THE CAST Ballinrobe Musical Society cast, crew and committe members who will perform ‘Titanic’ from February 9 to 16 in Ballinrobe Community School.
Titanic epic to dock in Ballinrobe
WITH 42 main parts, a financial investment of €100,000, a set that was 1,000 hours in the making, music of epic quality and a tragic storyline that captured the imagination of the world like no other single event in the 20th century, Ballinrobe Musical Society promise audiences a 'night to remember' when 'Titanic – The Musical' takes to the stage next week.
The Irish premier of the musical, which first opened on Broadway in 1997 and subsequently received five Tony awards, takes place in Ballinrobe Community School, starting this Saturday night and running for eight consecutive nights. With 'Titanic' itself described as 'the star of the show' by musical society Chairman, Pat McGovern, patrons will see the stage in the school's auditorium to be transformed into a spectacular replica of the ill-fated ship. With nine sets of stairs and three levels, the set is 60 feet wide and runs the full 30-feet height of the auditorium, and the sinking of the 'ship' is expected to be one of the outstanding special effects features of the show.
Ballinrobe Musical Society have earned a reputation for top-quality productions, a standing that has been embellished by numerous AIMS awards over the years, but the Chairman is in no doubt that this is their biggest undertaking to date – and also their most exciting project.
"Everything about Titanic is big and epic, so when we decided to do it we knew we had to do it on a grand scale," said Pat, at the launch of the show in Flannery's Bar and Restaurant last week.
"It requires the biggest budget we've had so far, the biggest cast, the biggest effort, the biggest orchestra and presented the greatest technical difficulties. It has taken a huge commitment from everyone involved – the cast, the backstage crew, the set construction team, the director, musical director and choreographer, the committee and the community – to make it possible, but we are confident that every piece of the jigsaw is in place and that it will be a night to remember for everyone who sees it."
Pat first saw the show in Belfast two years ago and has seen it twice more since then. It had a 'profound effect' on him, he recalls, and he is now excited about the prospect of so many people having that same experience courtesy of the Ballinrobe Musical Society production.
"This is epic, something that audiences won't get to see again in Ireland for a long time. All great shows such as 'West Side Story', 'Fiddler on the Roof', 'Ragtime, The Musical' or indeed the modern classic, 'Les Miserables', have three essential ingredients which set them apart – a wonderful score, great drama and rich emotion. 'Titanic' contains all three of those ingredients and that is why it is considered to be one of the best shows out there.
"It also has something indefinable about it that makes you come away from it feeling emotionally uplifted," he explained.
Eighty performers will take to the stage next week, including many well-known stars of Ballinrobe shows down the years, including Seán Costello, Daithí Ryder, Michael Coen, Siobhán Campbell, Lauragh Gill, Michelle Conroy and Richard Crumlish, along with recently-unearthed talents like Mairéad Coughlan, Niall Conway, Patrick Howley and Walter Donoghue.
In an example of the wonderful attention to detail that makes Ballinrobe Musical Society productions so professional and highly-regarded, each cast member who is not playing a lead role has been given the life story of a person who was on Titanic on that fateful night, April 15, 1912, and will be assuming the role of that person on stage.
'Titanic – The Musical' will take place in Ballinrobe Community School auditorium from February 9 to 16, with half of the proceeds from the performance on Sunday, February 10, going to Mayo/Roscommon Hospice. Students and school groups are encouraged to attend on the opening night.
Each performance will commence at 8.30pm. Tickets are available from Seán Costello, Abbey Street, Ballinrobe, 094 9541405 between 9.30am and 6pm. Credit card bookings are accepted.
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