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RTÉ set to take on the traditional panto with Late Late Toy Show - The Musical

Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy confirmed he will not be part of the new musical. Photo: Andres Poveda

Eoghan Moloney

RTÉ is launching a Christmas musical to take on traditional pantos based on a little girl’s Late Late Toy Show adventure which will begin this December.

Toy Show The Musical will run this Christmas in the auditorium at The Convention Centre, Dublin, and will “bring the magic of the Late Late Toy Show to the theatre stage for the very first time”.

The production will follow the story of one girl and her family as they prepare for the biggest night of their lives – the night of the Toy Show.

The new musical is created and produced by Late Late Show producers Jane Murphy and Katherine Drohan, and will begin on December 10, during the Christmas panto season.

The broadcaster told the Irish Independent the production would “require investment” in order to “put on a fantastic show for families”.

Any profit would be used to “sustain the delivery of RTÉ’s public services”, a spokesperson for RTÉ said.

RTÉ director-general Dee Forbes said the broadcaster had been “quietly working on Toy Show The Musical for quite a while” and was “delighted to be in a position to launch it”.

“We said a number of years ago that live events were going to be a key part of RTÉ’s future but we had to delay our plans due to the pandemic,” she said. “Just like the Late Late Toy Show itself, so much care and thought is going into this musical.”

Toy Show The Musical will be directed by Séimí Campbell, whose recent work includes Gary Barlow’s A Different Stage and Jason Robert Brown’s Songs For A New World at The London Palladium.

Award-winning playwright Lisa Tierney-Keogh said she was “absolutely thrilled to be writing Toy Show The Musical”.

The musical will bring the experience of the Late Late Toy Show to the theatre stage for the first time and tells a story about “family, tradition and how the magic of the Toy Show brings the whole world together each year for one truly amazing night”.

The production has been described as a “mischievous, musical experience for the whole family – where the children are in charge and the adults get to be kids again”.

Producers Ms Murphy and Ms Drohan said they were thrilled to “honour the Toy Show and all of the joy and magic that it inspires across Ireland every year” with a musical.

“Full of fun, laughter and love, we see how the Toy Show allows children to teach us that the magic they need to change their world already exists within them.”

Late Late Show presenter Ryan Tubridy confirmed he would not be part of the show, saying he would “leave the theatre stage to the theatre actors” and wished the “brilliant team involved” well.

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