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Young Frankenstein as presented by Kilmainham Inchicore Musical Society (KIMS)

Young Frankenstein as presented by Kilmainham Inchicore Musical Society (KIMS)

1st – 4th November 2023

Inchicore College of Further Education

Date of Adjudicated Performance: Saturday 4th November 2023

This was my first show in the county of Dublin this year and it did not disappoint. Inchicore College was transformed this week into the creepy town of Transylvania. 

I was immediately welcomed by Mr Frank Foley, and given a lovely Halloween goodie bag with a much-welcomed bottle of water, some Rolos(!) and my programme – such a small detail but very thoughtful indeed. 

Front of house was a very busy area and not the easiest to move around but being a college corridor, it was never meant to be a theatre front of house.  The hustle and bustle just added to the excitement and together with my Rolos from the Committee, I couldn’t wait to see the show. I was then taken to my seat by Ms Yvonne McCarthy, Treasurer for the Society.  Well done Front of House team on navigating the crowds so effectively.  We started on time in no small part due to all your efforts. 

A lovely lady over the sound system (very clearly a local from Transylvania!) gave us the Exits and Health and Safety clearly and concisely, and the show opened with the “Happiest Town In Town” and we were introduced to Inspector Kemp played by Mr Brian Dennison, Ziggy, played by Eanna O’Donaill, and the KIMS Ensemble. The dry ice was very effective here, lovely costumes, great sound, perfect hairstyles, a very good set which is the Scene of a Transylvanian Funeral, and lovely movement and ensemble singing, and we were off!! 

The Director for this production was Art McGauran. With 26 Scenes in the full production, the Directors role in this show is vital for its success. Mr McGauran has an attention for detail which I loved.  Obviously working closely with set design, the structure of the sets allowed direction to be slick and very professional. The principal actors were very well rehearsed, and the script was delivered so very well. The audience were never in any doubt what was going on at any stage.  His use of lighting and sets really created the playground for the cast to excel. The comedy parts were maximized without being silly and the sounds and special effects employed were well done. Casting was very good, and the direction made me connect with most, if not all the characters.  Well done.

Choreography by Ms Siobhan Ryan was slick and rehearsed well. I loved the fact that the whole ensemble at some stage danced during the show and each number was polished and most enjoyable to watch. “Puttin On the Ritz” was a showstopper and “Transylvania Mania” was a vision. Again, not a foot or an arm or a body out of place. There was a little repetition in some areas but that really didn’t impair on any of my enjoyment.  I loved the ideas of Ms Ryan and how she brought them to fruition beautifully in this production. 

Barry Power was the Musical Director.  This is where I must start using words like ingenious, inspiring, and super. As I mentioned at the beginning, I couldn’t see any Orchestra.  At the interval the secret was revealed.   A two-way monitor that the cast and Musical Director could see but no one else. The whole orchestra were in a classroom on another level next door to the theatre!  The sound they produced was excellent and in perfect timing. To overcome a space issue with such an ingenious idea and make it work was amazing. The 10-piece orchestra produced a sound that was on pitch, in time, and always so assured that principal and chorus singing never put a foot wrong. Bravo. 

Visually this show was a picture. Set Design by Mr John O’Donoghue was strong, striking, and creative and worked exceptionally well with mention to the set changes which were many and moved seamlessly. Stage Manager and responsibility for so many directions and movements were in the hands of Colum McDaid. Mr McDaid also had responsibility for Stage Construction with his team Paul Johnston, & Mr Paul Meehan. The Stage Crew, Paul Meehan, Paul Johnston, David Carter, Aaron Macken-Tierney, Eimear Collins, Claire Neill and Terry Martin – Terry who I also may add is the Chairperson for the Society worked silently and professionally and this team obviously work well together without a single flaw or error on the evening I attended. It was slick and professional.

Attention to detail in Dr Frankenstein’s lair was super.  Lights and machinery aplenty with switches and power levers all adding to the suspense.  Not once did I see a glitch or tech failure so well done to you all. It was exceptionally good.


Sound was managed by Conor Wilkins / Wilkins audio. From the opening number the sound was balanced beautifully with the Orchestra and no weak links there. There were many stage mics which gave us an all-round surround sound style feel. It was excellent and had a huge impact on the visual experience too.  

SFX by Mr Rob Gallagher is something I must mention. I believe there were 120 cues for special effect sounds throughout the show – I particularly like “Neighing” effect each time Frau Blucher (played by Lisa Younge) came on stage and each time it drew a huge laugh from the audience.  Inspector Kemp played by Brian Dennison had what we call in Wexford a “gammy arm”!!  Each time he moved his artificial hand there was this wonderful click clicking sound which again was timed to perfection. Really not an easy thing to do from another room.  

Costumes by Andrew Reddy, assisted by Lorraine McDaid and Tony O’Brien were dramatic, and appropriate. Specific mention to the costumes of The Monster played by Jamie Place, and Igor played by Kevin Macken and his visually spectacular hump.  Fabulous attention to detail and super costuming

Igor’s makeup (played by Kevin Macken-Tierney) was splendid, with his white face and black sunken eyes it was a highlight along with The Monsters as mentioned above. Makeup was also so effective for Inga played by Louise O’Connor and Frau Blucher played by Lisa Younge had great attention to detail and again from my seat in the audience was very effective.  Well done to Denise Barrett and Gráinne Nolan on a job perfectly executed and effective. Props and sets especially in “A Mad Dream”, “The Brain Swap” and “Where Oh Where’s that Monster”. This whole team were hugely successful in creating a visual treat for its audience and had a huge part to play in the show’s overall success.  

Frederick or Young Frankenstein or “Fronkensteen” as he preferred to be called was played beautifully by Mr David Hynes. This young man in this huge role played a blinder in this show. His comical timing in places, his appearance, acting, singing, dancing, diction, costumes and stage presence were all in abundance. Although rarely off stage his energy and passion for this role was clear to be seen. In particularly the song “Roll in The Hay” with Igor (played by Kevin Macken), and Inga (played by Louise O’Connor) and the horses – this scene was so funny, so well directed and in a scene where timing must perfect or you lose the moment, this trio got this just right. There was such great humour and attention to detail here it was one of the highlights of the evening and well done to all three of you. Mr Hynes had impeccable timing and a lovely vocal range, I particularly liked his numbers, “Life Life”, “Man About Town”, and Fredericks Soliloquy sung and acted with pure feeling and emotion. 

Elizabeth Benning Frankenstein’s fiancée is played by Ms Sophia Daly. A gregarious, glamourous, lady with a huge voice sang and played this part with great aplomb. A Diva from the minute we saw her to the minute she finished. Well played. “Deep Love” was especially well sung. I particularly loved the way Ms Daly developed her character when encountering the Monster. And the dishevelled hair after your cave encounter …. Ha! -  it was brilliant.  Super and so clever! 

Igor was played by Mr Kevin Macken-Tierney. What a fantastic character. I absolutely loved Mr Macken’s very good comedic timing, his clever movement around the stage, and his wonderful costume and makeup. For me personally, his facial expressions were hilarious and only added to Mr Macken’s brilliant characterisation of the role. His vocals were superbly sung, and the character Mr Macken created on stage stands out in my mind. A wonderful portrayal of this character played beautifully by Mr. Macken. Superb performance. 

Frau Blucher was played by Ms Lisa Younge. A nice character. Very austere and great facial expression. Make up and costume very good and a lovely singing voice and acted the part very well. She came across as a very mysterious and dark character with a very dry sense of humour and the sounds of the horse neighing in many of her appearances onstage was very cleverly done and very funny every single time, and only added to the intrigue of her character. This young lady has great comedic timing, “He Vas My Boyfriend”, and “Life Life” were super. 

Inga was played by Ms Louise O’Connor. From the moment she arrives on stage, she is bright, funny, flirtatious, looks great and again has wonderful comedic timing. Such a sweet and gracious character and also so funny. Again, I mention the songs “Life Life” and “Roll in the Hay” superbly acted sung and directed. Ms O’Connor's comedy in her flirting with Dr Frankenstein,” Rolling in the Hay” was absolutely hilarious, along with her gorgeous voice and wonderful acting it was a pleasure to watch this young lady, in every scene, and was a huge part to play in the overall success of this show. You had the audience in the palm of your hands. 

Inspector Kemp was played by Brian Dennison. This character is a great part. What a great acting role, with the limp and the prosthetic arm and the clicking sound effects when he moved and limped this gentleman was just so funny. He got a laugh from the audience every single time. The opening of the show was our first introduction this character and his rendition of “Happiest in Town” with Ziggy and Ensemble was a sign of what to expect for the rest of the evening and you set the bar high. I loved the sound effects of the “clicks” with your hand when you moved it. Very clever well directed and moved and lovely stage presence. 

The Hermit was played by Mr David Supple. Now I loved this guy. I immediately warmed Mr Supple as did the audience. Again, a lot of humour in this lovely role and attention to detail like serving food to the Monster and pouring him a drink and smashing the glass was impeccable timing, and superb acting. His interaction with the Monster was brilliant. I loved this funny warm character, and this was only enhanced by his magnificent solo “Please Send Me Someone”. (I wanted to go up and give you a hug.) The strength Mr Supple’s voice in this number showcased a great talent, and you showed a lovely empathy for your part and the lonely life of The Hermit. Well played. 

The Monster was played by Jamie Place.  Wonderful stage presence portraying a hilariously funny character yet also so vulnerable awkward and shy.  “Putting On the Ritz” with Frederick, Igor & Inga was just brilliant. I was drawn to this character from the beginning, his costume and make up were exceptional. Mr Place was so clumsy when the others are trying to teach him manners and etiquette, and his Mr. Place comes into his own in this song with a lovely contrast between the exceptional dancing of the ensemble along with the Monsters own very awkward movements. Mr Place succeeded in developing his character well from when we are introduced to him first laying on the operating table when he could only grunt. The sounds he emanated throughout the show were absolutely brilliant. I loved your interpretation of this role and I hope you enjoyed performing it as it was for us your audience to enjoy. Well done. 

Victor Von Frankenstein was played by Morgan Moore. When we are first introduced to him, he was sitting in a large gold frame on stage, and he was set in “the Portrait” Great control here as he doesn’t flinch even for a second- in fact it looked as if he wasn’t breathing – nothing moved I don’t think he even blinked!  And then when Frederick fell asleep and Victor Frankenstein steps out of the frame and comes to life to “Join the Family Business” This number burst forth on stage and sung well with a brilliant ensemble. The energy required here to complete this number is no mean achievement because at the end of the number Mr Moore, sat back in the picture frame not moving or blinking with not even the slightest hint of being out of breath and the show continued. Well done!

Ziggy was played by Éanna Ó’Dónaill. I Loved Mr Ó’Dónaill's facial expressions throughout.  I keep saying that there is no such thing as a small part, and it rings true again.  I looked forward to the villagers’ appearances so we could see what he had in store each time.  

A super rock-solid Chorus was the only way I could describe this wonderful ensemble. A beautiful sound. Singing was so well done together with super movement as mentioned.  Each and every one of the Chorus sang with their hearts, with particular mention to “Welcome to Transylvania”, “He’s Loose”, and the opening number of the show “Happiest Town In Town”.  The Chorus and indeed the Full Ensemble in their numbers were very slick and professional, and with great interaction with the principal characters. 

I loved the detail in your programme.  It makes an Adjudicators life so much easier when this area isn’t ignored so well done.  I believe you have a fabulous Society going from strength to strength on the shoulders of stalwarts like Phillipa Alford whom I knew well and Anna Marie McQuillan who are both sadly missed.  Now is your time and I so enjoyed my first ever Young Frankenstein. 

May you go from strength to strength, and I wish you all very well.  Thank you so much for my warm welcome and most of all for the treat of musical theatre you gave everyone who came in through your doors. Well done to you all. 

Caroline Daly Jones, Sullivan Adjudicator 2023/24

Some photos kindly provided by the society.

Photographer: Aishling Byrne (@aconwayphotography)


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