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Rock of Ages

21 Nov 2024


9 to 5 as presented by Castlerea Musical Society

CASTLEREA MUSICAL SOCIETY 9-5 THE MUSICAL ADJUDICATION PERFORMANCE 25TH APRIL 2024 My journey to Co. Roscommon took me on an incredible...

CASTLEREA MUSICAL SOCIETY  9-5 THE MUSICAL ADJUDICATION PERFORMANCE 25TH APRIL 2024 My journey to Co. Roscommon took me on an incredible journey across Ireland on a lovely, bright Spring day. The production was held in the Hub, a venue known for its quirky yet modern design, and typically used consistently by many groups. Castlerea Musical Society, with its adaptability and creativity, transformed this space into a welcoming and warm visual. The Hub, with its unique features, was magically transformed into a stunning theatre, providing the perfect setting for the show. The society's commitment to excellence was evident in every aspect of the production, from the excellent direction and choreography to the super chorus. The Front of House team for "9-5" was excellent. And thank you for the picnic that was served at the interval. It was like a picture in itself. I should have taken a photo! The team was welcoming, friendly, and helpful outside and inside the hall; this team's organisation and efficiency were notable. Given that this was a production in a hall used by other communities quite regularly, the team's commitment to safety was also evident.  The Director, Ronan Lardner, showcased his exceptional talent in the direction of '9-5'. His clear vision not only brought out the best in the cast but also created a beautiful narrative that resonated with the audience. The show's pacing was masterfully managed, keeping the audience engaged throughout. Even in the more significant ensemble numbers, this Society's energy filled the room with each consistent note. Mr Lardner's creative use of the stage and props added to the overall production, with seamless transitions between scenes and effective blocking that highlighted essential moments. These elements were a testament to Mr Lardner's impressive work, which contributed significantly to the show's success. I hope to see you in many productions again, Mr Lardner. Bravo.  The Musical Director, Shane Farrell, led the orchestras to create an absolute joy for every number. The tempo and accompaniment provided by the orchestra were exceptional, elevating the show's overall quality. Their unique energy, talent, and precision added a vibrant and dynamic dimension to the production, perfectly complementing the cast's performances. The orchestra's seamless synchronisation with the performers on stage and ability to maintain the correct tempo throughout the show significantly contributed to its success. Their outstanding performance truly enhanced the audience's experience, and I praise you all for your gorgeous contribution to this show. Your dedication and talent were truly remarkable, and I am grateful for the opportunity to witness your work.  The choreographer was Ria Purcell. This young lady’s talent and choreography were outstanding, with Ms Rea demonstrating vital creativity and originality, making the dance numbers thrilling and entertaining. The dancers' synchronisation and precision were commendable, and the various dance styles kept the show dynamic and engaging. The choreographer's talent in working with the cast and bringing out their best was evident in the performance's high quality, and it was also apparent to me, Ms Purcell, that you have a lovely rapport with your cast. Overall, the choreography was a standout feature of the show, and I loved it. The Stage Manager was Mr Niall Heaney. The set design was visually stunning, with creative use of props and set pieces bringing the audience into the world of the story. The set changes were seamless, and the attention to detail was commendable. The sound design was top-notch. The panels were multifunctional and simply superb visually and practically. Smooth and consistent movement, they were also so pretty to the eye. I loved the colours of simple works, and it did work here at this stage in this production. An absolute gentleman to speak with, and Mr Heaney, you did an excellent job in this role for this production.  The sound in "9-5 The Musical" by Castlerea Musical Society was excellent. The sound team demonstrated a deep understanding of sound production, ensuring clear and well-balanced audio throughout the performance. The effective use of sound effects and seamless integration with live performances showcased the team's attention to detail. Additionally, the management of microphones and amplification was top-notch, creating a smooth auditory experience for the audience.  The lighting design was also very good. The lighting effects were well-timed and added depth and emotion to the production. Using different colours and lighting techniques added to the show's overall aesthetic, making it visually stunning. The sets, sound, and lighting design worked seamlessly, creating a cohesive and immersive production. The attention to detail and commitment to excellence in these areas significantly contributed to the show's success. The entire production team should be proud of their exceptional work in this technical area, which was a huge success. Bravo.  The costumes were visually superb and added more authenticity to the show. The era-appropriate costumes brought the characters to life, highlighting their personalities and individual quirks. The costumes were well-fitted and well-made, allowing the actors to move freely, yet they were very striking in appearance. The attention to detail in the costumes was impressive, with each outfit uniquely tailored to suit the character's style.  The hair and makeup teams did an excellent job. Great attention to detail in these areas burst with colour and visuals, and this was a superb job done by a very talented team. The wigs and hairpieces used were well-made, and the attention to detail in the hair and makeup design was commendable. The attention to detail in the props' design was impressive, and upon my tour backstage, it was obvious that the props were many. Given the space that was converted backstage to create this vision of production, props were well-maintained and cared for. They, in turn, were used effectively, which added to the show's overall success in a challenging situation with all the work realised to convert the Hub into a Theatre.  Jacqueline Kenny played the part of Violet. Ms Kenny was a standout character in "9-5" with her excellent stage presence and exceptional acting skills in this role as Violet. She brought a lovely heart to this role, effortlessly portraying Violet's ambition, determination, and vulnerability. Ms Kenny’s robust vocals consistently showcased her impressive vocal range and passionate delivery. Overall, this was a truly memorable performance as Violet, making the character a highlight of the show. I loved you in this role, Ms Kenny.  Chloe Donnellan played the part of Doralee. And Ms Donnellan was a delight to watch and listen to on stage. Her Southern charm and quick wit were spot-on, and I and indeed the audience, couldn't help but fall in love with her.  Her vocals were gorgeous, and her comedic timing was impeccable. Ms Donnellan brought a unique energy to the role, making Doralee an absolute highlight of this production. I looked forward to listening to and watching you in the character you created from start to finish in this role. You were a fantastic Doralee. Bravo, Ms Donnellan.  Enya Reilly played Judy's part. Ms Reilly underwent significant growth throughout the show and portrayed the transformation beautifully. Her strong performance brought out the character's vulnerability and determination. Ms Reillys solo numbers were a testament to her vocal talent, and her chemistry with the other actors was palpable. Overall, Ms Reilly delivered a standout performance as Judy, making her character a show's highlight. “Get Out And Stay Out! was a stunning number. The audience was silenced, and you could hear a pin drop. It was an absolute highlight of the show and had a strong message for women about empowerment, strength, and independence.  David Cooke played the part of Franklin J Hart. A wonderfully played quintessential villain of the show, who delivered an outstanding performance in the role. Mr Hart brought the character's sleazy charm and narcissism to life, making the audience love to hate him. His physicality and comedic timing were impressive, making his scenes entertaining and engaging. Overall, Mr Cooke delivered a memorable performance as Franklin J Hart.  Kieran Croghan played Joe's part. An essential character in the show, Mr Croghan effortlessly portrayed this gentleman in a gorgeous, friendly way. His chemistry with the rest of the cast made his scenes engaging and entertaining. His vocals were impressive, and his comedic timing was spot-on. Overall, this was a fabulous role; they acted with so much care, which was endearing.  Roisin Grant played Roz. What a character!!! She brought a unique energy to the show. Her performance was nuanced, bringing out the character's wit and charm. This was such an impressive role, showcasing her vocal talent and range. Her chemistry with the other actors was palpable, making her scenes engaging and entertaining, and it was funny in so many stages of this production.  Declan Carroll played the part of Dick. I loved the impact you had in this production as the nasty husband who left his lovely wife Judy at the beginning of the show and leaving, only to return where by now the lovely Judy, your wife, had become the independent lady that had strength and hope and rebuilt herself by herself with great friends and a beautiful life.  Olive Walsh played Missy. What a character! Ms Walshe added a lot of humour and energy to the production. Her comedic timing was spot-on, making the audience laugh with every line she delivered. She brought a unique charm to the role, making her scenes engaging and entertaining.  Frances Cooke played the part of Kathy. Ms Cooke brought a lot of heart to the show. Ms Cooke left a lasting impression on me in this role. As an employee in the office, you faced extreme sexism and underappreciation in the office. You blended in beautifully with the ensemble numbers. Still, you shone in your moments, and you brought out through your character that there was a lovely camaraderie between you and your fellow employees. A charming role, Ms Cooke.  Shane McDonagh played the part of Dwayne. Dwayne's portrayal of Doralee's husband was simply excellent. Mr McDonagh’s depiction of a besotted and loving husband was heartwarming and entertaining. Dwayne's chemistry with the actress playing Doralee was palpable, and their interactions on stage were incredibly natural and easy-going. His performance added a delightful layer to the production, and his ability to convey genuine affection for his on-stage wife was truly commendable. Dwayne portrayed this lovely character as beautifully executed and entertaining, with a charming stage presence and a beautiful, warm, sweet man. Watching you in this role and the love and care you showed, Doralee, was a joy.  Dino Valentic played Josh's part. This was a lovely character created by Mr Valentic. A beautiful respect for his Mother, Violet, a devil-may-care attitude with a charming stage presence who lit up the stage when he was on it with his pure, evident, lovely personality and subtle but funny comedy moments with his Mum, Margaret, about going back dating, etc. A boldness, a bit cheeky and yet a gentleman, Mr Valentic, this was a charming role for you that you played exceptionally well.  Ciara Gallagher played the part of Margaret. Ms Gallagher delivered a captivating performance that showcased the complexities of her character's journey. Her portrayal of a woman struggling with alcoholism was both humorous and poignant, eliciting genuine laughter from the audience during her drunken moments.  Ms Gallagher beautifully depicted the contrast between living in disarray and taking control of her life, delivering a powerful message of resilience and empowerment. Her portrayal of Margaret was a standout feature of the production, showcasing her talent and ability to convey the character's journey with authenticity and grace. Kay Joyce played Maria. Her comedic timing was spot-on, making the audience laugh with every line she delivered. She brought a unique charm to the role, making her scenes engaging and entertaining. Overall, Ms Joyce delivered a solid performance as Maria, making her character a memorable part of the show. Michael Sheridan played Bob Enright. The actor effectively captured the essence of the character and delivered a convincing performance. His stage presence and interaction with other characters added depth to the production. The commitment to the role and the ability to engage the audience were evident throughout the performance. Overall, Mr Sheridan’s portrayal contributed positively to the show's success. Pat McDonnell played the part of Tinsworthy, and this gentleman was a joy to watch!! To his surprise and shock, the cavalry came to get rid of Franklin D Hart!! Mr McDonnell played a crucial role in the storyline exceptionally well. Mr McDonnell's portrayal of Tinsworthy reflected a commanding presence, if somewhat eccentric! This was a gorgeous role played by Mr McDonnell, and it was a fabulous costume with excellent diction and stage presence. A small cameo role played so well that you made a huge impact. Loved you in this role, Mr McDonnell. Bravo. John Mitchell played the Doctor. It was a brief but impactful role in the show, displaying a character of brusque importance, great costume, excellent stage presence, and wonderful diction in a role that was small yet important.  Alicia Manning played the Candy Stripper. This young lady played the role so very well, with a lovely, easy-going presence and a smile that would light up any room. It was a lovely part and well played, Ms Manning.  Thomas Mearon played the detective. Again, it was a brief but impactful role in the show. He had a great costume and an air of importance, leadership, and, indeed, questioning that was striking and impressive. Mr Mearon delivered a convincing performance, highlighting his sharpness and attention to detail in this character he brought to life. His chemistry and acting with the rest of the cast were excellent.  The chorus members' movements were well-coordinated, and their gorgeous sound, energy, and enthusiasm were commendable. This lovely chorus's contribution to the show's success was evident in its ability to create a solid and successful output. This Chorus and their contribution to the show's success should not be overlooked. Making this show even more memorable and entertaining than it already was. As a team, Outstanding performance that brought the house down at the end of the evening and rightly so.  The production of "9-5" was very good. The direction and choreography were top-notch, contributing to the show's success. The sets, sound, and lighting design were visually stunning and worked seamlessly together. The cast delivered memorable performances, with standout portrayals of Violet, Doralee, Judy, Franklin J Hart, and Joe, to name only a handful of you. This entire team should be proud of their exceptional work in making the world a brighter place this evening, and I wish each of you every success for the future in this lovely society. CAROLINE DALY JONES  SULLIVAN ADJUDICATOR  2023 / 2024

Oliver! as presented by Galway Musical Society

Oliver! As presented by Galway Musical Society: Saturday, 20th April 2024. Oliver, with a twist, would be an appropriate way to describe...

Oliver! As presented by Galway Musical Society:   Saturday, 20 th April 2024.   Oliver, with a twist, would be an appropriate way to describe this exciting adventure from Galway Musical Society, for it certainly wasn’t your run-of-the-mill production. Having opted for a Steam Punk styling for the show, Director Paul Norton didn’t allow any half-measures. The costuming was superbly detailed, almost industrial in nature and brilliantly sourced, with hats and goggles, chains and trinkets, buckles, and hardware attachments. Aesthetically, the set was quite spectacular, excellent in construction and beautifully painted. It had a good and well used upper walkway, and a half revolve that was dressed differently for several scenes. Most of the changes occurred off-stage, which allowed for a very free-flowing sequence, and reduced the stress on the stage manager, Chontelle Kenny, who, along with her crew, efficiently looked after the props. The sets and the costumes combined really did give the whole production a new energy and vitality, plus the fact that the Musical Director, John Roe, was working off a new set of choral and orchestral arrangements that significantly beefed up the musical substance of the show. There were more choral harmonies than I can ever remember, and happily, they were extremely well-rehearsed and very strongly performed. So too, the wonderful new orchestrations, which were played with zeal by a most competent and confident band of musicians. The balance was great, and the playing was very sensitive and mellow for the more tender musical passages. I’ve done the show so often in the past that I suppose I take much of the quality of the piece for granted, but this was a wake-up call. Everything about the new improved book and score made me sit up and pay attention.  Equally impressed to be working on enhanced chorus numbers, Choreographer, Michael Healy, did a very good job of filling his routines with invention and high-energy. While the standard of the dancing was very accomplished, the focus in the biggest numbers was definitely on the ambiance of the performance, resulting in a very in-your-face, powerful delivery, vibrant energy, and big, strong finishing pictures. The stage just seemed to leap into life. His work with the workhouse orphans and with Fagin’s gang of miscreants was very noteworthy and so much fun.  The other major success for Paul Norton was the direction of principals, which was significantly darker than usual, with a strong emphasis on the crass, the sinister undertones and the depravity of the story, which, if you have read the original work by Dickens, is a much more accurate realisation of his writing, than the normal sugar-coated musical version. Of course, it might have fallen flat had he not infused his dark ideas into the minds of his performers so successfully. The cast rose brilliantly to the challenge.  There was a very disturbing demeanour about Patrick Byrne in the role of Fagin, and yet a hilarious streak of the ridiculous about him. His look and his voice were perfect, and his comedy was very well-played. His work with the children was excellent, almost fatherly, in a toxic and creepy manner, but his scenes with Bill Sykes best displayed both his weaker nature and his evil interests. His songs were very well delivered, especially “Reviewing the situation.” Very good work.  Keith Hanley as Sykes was terrifying. Looking like a gothic force of evil, he strode about the stage with menace, growled and sulked, and gave vent to frightening bursts of anger. I preferred the old arrangement of “My Name,” but he still performed the new version with a level of quiet terror. His abuse of Nancy and Oliver was intense, and his murder of Nancy was disturbingly evil.  There was great passion in Sarah Corcoran’s singing of “As Long As He Needs Me,” and indeed, her vocals throughout were very strong. I would have liked her to be more brazen in “Oom-Pah-Pah,” and I think perhaps she needed to wreck her hair and look a tad more slattern generally, but her heart was in her character.  As Mr. Bumble, Niall Conway, gave a hilariously comedic and inappropriate performance, rambunctious in the delivery of “I Shall Scream,” and an utter slob once he was married to Widow Corney. His powerful voice was used to great effect in the opening scene, to put the fear of God into the workhouse boys, and he sang “Boy For Sale” with a quality tenor voice.  An excellent character comedic performance.  Not to be outshone, Heather Colohan was an equally loquacious Widow Corney, with a lugubrious countenance that evaporated only when she was flirting with Bumble. “I Shall Scream” was ribald and hilarious, and her performance was notable for superb facial expression, the strongest being disdain. Very good work.  As undertaker, Mr. Sowerberry, Mervyn Fahy was dull and creepy and pedantic in the delivery of his lines, creating a very sinister character, and apart from a tendency to drop the level of his voice, he managed his role and his song most capably.  As his domineering wife, Mrs. Sowerberry, Donna Creaven was somewhere between the wicked witch of the west and Norah Batty! With a great north of England accent, and a rather scary demeanour, I was amazed at how naturally she played the hen-pecking wife! “That’s your Funeral” was very well-delivered, and there was strong comedy as she got her come  uppance from Oliver, ass-first into a coffin.  Michael Healy, after choreographing the show, settled nicely into the role of Noah Claypole, being obnoxious in his treatment of Oliver, and comically inappropriate in his relationship with Charlotte, played with great character and a brazen attitude by Aisling Carroll, who sleazed about the stage like a harlot in the making. These two were a lovely pairing.  David Alexander brought a strong element of dignity and normality to the role of Mr. Brownlow, sincere in his concern for Oliver, and delightfully disgusted by the antics of Bumble and Corney.  As his housekeeper, Mrs. Bedwin, Michelle Drysdale reprised “Where is Love” very nicely, and showed genuine kindness and concern for Oliver.  Jay Hall was quite ridiculous and extremely funny Dr. Grimwig, a kind of blustering buffoon who never quite got the diagnosis right. Very nicely played.  Kate Timothy made a good impression as Nancy’s sidekick, Bet, and made the most of her opportunities to shine.  Linsey Cant died with dignity as Old Sally, after successfully croaking her revelation about Oliver’s past. A well-played cameo.  The voices of Emma Murphy as the Rose Seller, Aoife Kilroy as the Strawberry Seller, Roisin Holland as the Milkmaid and Brandon Collier as the Knife Grinder, were all excellent and contributed so much to the success of “Who Will Buy.”  And then there were the children.  In the titular role of Oliver, 11-year-old Rónán Harney was a sensation. Looking every bit the impoverished waif, when he sang “Where is Love” and tears rolled down his cheeks, I think the whole theatre melted. He displayed great fun and energy in “Consider Yourself” and “Pick a Pocket,” and sang divinely for “Who Will Buy,” but what impressed me the most was the sheer terror that he displayed when kidnapped and dragged about the stage by Bill Sykes. Unreal acting ability for one so young.  12-year-old, Harry Greaney, played the role of The Artful Dodger with confidence and ability, even if he had a tendency to rush his lines. His singing was strong and very tuneful, and while he had the perfect cheeky chap look about him, he perhaps needed a cheekier attitude to match it. But this is a young man to watch out for, being charming, polite, and very talented.  Charley Bates, played by Iarlaith Kennedy, delivered his few lines to Fagin with a great cheeky chap attitude.  The chorus of children in this production were smaller in number than one usually expects for Oliver! but they certainly weren’t small in attitude or achievement. As the workhouse orphans they looked pale and impoverished, and sang “Food Glorious Food” with gusto, but they really came to the fore as Fagin’s gang. Looking like a genuine gang of best buddies, their sense of fun and adventure in all their scenes was excellent. Scuffy and unkempt, they looked fabulous and their delivery of “Pick a Pocket,” “I’d Do Anything,” “It’s a Fine Life” and “Be Back Soon” was energetic, highly amusing, and delightfully sung. What a talented bunch!  Thanks, in part, to the new vocal arrangements, the chorus work in this production was vastly more substantial than usual and inspired the Director and the Choreographer to go to town in their big numbers. “Consider Yourself” grew from a delightful duet with Dodger and Oliver into a showstopper of energy and strong vocals. “Oom-pah-pah” was like a crowded night in a very unruly rugby club bar, and “Who Will Buy” built into a big, bright, and beautifully presented number. Singing was pretty great throughout, and the dance and movement were polished and precise.  The show was enhanced by very effective lighting, with good colour to suggest dark and shadowy surroundings, without actually being too dark. Action was well highlighted, and the effects when Nancy was being murdered by Bill, were quite stunning and chilling. Sound quality was good throughout, perhaps with Oliver starting a bit quiet and then being quickly boosted. Cueing was good and the balance between stage and pit was carefully controlled.  As usual, Paul Norton came very close to that line that shouldn’t be crossed, but given the style of this whole production, I don’t believe, on this occasion, that he actually crossed it. The show was bawdy and brash, dark, and disturbing, but then again, it wasn’t the director, but the author who wrote of child exploitation and corruption, bawdy barmaids and nefarious criminals, and murder and mayhem. Perhaps more than any of his previous productions, he got this one completely right. Peter Kennedy Gilbert Adjudicator 23/24 Photos by Ian Walsh of Brenóg Media

Legally Blonde as presented by Castlebar Musical & Dramatic Society

LEGALLY BLONDE CASTLEBAR MUSICAL AND DRAMATIC SOCIETY 7TH – 9TH MARCH 2024 Adjudication Performance 7th March 2024 It was a glorious day...

LEGALLY BLONDE CASTLEBAR MUSICAL AND DRAMATIC SOCIETY 7TH – 9TH MARCH 2024 Adjudication Performance  7th March 2024 It was a glorious day upon my arrival into the town of Castlebar as I looked forward to this performance of Legally Blonde by this lovely Society who this year are celebrating their 10th Birthday. The front of the House was a tight ship. It was well run, with many front-of-house staff milling through the theatre on the busiest of evenings when I arrived. I was looked after by Ms Anne Marie Gibbons, PRO of the Society, and the full team. It was very well supervised and executed, and the theatre, as large as it is, was filled rapidly and with little fuss. Well done, Front-of-House Team. I was surprised to see just how big this venue was, and, once I was shown to my seat there was a charming vibe already emanating from this audience as they awaited the performance to begin. The director for this production was Ms Donna Ruane. Ms Ruane had a lovely vision for this show. It is sometimes, I believe, quite challenging to translate the film we all know to a stage production that is so dynamic and vibrant and so full of energy. Ms Ruane brought a sense of fun to this show as Director. It is one of Ms. Ruane’s strengths to bring out critical moments in the show beautifully, which impacted the audience through lovely emotion, lovely humour, and good casting. We were immediately brought into Elle’s world, a world of pink, fun, and fluffiness, and I instinctively wanted Ms Woods to succeed. Ms Ruane's lovely direction for this role was excellent. This was a very entertaining show. Particular mention was the Harvard Law School scenes, “Bend and Snap” and the courtroom scene with Carlos which was particularly well done with beautiful comedic timing. This cast was well-balanced and worked very well together, and I do believe it worked well with Ms Ruane at the helm also and the rest of her production team. Ms Claudia O'Sullivan was the choreographer for this show. As I type, the first thought that comes into my head immediately is, “Bend and Snap.” What a tremendous choreographic number this was. The energy bounced off the stage, and the fitness levels must be colossal!! The energy throughout your Choreography was so slick and well-moved, and everyone was so very well in tune with one another, with not a foot wrong. “Oh My God” was so energetic that it bordered on excited hysteria!! “What You Want” was moved well, with so much energy again, and it was one of the show's highlights for me. Superb Choreography here and such an immensely long number which required so much fitness. Not once did the energy levels and electric vibe change. I looked forward to the dance numbers and was not disappointed. Very well done, Ms O’Sullivan. The Musical Director for this show was Ms. Deirdre Lee. Ms Lee had a clear understanding of the music and brought out the best performances from the cast. The music throughout added beautifully to the show, and this Orchestra was very well-balanced and created a lovely sound, never overshadowing the cast. An excellent Job, Ms Lee, and it enhanced the show wonderfully. The Stage Manager for this production was Mr. Brian Murphy. This show ran very smoothly from start to finish. To give but two examples, the scene where Elle takes some new clothes and the clothes rails are slowly and smoothly moved on stage by the backstage crew dressed professionally in black on either side, not disturbing the dialogue or the players. The scene where Paulette's salon is brought on stage again while the cast was speaking was expertly well done, along with the videography of illusions that donned the theatre throughout with scenes of golf courses, Harvard Law, Jail, and Library. The list is endless, all the intricate little details which I love were so beautifully woven into the production was so very well run by Mr Murphy as Stage Manager and his team—well done. Set Design Construction and Props were the responsibility of re-staging set design Co and, most importantly, the very clear and distinct videography. These projections worked well. Examples include the men's department store and golf course. Paulette's set salon was beautiful, so pretty, and so versatile. The clothes rails in the men's department store and that excellent caravan were visually and practically superb. The only set that I felt could have been better was the set for Oh My God, you guys with the Delta Nu. I do think the set could have had more depth to it and some more detail as it was pretty flat. I understand that sets are a massive part of any production, and there are many reasons why a set is used or developed in the way it is, but just personally, when so much videography is used in other scenes when there is an actual physical set that it could be more embellished, decorative and more accurate. However, in complete opposite, Paulette’s Salon was simply superb; I loved the wallpaper, the attention to detail, and the colours, which were all so lovely. It was so beautiful, and the incredible detail that had been put into this was obvious. The sound was by Frankie McDonald—McDonald AV. The Sound was excellent throughout. Mics between the Orchestra, principals, and ensemble were very balanced. Very well done here, given the amount of vigorous movement, dancing, singing, and dialogue involved. I did not once hear a flaw, error, or imbalance. There is no mean feat in such a lively production. Very done, Mr. McDonald. Simply awesome. Lighting was by Indigo Lighting. Again. Excellent. Beautiful colours, bursts, and flashes are beautifully used throughout. I felt some areas could have been lit with more spots or vital lighting, such as the Delta Nu Sign on the opening set. I couldn’t read it properly from where I was seated. It needed more light on the sign so the audience knew where this particular part of the story was happening. It's just a minor issue, but I must mention it. There was excellent use of spots elsewhere, particularly on Elle and other main characters. These colours spot lit the main characters successfully and effectively, to create beautiful visuals, and enhance the storyline beautifully. Costumes by Nomac Productions were smashing. Particular mention to ALL of Elle’s wardrobe, Paulette’s wardrobe was a sheer winner throughout, Emmet, the poor student, Warner the wealthy, and Vivienne Prim and Proper. Still, Kyles's costume also drew a laugh from the audience with his cool costume and his swagger, and the chorus all were costumed effectively and were a visual explosion of lovely colour throughout. Props were provided by Re-Staging Set Design. Superb attention to detail here, from Emmet's satchel to Paulette's salon to the courtroom scene with Carlos, and one could not forget to mention it. However, Bruiser and Rufus were glorious editions to the performance, drawing oohs and aahs and awws throughout the show. Props were a huge contributor to this lovely feel-good show's overall magic. Well done to the props team. Great job. Lorna Dennehy played Elle Woods. Bubbly, pretty, gorgeous voice, massive energy, fantastic dancer, and an excellent Elle from start to finish. From the very first second you bounced onto the stage, you were a bright light, a beautiful Elle Woods, with lovely chemistry with your fellow cast members, notably Warner and Emmett, but also with your other characters, specifically Serena, Margot, Pilar, and, of course, your beautiful friendship with Paulette Bonafonte. You have a lovely voice, with a colossal dynamic and tone moving from energetic to emotional, from being so vulnerable to being so strong. “So Much Better” was an absolute highlight, showing off your vocal range beautifully with so much emotion. You were so charming. I warmed to you immediately. You moved beautifully and with great energy in so many dance numbers, and it was lovely to witness you in this role you created as Elle Woods. Well done, Ms Dennehy. Margot, Serena, Pilar, and Kate were played by Nicole Scott, Emma Daly, Ewa Cieslak, and Sophia Byrne, respectively. What a fabulous troupe you all were in this show full of life and joy you were when you each walked on stage. You were a tour de force to be reckoned with, with breath-taking energy and a friendship and loyalty to Elle that was admirable and a joy to watch every single time you, arrived on stage. Your physical fitness levels and energy were something to be envied (a part I will never audition for !!), as were your bubbly personality and great costumes. It was magnificently played and so wonderfully cast. Bravo. Paul O’Brien played Emmet Forrest, a lovely, heart-warming character loving the simple things in life with no drama. Humble, earnest, and lovely humility endeared me to Mr O’Brien’s character in this role. I loved your transformation from a rather shy, reserved, and quiet man into the lawyer you became and the confidence you gained through the show. With a vocal that seemed a little nervous initially and underconfident, you did get more confident as the show progressed, and you were a lovely Emmett. This was a charming, simple, humble part, and you wore your heart on your sleeve. I liked your portrayal of Emmett Forrest Mr O’Brien from beginning to end. Olwyn Behan played Paulette Bonafonte's part. What a glorious role. What a gorgeous character you were, Ms Behan. And a beautiful vocal. “Ireland” was a highlight of the show for me. There was such lovely rapport between you, Elle, and the rest of the cast; you were lonely, unbelieving in yourself, and blind to your beautiful personality, believing you would never find love and being unhappy. And you blossomed in this part. You moved around the stage effortlessly with lovely, funny facial expressions and drama. Your song Ireland showed your utter vulnerability and longing for a man who will love you as much as you loved the idea of Ireland. You played this part very well, Ms Behan. I loved you in it. Well done. Again – fab costumes!. Matthew Largent played the part of Professor Callaghan. What a strong character Mr Largent made in this role. He had a bit of an attitude of great self-importance and very egotistical in this role. Mr. Largent had an air of authority about him from the first moment he arrived on stage. The song “Blood in the Water” was well played, while a bit of light on the higher notes however, it was still a good vocal. Strong character. Well-acted Mr Largent. Enda Mulchrone played Warner Huntington III. Mr Mulchrone played and acted well in this part. I did feel that Mr. Mulchrone's vocal performance was somewhat inconsistent, where, at times, some notes broke or were lighter than others or under the note in singing. I felt Mr. Mulchrone could have been a little more passionate, and more emotion could have been given firstly to breaking up with Elle, and then to his romance with Vivienne, and then to his desolation at Vivienne breaking up with him. Visually, Mr. Mulchrone, you looked great, fabulous costumes. and with Vivienne and Elle aesthetically, you were a fantastic group and well-cast. It was just a little on the vocal and the emotions that I felt you could have given more on the evening I attended. Katie Padden played the part of Vivienne Kensington. Straightlaced, proper, strict, and very serious, this part was played very well by Ms Padden. I lost some words in the earlier scenes when she was initially introduced to the audience. I felt that some of the dialogue was spoken into the wings rather than to the audience for some of Ms Padden's dialogue. I think more emotion and love was needed and her feelings for Warner could have been a bit stronger in the overall performance. Ms Padden has a beautiful speaking voice. Sarah Granahan played the part of Brooke Wyndham. Again, a great part played with great energy, fiery passion, and the urgency of a woman who has been accused of the wrong and is fighting her case to be cleared and freed of the murder of her husband. “Whipped into Shape” was a visual treat with enviable energy from beginning to end. Superb acting and comedic timing. Ms Granahan, you played your part very well, and again, I envied your energy! Well done. Aoife Halligan played Ms. Hoops, a supportive role for Brooke Wyndham as a fellow inmate in jail with Ms. Wyndham. Ms Halligan played a lovely part here. And there is no such thing as a small part. Well done, Ms Halligan. I also wish to mention the part of Kyle. I loved your entrance through the audience with the house lights on you, and your swagger was brilliant and hilarious. Your charm and the love you had for yourself (!) were so funny. However, your interactions with Paulette really won me over in this part for you. You lit up the stage, the audience lapped up your fun sense of humour, and your joie de vivre, and the dialogue between yourself and Paulette and her reactions was one of the best pieces of comedy I have seen on a stage on my journey this year. Chorus- Every number in this show was sung well and to a very high standard, with lovely balanced harmonies and excellent sound and tone. With so many numbers, this chorus played a massive role in this show's success. Harmonies were beautiful, moving from soft singing in the more emotional scenes to tremendous singing in the more significant numbers, including choreography mentioning “Bend and Snap” and “Oh My God you Guys” in particular. This Chorus was a vocal delight from start to finish. Well done to every one of you. You are a lovely, talented, and very young Society who did a marvellous job with this year's show. And as a Society as a whole, I applaud you all. It was a pleasure to be in your company this evening, and I applaud every one of you for your performances on stage, backstage, in front of the house, in the committee, orchestra, or production team. It was my pleasure to be in your company, and I wish you ongoing success and many more years to come. Thank you. Caroline Daly Jones Sullivan Adjudicator 2023/2024 Some photos shared by the society - Photographer - Alison Laredo

Singin' In The Rain as presented by Sligo Musical Society


SINGIN' IN THE RAIN as presented by SLIGO MUSICAL SOCIETY, HAWKS WELL THEATRE, SLIGO. TUESDAY 13TH FEBRUARY – SATURDAY 17TH FEBRUARY, MATINEE 17TH FEBRUARY. Adjudication Performance, Wednesday 14th February. “Happiness can shine through, even in the darkest of times”. “Singing in the Rain” is set in the 1920’s and takes place in Hollywood. The story coincides with the changes involved in transitioning from “silent movies” to “talkies”. This enchanting musical is filled with many very memorable song and dance numbers and is Sligo Musical Society’s 23rd Production in the beautiful Hawks Well Theatre. What a buzz on the evening I attended which was the 2nd performance of the run, jam packed to the rafters with an electrifying chatter and laughter in the foyer from the patrons. This show was sold out completely. What a wonderful boost for the hardworking production team and indeed the full company. Chairperson Mr David McEvoy also Director single handily looked after me before, during and after the show with his time, his kindness and his effusive and lovely warm welcome, when he absolutely could have been elsewhere with his cast and full company, and it was so very much appreciated. I could have talked to you for hours more! I am so very grateful. Thank you. Mr McEvoy’s Direction was slick, professional, and authentic. Mr McEvoy produced a show that had a sprinkle of everything to ensure success. The dancers, the props, the actual shower of rain on stage (which was a vision of brilliance), the sets, the magnificent cast, the orchestra, the costumes, sound, beautiful lighting and the chorus sounding splendiferous in every single number was something to behold. From the Overture which was the 1st notes of “Singing in the Rain”, the stage was alight with movement on the curtains of light, and spots and a marvellous sound from the orchestra from note one and throughout. When the curtains DID open the opening scene really did feel like I was watching the Oscars such was the glamour and bling, the silver and colour that lit up the stage. The smallest of attention to detail can be so important, and can sometimes make the biggest impact, and I was immediately drawn to the wonderful microphone used in this opening scene. We were immediately taken back to the 1920’s. Simple yet so effective in drawing the audience into the era of this amazing show. There was a scene at the end of Act 1 before the Interval where the famous number “Singing in the Rain” is performed. During this number, water flowed from the ‘ sky’ in a beautiful rain shower, lots of it cascading down on to the stage floor. The water as it fell covered the width of the full stage, the lights caught it and it appeared to be dancing. It was MAGNIFICENT. The cast were very well drilled and really suited all their parts. Super and well done. Choreography was the responsibility of Thomas Spratt and Melody Urquart. Ms Urquart was also Production Assistant. “Broadway Melody” with Cosmo, dancers brought the house down. What a number. “Make Em Laugh” with Cosmo and the ladies was moved and choreographed so very well - it was a picture. “Good Morning, Good Morning” with Cathy, Don, & Cosmo was brilliant. So very elegantly moved the trio musical number flowed magnificently and these three were perfectly in sync with one another in this fun, lively showstopper of a number. Super choreography here. Well done! The Finale of Act 2 after the bows was so good. I loved it. Not a foot wrong and so much energy and perfection!. However, it was the magnificent, and beautiful “Singing in the Rain” with the ensemble and Don that for me was the highlight (one of many) for the evening for its choreography, performance and slickness. A stunning number. Mr Spratt and Ms Urquhart are a talented duo and I applaud you both and wish you all the best for your brightest of futures with your magnificent talent. Bravo. The Musical Director and Vocal Director was Charles O’Connor. The Orchestra numbered 7 in total with Mr O’Connor on Piano, Austin McManus on Violin, Don Swain, Clarinet / Flute, Brendan Kennedy, Trombone, Paul Kiernan Trumpet, Eddie Lee Bass, and Alan “Mack” McEvoy on Percussion. This Orchestra produced a lovely warm tone throughout and enhanced the show wonderfully including Overture, Entr’acte Act 2 and continued to play as the audience left the Theatre. This was a lovely touch. This Orchestra were a good team. Specific mention to “Fit as a Fiddle”, “You are my Lucky Star” “Moses Supposes” the fabulous “Good Morning” the empathy in Lena’s ( Emily Tansey) solo “What’s Wrong With Me” “Broadway Melody” and the oh so memorable and beautifully played number the world over renowned and beautiful “Singing In the Rain” to mention but a few. Well done. Stage Manager was Ms Lorna Davey. This show ran very smoothly. Given the amount of scene changes, projection scenes, movement of sets on stage and backstage this was always going to be tight with the backstage being very small, on both wing areas, and at back wall of theatre. Super set for “ Broadway Melody” along with “Make Em Laugh” with Cosmo, with the set being the Stage at the Monumental Pictures Studio. The film crew cameras were superbly made with great attention to detail even from where I was sitting. Mr Sid Phillips (Darren Kerr) was Sound Engineer (in Singing in the Rain as a character) and the sound room on stage was very authentic painted in a subtle but effective warm red was a great success as were the simple benches down stage for the “Audience” (cast members) to sit on to watch the “Duelling Cavalier”. Ms Davey as Stage Manager, throughout the performance and through many scene changes, your work was effective, clever, organised and simply done. I like simple. And it worked. Superb Stage Management here Ms Davey. Part of a great team. Congratulations. Stage Set (Design and Construction) and Stage Set (Projections) were the responsibility of Mr Wayne Handy and Projections by Broadway Media / James McManus. The sets were solid, moveable, colourful and appropriate to the era. The projections were consistently a highlight of the show throughout. They were all stunning, fitted beautifully and enhanced the production so much. Lighting Design was by Barry McKinney. I have already mentioned Mr McKinney’s artistry throughout this show and indeed you must have been a very busy man for the duration with lighting being a huge key to this shows success. Scenes such as “In My Imagination” with Kathy’s solo and Cosmo playing the piano was beautifully lit. Specific mention indeed to the Lighting in Broadway Melody. The stage was lit in a myriad of colour, reds, greens, whites, blues, spots, it was an absolute vision of light. I particularly loved your work in this number Mr McKinney and indeed throughout the show. It was beautiful. And I commend you greatly on your talent and how your lighting enhanced this performance so much and in so many areas. Beautiful. Sound and Sound Engineer was Mr Stephen Clancy, assisted by Ruairi Hanley. The sound was very good overall. I loved the “huge applause” effect throughout the show, I adored the thumping of Lena’s heartbeat when they put the microphone on her dress lapel, the sound when they draped it around the plant, and she kept turning her head in dismay and bang – the sound would be gone again. Sound for the ensemble numbers was particularly good, and indeed all the main characters in the front line. Costume Hire was from Nomac Costumes Waterford. With Wardrobe Co-Ordination the responsibility of Melanie Urquhart, Mavis Stanley, Pam Lindey, and the cast. Costumes were stunning with mention to the gorgeous red and sparkly ballgown of Lena Lamont in Act 2. A vision! But also, specific mention to the costumes for Sid Phillips who played the part of the Sound Engineer. Everything under the whole umbrella (pardon the pun!) of Costumes was a success and a visual treat and totally and utterly enhanced this show. Just so lovely. Well done. I must also mention that photography and filming was by Rory Maitland of Temperhound Productions. A fantastic job so very well done. The part of Don Lockwood was played by Matthew Whitehead. This young gentleman is a truly magnificent dancer with talent oozing from him in every single dance routine he performed on stage such as his showstopper “Singing in the Rain”. A lovely stage appearance and great interaction and stage chemistry at all times between himself, Cosmo and Kathy. Mr Whitehead was a very good leading man with a light lyrical voice that suited the part, and his portrayal of this character was very good. A solid performance with wonderful dance talent and technique and a lovely leading man. Well done. You did a super job. Cosmo Brown was played by Callum Blakeley. What an actor. Fantastic stage presence lovely fluidity to his moves, lovely chemistry between himself and Don Lockwood and boy this gentleman could move around the stage with aplomb and grace. Excellent acting by Mr Blakely, throughout. Particularly liked the scene with Mr Blakeley playing piano, and most entertaining in the fabulous “Broadway Melody”. Mr Blakeley created a truly lovely character in Cosmo. Great costumes, beautiful dance moves, vocals and acting and overall a really very good performance with excellent acting skills and all round multitasker with enormous talent. Well Done Mr Blakeley. You were a joy in this role. Congratulations. Lena Lamont was played by the gorgeous and oh so funny Emily Tansey. I adored this young lady in this role. Fabulous costumes ( loved that red dress and indeed the magnificent green one also!) and the wig but most especially I loved your character Ms Tansey. You were simply an awesome Lena Lamont. That high pitched squealing voice of yours I can still hear ringing in my ears in Wexford!!!  Your comedic timing was simply brilliant and I loved watching you in this role and indeed looked forward to every time you came on stage. Your acting in the projections was utterly fabulous. You were indeed born to play the role of Lena Lamont – truly and I loved your performance Ms Tansey, from beginning to end. Made for you. Well done, it was a joy to watch you throughout the show. I hope you enjoyed playing this role as we your audience enjoyed your performance. Thank you and Bravo! Young Don was played by Brendan O’Connor, and Young Cosmo was played by Ronan O’Connor. What a duo. Boys you were absolutely brilliant and your presence on stage at the beginning of the show set a huge precedence of what was to come for the rest of it. You were both so very good. I hope you do many more shows together as you get older you most certainly have the talent in bucketloads. So very well done boys. Congratulations. Kathy Selden was played by Jaidyn Geini ( beautiful name). What a strong solid melodic performance by Ms Geini, magnificent vocal, gorgeous dancing (especially in “Good Morning”) you were the link that brought everyone together in this show and you played the part so beautifully. You have such a strong singing voice, lyrical, beautiful tone, tender, and emotional and you sang from your heart. A truly lovely performance. Bravo. Sid Phillips/ Sound Engineer was played by Darren Kerr. Firstly – BRAVO on that magnificent solo dance routine centre stage where you pirouetted beautifully on tippy toes like a professional. I loved the pedal pushers, socks, v necked sleeveless jumper, and then your appearance in the black and white movie was class! This was a very solid performance in every area Mr Kerr and you really did this role credit. Well done. RF Simpson was played by Gerry Ryan. You oozed talent, stage presence, excellent movement around the stage, a lovely fun element in your manner with great facial expression and some very funny moments throughout. You had a lovely stage presence, and your rapport and connection in all your scenes with the rest of the cast was so professional. This was a great role played wonderfully Mr Ryan showing your vast experience in theatre land over many performances I have no doubt. You said in your bio that you were loving being a part of Singing in the Rain. Well I loved you in it!. Bravo. Roscoe Dexter was played by Danny Leonard. Lovely part well played by Mr Leonard. A bit stressed and dramatic extremely good speaking voice and moved very well around the stage especially in interactions with R.F Simpson. Mr Leonard was very strong in this role suitably cast , quite highly strung and had some great comedy moments. Mr Dexter worked very well in conjunction with the rest of the cast especially with R.F.Simpson. Zelda Zanders was played by Aoife Walsh. Introduced at the very beginning of the show brought the first laugh of the evening when it was announced as she walked along the catwalk it was her ninth marriage!!! Very glamorous good friend to Ms Lena Lamonte very striking stage appearance and gorgeous costumes (and head piece ) and moved beautifully and gracefully around the stage. The friendship she had with Lena was so lovely and I liked when these two were on stage together. Lovely stage presence and dramatic appearance beautifully played. Dora Bailey was played by Valerie Hamilton. Ms Bailey was a vision as a radio host with her crisp clear voice, concise and slick with her introductions, with great hair makeup knows everything about the stars and the gossip. Rod the male vocal coach was played by Aidan Coutts. Enthusiastic in this role, he helps the performers reach their potential with good humour and this role was played very well by Mr Coutts. 1st Assistant Director, played by Lenhard Zaprasis, 2nd Assistant Director played by Trevor Gorman who also played the Policeman and 3rd Assistant Director played by Benjamin Mead looked acted and played their parts very well. Small roles yet important roles to play in the overall story of moving silent movies to talking movies. Also Mr Trevor Gorman played the part of the policeman with great lightness and fun as he carted to Young Cosmo and Young Dan off stage at the beginning of the show after their dance number, which brought us the first laugh of the evening from the audience. All very well played.  Ms Dinsmore was played by Emer Henderson. What a lovely cameo role. Just the right amount of encouragement for Lena and then exasperation which was beautifully played. This was a really lovely part that was suited Ms Henderson beautifully offering direction and guidance to the players in the production company, played so very well by Ms Henderson who had indeed a lovely way and stage presence. Lovely part beautifully played Ms Henderson. Well done. Ian Howard played the part of the Production Tenor. What a gorgeous deep sounding voice light yet lyrical and sang this number beautifully and with lovely tone in what was one of the highlights of the show for me. A gorgeous visually aesthetic scene, enhanced by your lovely tone and melodic voice. The costumes here of the Beautiful Girls were magnificent. A vision. Well done all. Other parts I must mention were Nora McLoughlin Hairdresser and Burlesque Dancer, Kevin Sheridan the Butler, and Candy Girls Dancers. So very well done to each of you. Every single person on or off stage is a vital cog in the wheel of success for any production and all in your in your way with your own parts and responsibilities made this show work and work very well. A credit to each of you and bravo. The Chorus were simply gorgeous. Such a beautiful sound emanated throughout the Theatre for the duration of the show for each number with the sound resonating off the walls with its strength, melody and beauty. A well-rehearsed Chorus and indeed I would imagine many months of preparation going into what you created on stage on the evening. “Broadway Melody” I must mention (again!) because it simply was a highlight, “Singing in the Rain”, “You stepped out of a Dream” was magic to name but a few of your many numbers. Each one as good as the next.  Very well done Chorus. And finally, congratulations and thank you for a wonderful evening in the company of a wonderful ensemble . I did not want to leave such was the awesomeness of your welcome and your production and thank you all for the time given to me after the show to meet each and every one of you. It was a pleasure. Follow your dreams. I wish you well always. Caroline Daly Jones Adjudicator Sullivan 2023 / 2024 Please enjoy some photos below kindly shared by the society. Photographer was Donal Hackett

Young Frankenstein as presented by Claremorris Musical Society


YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, CLAREMORRIS MUSICAL SOCIETY, CO MAYO.  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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