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Off the Hook Alan Hughes got 'best Christmas present ever' after drive-in Peter Pan panto saved

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Alan Hughes during a Panto performance

Alan Hughes during a Panto performance

Alan Hughes during a Panto performance

TV star Alan Hughes says he got the “best Christmas present ever” after his drive-in panto got a last minute reprieve to continue its run.

Over 20,000 pantogoers who had intended going to see Peter Pan at Malahide castle were initially told they could not see the show due to new government restrictions because of Covid-19 regulations.

A total of 32 shows were then cancelled, with 200 cars being let in for each performance, at a cost of €50 a car for the 6,000 plus drivers and potentially over 20,000 passengers.

But now Alan and his husband Karl Broderick, who produces the show, have been given the green light to continue with the performances.

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Alan Hughes

Alan Hughes

Pictures: VIPIRELAND.COM

Alan Hughes

“You wouldn’t believe the Christmas we’ve had,” an overjoyed Alan told SundayWorld.com

“At 8pm on Christmas Eve, when we told by the Government and the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly that drive-ins are safe as they you people stay in their cars, in their bubbles.

“So, it is safe to do so.”

He adds: “We spent most of Christmas day emailing people telling them they can come. It’s like a Christmas miracle.”

Alan and Karl spent St Stephen’s Day at Malahide Castle putting on a show they thought would never see the light of day.

“All the shows, including the St Stephen’s Day one, had been due to be cancelled,” he admits.

“There were so many people left gutted over this but we managed to get most people informed that we are back up and running and everyone is thrilled.

“Booking is now up and running again.”

They are due to put on another show tonight.

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Jake as Peter Pan with Captain Hook

Jake as Peter Pan with Captain Hook

Jake as Peter Pan with Captain Hook

Alan and his husband Karl Broderick came up with the idea of staging get-togethers at Malahide castle in north Dublin to watch their production of Peter Pan on big screens.

The production managed to be put together following a last minute reprieve, where Alan and Karl got a government grant of €230,000 to stage it.

Last year they had staged the panto in a marquee in Kilmainham, while in previous years it has been hosted in the Tivoli and Liberty Hall in Dublin.

Dancing with the Stars winner Jake Carter plays the cheeky Peter Pan, while Fair City’s Johnny Ward is the evil pirate Captain Hook in the show.

Looking out for our hero has been the magical Tinkerbell played by Michele McGrath, who gets a little green-eyed at Peter having a new friend Wendy, played by Keila Ann Whelan.

Dancing with the Stars winner Jake Carter plays the cheeky Peter Pan, while Fair City’s Johnny Ward is the evil pirate Captain Hook in the show.

Looking out for our hero has been the magical Tinkerbell played by Michele McGrath, who gets a little green-eyed at Peter having a new friend Wendy, played by Keila Ann Whelan.

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