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Moving in Panto star reveals how cast isolated together for 20 days before recording show

"It was kind like the Big Brother house. All that was missing was a diary room"

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Dayl Cronin stars in the panto

Dayl Cronin stars in the panto

Dayl Cronin stars in the panto

Ireland’s only Irish sign language interpreted pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk at UCH Limerick, has been extended online to next Sunday due to overwhelming public demand.

And former boyband star Dayl Cronin, who plays Jack, tells Sundayworld.com how the cast of the Limerick panto had to live together for 20 days before recording the show this year due to Covid-19.

Singer and dancer Cronin, who was a member of Louis Walsh’s HomeTown boyband, says: “It’s been so weird doing panto this year as we had to isolate together and have regular tests. We were sent home test kits before we all got together and we were tested a good bit while we were there.”

“There were 11 of us and we were all stuck together and didn’t have the freedom to roam. It was kind like the Big Brother house. All that was missing was a diary room. But we didn’t kill each other. It’s a year and a panto we’ll never forget.”

Cronin, who finished in fourth position on Dancing with the Stars three years ago, also runs his own dance school and had to shut it down this year due to the pandemic.

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The cast of Jack and the Beanstalk

The cast of Jack and the Beanstalk

The cast of Jack and the Beanstalk

“I’m just delighted to have the panto going for me this year because my dance school has been closed since March, apart from three weeks in September,” Dayl says.

“It’s been a rough year, but pantos are saving Christmas all around. Obviously we can’t perform it live on stage, but people are delighted that they can stream them in their own homes.”

Although HomeTown failed to achieve major league success and ultimately split up, Cronin says he has no regrets. “HomeTown gave me the platform to get my name out there and off the back of it I’ve been fairly successful.

“I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. I learned so much about the business, plus we had a lot of fun for a couple of years,” he says.

“As a result of being in HomeTown I was very fortunate to do the first ever series of Dancing with the Stars, and then I went on to open my dance school that year. It was always the dream to have my own dance school, so I was very fortunate to do it.”

With a choice of videos streams, with or without signing, you may now purchase and view Jack and the Beanstalk until midnight on Sunday, January 3.

Jack & The Beanstalk also features long time UCH panto favourite, Richie Hayes, joined by the always irresistible Dame Myles Breen.

Liam O’Brien of Emmerdale fame makes his UCH panto debut as the baddest of baddies.

Aisling Breen returns as the faithful, baddie sidekick.

Also making their UCH Panto debuts this year are Ruth Berkeley as Fairy Ella and Waterford native Julie Power who plays Jill.

This project has been part-funded by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht Sport and Media from the Live Performance Support Scheme.

· To book tickets for the Limerick panto go to www.dice.fm

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