Rathcoole production is just the ticket for families

Charlie's grandparents gather to hear news of his golden ticket win in Rathcoole's version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. INNT 02-810CON
Charlie's grandparents gather to hear news of his golden ticket win in Rathcoole's version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. INNT 02-810CON

Children and their families were captivated recently by Rathcoole’s version of the Roald Dahl classic, ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’

Armed with their golden tickets, those in attendance were able to step into a world of pure imagaination.

The performers took to the stage five times on the one day to play in front of packed audiences at Merville House in Merville Garden Village.

The event, hosted by the Rathcoole Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership and funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All Programme, has become part of the local events calendar with many families returning year upon year.

Volunteers from a range of Rathcoole’s community and voluntary groups such as the Breakaways and Newtownabbey Women’s Group, took to the stage and some even to their bed on the stage. Mr. Coole was ably assisted by a host of Oompa-Loompas who magically guided families through the chocolate factory.

The families who were there were treated to chocolate pizzas and chocolate dipped marshmallows, provided by Aunt Sandra’s Sweet Factory.

There was good feedback for the organisers, with everyone giving positive reviews of the event.

The families were guided through the trail and the enchanted sweetie garden, before meeting Santa and his friends, who had made a special visit from the North Pole.

Chair of the Rathcoole Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership, Councillor Paul Hamill, commented: “We were delighted to welcome so many local families to what has become the annual highlight around Christmas.

“We would like to thank all the volunteers who gave up their time to take part. It was a great way to get into the Festive Spirit.”

“I recognise that right across the borough volunteers contribute invaluably to the community and often events like this would simply not happen without them giving so willingly of their time and talents.”

Donations from those at the event also raised awareness and vital funds for the Mayor’s chosen charities - Cancer Fund for Children, Autism NI and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.