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A STAR will be walking among us this Christmas as Samantha Mumba plays the Evil Stepmother to Leanne Moore’s Fairy Godmother in this year’s SPAR Panto Cinderella at the University Concert Hall.Samantha, a former popstar and actress who has worked with Steven Spielberg, Vinnie Jones, Roger Daltrey and Patrick Bergin during her career, said she was delighted to be in Limerick.An absence that long from the charts can be decisive for any musician’s career.But Mumba had been working non-stop since she was 15, and she says that, rather than let it frustrate her, she enjoyed the enforced time off. Which worked for me anyway because I got to be at home for a while and to go out with my friends at the weekend,” she says.Cinderella also features Richie Hayes as Cinderella’s BFF Buttons, comedian Tom O’Mahony as Dandini and Myles Breen and Richard Lynch as the hilarious - and hideous - Ugly Sisters.Making her UCH debut in a starring role will be Haley-Jo Murphy as Cinderella.After failing to qualify for the fourth year in a row last night, there has been much plotting and scheming on how to restore ourselves to Eurovision glory – and there may just be an answer.In a piece for The Irish Times, writer Jenn Gannon reflected on Ireland’s current place in the Eurovision, and suggested that maybe it’s time to hand over the reins to a more capable pair of hands. Someone who can recognise an actual C’mon, Eurovision bigwigs! England got to Bonnie F**king Tyler to do it for them one year, why can’t we have the Mumba?
Cinderella will run at the University Concert Hall from December 18 to January 7 2018. Speaking to the Limerick Leader at the launch of Cinderella in House Limerick, she said: “I’m looking forward to finding all the nice little dinner and shopping spots.I have already made some notes where I need to go, so it will be nice to be here, especially over Christmas.” A recent viewer-favourite on Celebrity Masterchef, Samantha noted that she loves doing panto as it’s “great fun”.She’s one of those instantly recognisable Irish faces, and yet it is 15 years since Louis Walsh “discovered” her and 13 years since her first single was released.Her presence probably doesn’t turn as many heads as it used to, but nor is it yet a case of “Samantha who?