The Pantomime Cinderella is well and truly underway at Derry’s Millennium Forum this festive season and its’ Magical Fairy Godmother took time out of her busy schedule to talk to this North West Culture Gal yesterday. Orla Mullan is once again back on the Derry stage and is really making her mark alongside her magic wand and kind heart.
Orla told me, “This is my fifth panto in Derry and it’s the best yet.” The current show is exceeding all records in the history of the Derry pantomime and Mullan is certainly adding her magic touch to the stage.
“Of all the fairies to play, this is the best. Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother is the most iconic of fairytale fairies and she really is like a Guardian Angel.” This is certainly true and this fairy/angel takes care of our beloved Cinders throughout the story. She shows us that one doesn’t need a prince to be happy and that loving yourself is the most important part of being true to yourself. Orla said, “she teaches you to look to the inside and believe in yourself. It’s a rags to riches story but it also emphasies that riches don’t really matter. Doing your own thing is what counts.” What a truly wonderful message this is conveying to our young folk.
Orla was in Sweden last Christmas doing a Christmas show and is delighted to be back in Derry this year. “I love Christmas and it would be strange not to do a Christmas show. It’s nice to get home at this time of year and this is a lovely way to end the working year.”
Orla is of course working on stage with her partner Keith. One of the Ugly Sisters, Keith is more concerned with his make-up now at home than Orla is. “He’s more into his make-up than any woman is”, said Orla. “He never switches off. He’s even doing his nail polish in the house.” Somehow I can believe this having met the same man just last week. Or should I say, lady!!
So just how special is it to play this role of Fairy Godmother? “It’s iconic. When the carriage and pony arrive on stage, it’s just the most magical part of the show.”
I couldn’t but help asking Orla about Prince Charming, Mark Lamb. This being his first role, and his being exceptional in it, I was keen to hear the professional that is Orla Mullan’s opinion of him. “Mark is just such a lovely young man. He is so hard working and a very special talent. His voice is stunning and he just blends with Cinderella. He is part of a great cast and he feels the warmth of that cast. It’s coincidental that the first director I worked with is now also working with Mark. He’s just a talented and very special person.” Well I got my take on this young man right when I both met him and saw him perform last week. Simply stunning on the Derry stage he really is.
So what are Orla Mullan’s plans for Christmas and New Year? “I’m spending Christmas at home with my parents then Keith and I are off to New York in January. I’m looking forward to showing Keith the sites and the city I love so much.”
I only hope New York is ready for this Ugly Sister. I’m really not sure that even Broadway, or the Bronx will be able to handle that much dress and make up. Time will tell!!
Whether you’re a little girl, or a mature adult (with a child’s heart like myself) you can’t help but love this Fairy Godmother and really wish she was yours. Orla Mullan wins the heart of the entire audience during this years pantomime and no doubt will continue to do so for many years to come.
Do treat you and your family this Christmas with the Derry Pantomime, Cinderella. It runs at Derry’s Millennium Fourm until December 31st. You really won’t regret it. It’s magical in every way possible. And you never know, your wish might just come true!