treat.

“We are delighted to be partnering with The Junction once again, and we can’t wait to share a little Christmas magic with even more young audiences and their families following the success of last year.

“Elves got Talent was previously performed as a drive in, but we are thrilled to be back face-to-face with audiences this Christmas. They will really feel part of the spectacle and we have some big surprises up our sleeves to make for some incredibly memorable moments.”

Sarah Mackey, executive and business support, Arts and Business NI, said it was one for the diary.

“We have all relied on the creative talents of our local artists and performers to help us through the last 18 months. Arts and Business NI Investment Programme is delighted to support The Junction and Cahoots to bring this magical Christmas show to the stage for audiences of all ages to enjoy.

“More than just a fun day out, this is a celebration of the local community and the power of the arts to bring people together.”

Tickets are now available to purchase via The Junction’s Eventbrite page.

Admission fee is £9 per adult and £6 per child, with all proceeds going to the NI Hospice, St John Ambulance Antrim and Women’s Aid.

Selected shows will be reserved for local primary schools.

For more details and booking information, please visit www.thejunctionshopping.com. Connect with The Junction on Facebook and Instagram @TheJunctionAntrim or on Twitter @JunctionAntrim.

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