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Young Frankenstein as presented by Claremorris Musical Society

Updated: Apr 18


31st January – 4th February 2023

ADJUDICATION PERFORMANCE Saturday 3rd February 2024

“Deep Love at last , they’ve found deep love and now they will keep love forever inside”. 

My first show of 2024 and what a lovely start to my year on the road. Once inside the Theatre I was greeted by the Society’s Chairperson June Allison-Keane and her team. Front of House was under the flag of CMS Committee, Peter McCallig and Claremorris Drama and Fringe Festival Committee, Christina Jordan, Alanah McDonagh, Joan McNicholas and Breda Delaney. An extremely professional team here with great coordination and teamwork, very well dressed with the gentlemen in their black-tie suits and the ladies dressed very elegantly indeed. This team had a sense of bubbliness and fun and yet were extremely professional and that in turn ensured the audience were seated quickly and efficiently.

Director for this Production was Donna Ruane. Each character in this show was developed by Ms Ruane in such a way that the characters beautifully evolved and the story continuously flowed. The show moved swiftly, with great musicality and graceful movement throughout. There was great attention to detail in the individual accents. There were many lovely and indeed funny moments such as “Rolling in The Hay” without being overly done and this particular scene was comedy gold. I will mention that I have seen the charades skit used a few times before so it wasn’t new to me and maybe this has run its course. This was the only time I felt that comedy wasn’t natural. Casting was excellent and the sets were of a high standard and absolutely conveyed every scene that we were transported to as an audience. The direction in “Please Don’t Touch Me” with Elizabeth was a highlight and the development of “The Monster” was magnificent, from what he was to what he became. Overall, this was a very well directed show and well-done Ms Ruane. An asset to this Society and I hope your love of Theatre continues for a long time to come.

Choreographer for this Production was Claudia O’Sullivan and was again overall very good indeed. Choreography in “Listen to your Heart” with Frankenstein and Inga with Inga performing her mouthwatering splits was a surprise and a wow factor with dance moves in this number simple, yet seductive and very appropriate. And of course, the wonderful splits from Inga drew a palpable intake of breath from the audience. I must add that in one or two of the Chorus numbers a few of the cast did not seem to be 100% confident in their dance routines however this was not a major criticism but merely an observation. “Putting On the Ritz” with wonderful choreography here with Frankenstein, The Monster and the canes, with the Chorus arriving onstage to join them, was a magnificent number in dance, and a vision of colour and bling. With the black gold and white glowing like a vision from the stage from the first note to the last and given the sheer magnitude of energy and great choreography here with Frankenstein and the Monster and their canes, this number was most definitely the highlight of the 2nd half of the show. The Choreography here was superb, tap was perfect, everybody gave it their all, and it was simply awesome.

Musical Director for this Production was Ms Deirdre Lee. Ms Lee was also Conductor for this performance. The Opening of the show began with just the keyboard playing a solo joined shortly after by violin. This quiet opening with both these instruments was truly lovely, and immediately the audience were quiet and attentive. A beautiful sound emanated from the pit and continued throughout, without obvious fault or error. It was indeed a marvellous opening to your show and set the scene for what was to follow for the rest of the evening.

” He Vas my Boyfriend”, “Please send Me Someone”, “Roll in the Hay” and the glorious “Transylvania Mania” were a joy. “Puttin’ On the Ritz” was a showstopper with the full orchestra in full flight for this superb number, and rightly so, brought the house down with applause. There was a beautiful warm very well-balanced tone from Ms Lees Orchestral team here. I looked forward immensely to each musical number and I was never disappointed. Well done. Beautiful Musical Direction Ms Lee.

Stage Manager for this Production was Mr David Keane. With Assistant Stage Manager Mr Dylan Keane. This is a good team ably assisted by their Stage Crew Josephine Gallagher and Lauren Dempsey. The Dry Ice effect on stage was the first of many jobs for this team. Sets moved very easily, and Set Changes were slick quick and successful. Dry ice in the opening worked very well creating the scene of “Transylvania”, and its dark foreboding atmosphere and location.

The Laboratory was a lovely set and actually got better in Act II. I particularly loved the change of set in Act 1 to “Rolling in the Hay” and the effects of the black horses with Igor, Frankenstein and Inga was simply super. The rapid change to the library was excellent.

Set Design and Construction was by John Wright, Stage Wright, and KIMS. Sets were clever, many of them dual purpose and used efficiently and effectively and again fitted very well into and onto this vast wide stage beautifully. The Laboratory sets were brilliant.

Lighting was Mr Paul Kelly. Personally, I loved the lighting in this show. Dark, impressive, eery, creepy, but also bright, busy and colourful. Specific mentions to Mr Kelly's expertise were the lovely lighting in the Hermits solo “Please Send Me Someone”, and the blue led lighting in the number “Listen to your Heart” with Inga and Frankenstein. The spots used for “Deep Love” in purples were extremely effective and the spots during the show really added depth and texture to the characters and there were many spots throughout, in varying colours such as the blues for the Dungeon. Well done.

Sound Engineer was Mr Alan Dunne. Sound was very good. I did have one very small issue regarding Frau Bluchers microphone in Act 1. I really did feel it could have been louder in her solo number as I found that her voice was not as loud as it should or could be. HOWEVER, sound overall was very good, very effective and professional. Main characters sounded great, particularly Igor, Inga, The Monster and Frankenstein, who had an enormous amount of both dialogue and song. The Chorus may I add sounded beautifully and this was such a success. Thank you, Mr Dunne, and well done. Back stage Mics were supplied by Mr Kevin McCarthy, and really worked very well.

Costumes were by Leo’s Theatrical Costumes UK. Costumes from the opening scene were a delight. Inspector Kemps medals lighting up the stage and gleaming from his lapel, along with his prosthetic arm – with fantastic sound effects! were a vision. Mr Kemps costume was very good. The Monsters (played by Enda Mulchrone) costume and indeed makeup was a massive success, along with Igor’s (played by Mervyn Fahy) black costume with cloak and his constantly moving hump (another fun element) was brilliant. Ingas (played by Nicole Scott) costumes were gorgeous, with mention to her white ballroom dress with the feathers in the second half of the show was beautiful and suited this young lady perfectly.

Makeup was by Amanda Conlon, MUA and Joanne Delaney, with WIG Hire by Ali Murphy Wig Hire. Fabulous. Ingas gorgeous blonde Marilyn Monroe curls, Frau Bluchers severe slicked back not a hair out of place bun, Young Frankenstein’s mad almost burnt like hair, (the mad scientist look), the Hermits long tresses and beard, and the hairstyles for the ensemble I simply cannot fault. Makeup by Amanda Conlon, and Joanne Delaney were also superb. Well done.

As there is nobody specifically allocated the role of Props I really must commend this area and the team at all times. I loved the lit lanterns in “He is Loose”, Elizabeth's diamanté encrusted jewellery that shone like a beacon from the stage, to name but a few of the very effective small additions to this show for the characters that were very impressive indeed so well done to the Props crew.

Young Frankenstein was played by Mr David Alexander. Mr Alexander looked great in this role; the mad scientist look was effective, a highly intelligent gentleman whose life evolved around his work and his genius in science. A lovely somewhat distracted relationship with Elizabeth his fiancée in the beginning - there was an air of I’m not sure if he really knew she was there sometimes such was his fixation on science. Mr Alexander was a great character, acting this role very well, lovely comedy and chemistry between himself, Inga, Igor and The Monster – Mr Alexander was also a key player throughout this show and gentlemanly in his ways, and worked the stage very well. Particular mention to his superb acting in “Rolling in The Hay” I split my sides laughing, some very funny double entendre meaning with Inga here that were so funny and beautifully acted with great timing. Lovely singing voice, and a strong stage presence throughout Mr Alexander played this massive and key role very well and was indeed very effective as Young Frankenstein and hugely enhanced the enjoyment of the show for the audience throughout. No mean feat and very well-done Mr Alexander.

Igor was played by Mervyn Fahy. What a magnificent job Mr Fahy did with this character. Funny, eloquent, fantastic facial expression and comedic timing who was a vital link throughout this show between all the main characters - visually brilliant and a wonderful actor. I loved the comedy in playing the accordion when Frankenstein and Inga were “busy” when Elizabeth arrived as a surprise! In the scene when Frankenstein is stuck in the laboratory with The Monster, and they were not to open the door if Frankenstein told them to, Igors reaction here was so funny, looking at Inga and Frau Blucher and saying nah, there was a boldness here like a little 7 year old child!! Brilliant. Singing, dancing, movement, stage presence, visually, wonderful rapport with fellow characters and nimbleness around the stage along with magnificent makeup, and costume and the ever-moving hump (!) made Igor’s character for me personally one of the highlights of the show. I loved you in this role. Every single moment. You were a superb Igor, and congratulations!

Inga was played by Nicole Scott. What a gorgeous fun loving, cheeky flirtatious young lady Ms Scott was in this role. With a gorgeous singing voice, fabulous wig and costumes, and a smile that lit up the room, Ms Scott was indeed a truly lovely Inga. Great chemistry between Ms Scott and Mr Alexander and indeed these were a lovely “couple” together. Ms Scott as Inga had lovely facial expression, a lovely fluidity to her moves and great rapport throughout with all characters. Looked great, sang beautifully, and overall was a huge part of the success of this show and a magnificent leading lady. Ms Scott you were a gorgeous Inga and I liked you in this role very much. A key player and important link in the overall story congratulations on a lovely fine strong performance. Well done.

Frau Blucher was played by Vivienne Lee. A very talented actress, Ms Lee was a strong Frau Blucher in looks, expression, visually, dress, humour and voice. A dark, stern, eery and mysterious character in the beginning, in love with her beloved now deceased Victor Frankenstein, this role was beautifully played by Ms Lee. Facial expressions and particularly your eyes, really brought this character to life and after a while you softened and you wore your heart on your sleeve for “He Vas My Boyfriend”. Sung beautifully, with such pain and sorrow and yet performed magnificently. Your interactions again and your comedic timing, were excellent and always appropriate. A truly great role and very well performed. You are a magnificent actress Ms Lee, and you played the part of Frau Blucher beautifully and with such passion and heart and soul. A very strong performance. Congratulations.

Elizabeth was played by Mary Dempsey. A complete high end maintenance Diva if there ever was one! I loved Ms Dempsey in her portrayal of this role. Dramatic, ice queen like, very posh, rich Daddy, engaged to Young Frankenstein – but always a step apart from him where “Please Don’t Touch Me” was fantastic, brought the house down and a fabulous number in this show. Gorgeous part, with excellent facial expression, eye rolling, disdain, poshness, and constant enormous drama along with your entourage of 5 in Act 2 who looked after your needs and travelled everywhere with you. Ms Dempsey brought the character to life. I had a soft spot for you in this role. From the very first moment you made your grand entrance on stage, and again every time you came on stage and indeed in every scene, and I found the energy and lightness lifted a little and you were indeed a truly lovely Elizabeth. And a total and utter DIVA and I loved you for it. A pleasure to be in the audience with your performance. Beautifully played Ms Dempsey.

Inspector Kemp was played by Gerard Scott. Lovely introduction to Mr Kemp in the beginning of the show, great costume and good comedy with the prosthetic unlubricated arm with the sound effects and added that extra bit of fun to this character. A key role in the village I liked the way you came into the audience and took a seat in the auditorium at one stage which was clever direction, good acting and stage presence and clear diction. Well done.

The Monster was played by Enda Mulchrone. Well, where do I start with this young man. What a role. What a magnificent visual you created Mr Mulchrone as The Monster. Great stage presence, very assured in your walking – on what seemed like you were on stilts you were so tall, and in the beginning a sense of foreboding, with your huge stature and grunts, with magnificent acting, movement, and a genuine talent here for the stage. Fabulous makeup and costume and excellent sound effects made you absolutely one of the main highlights of this show and I looked forward to you arriving on stage each time. This part became the key to the success of the show, and you made it work. “Putting On the Ritz” was a highlight but also every scene you were a part of lifted in its energy and comedy and strength. I loved what you made of playing “The Monster” Mr Mulchrone. A simply glorious performance for all the above reasons and more. Congratulations and I am sure your presence will grace many more stages in your life and long may it continue. Bravo.

Harold The Hermit was played by Ronan Egan. What a gorgeous character Mr Egan created in this role as Harold the Hermit. Such a beautiful singing voice, rich and with depth and a lovely lyrical quality in your solo “Please Send Me Someone” Aww!! What a gorgeous number sung from the heart, telling the audience and the world of your loneliness in your life, with your sparse living conditions and existence. Well done Mr Egan. I thoroughly enjoyed your performance here and I commend you on the lovely character that you created in Harold the Hermit. Well done.

The Chorus produced a wonderful sound throughout this show and production with lovely numbers and beautiful harmonies such as the gorgeous “Happiest Town” to “He’s Loose”, “Puttin on The Ritz”, and the number I can’t stop singing in my own head “Together Again” (I just loved this number with yourselves). A showstopper indeed. Sound was so lovely in the Chorus numbers with all the above I commend you all greatly. There’s a part of me that saw even from my seat what a wonderful camaraderie there is within this group and amongst each one of you. Your singing was an absolute pleasure to listen to and in this Society, I wish I could have heard you sing more, and I hope I get an opportunity to someday. Bravo and well done to you all.

I thoroughly enjoyed my evening in Claremorris. I was bowled over by the Theatre itself and its beauty, and I loved what you brought to your audience. You transported me beautifully from Claremorris Co. Mayo to Transylvania with great aplomb, enormous talent and pride and I admire you all greatly and indeed congratulate you all on what you produced on stage here tonight for your 17th Production. May there be many more to come and I wish you all, most sincerely, all the best always for the continuation for many years into the future for your lovely Society. Thank you and Well done.

Caroline Daly Jones

Sullivan Adjudicator 2023 / 2024

Some photos kindly shared by the society - Photographer credit Paul Kelly - Indigo Lighting


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