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Thurles Musical Society 60th Anniversary Me & My Girl

Jonathan Gleeson as Bill Snibson & Michelle O'Connell as Sally Smith in 'Me and My Girl,' Premier Hall, Thurles from Tuesday April 12th - 16th inc. (Photo G.Willoughby)

This morning Thurles Musical Societies PRO and well known Tipperary Star reporter Mr Noel Dundon takes us ‘behind the curtain ‘ to report on the Societies latest production – the hit West End show ‘Me and My Girl.’

This wonderful toe tapping show, in conjunction with the Anner Hotel, runs in the Premier Hall, here in Thurles from Tuesday April 12th – 16th and marks the 60 anniversary of the Society’s first performance back in 1951 – The Yeomen of the Guard.

This is the first time that T.M.S. has embarked upon this musical, with book and lyrics by Douglas Furber and L. Arthur Rose and music by Noel Gay.

The Musical ‘Scene ‘ is set in the late 1930’s in the locations of Hampshire, Mayfair, and Lambeth.

The musical had a most successful original run in the West End in 1937 and very successful revivals in both London and New York in the 1980s. The show stopper, “The Lambeth Walk,” was the subject of a news story in The Times of October 1938 with the headline: “While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk.

Indeed, while the Lambeth Walk might well be the main musical number from this light, entertaining show, others are equally as well known and include – Leaning on a Lamppost, The Family Solicitor, The Sun Has Got His Hat On, Once You lose Your Heart and Love Makes the World Go Round, to mention just a few.

Thurles welcomes Tralee native and Rose of Tralee Festival Director, Mr Oliver Hurley as Director of this show – his first venture with T.M.S., although he has a wealth of experience with other musical theatre groups throughout Munster. Oliver is joined in production by pianist Mary Rose McNally as Musical Director, Mary Butler as Assistant to Director, and Trisha McElgunn who takes on the roll as the companies Dance Captain. Tommy Sweeney and Rita Loughnane complete the production team as Stage Manager and Stage Director, while Eidin Sweeney is Costume Mistress. Lighting will be by Gerry Taylor with Star Systems undertaking sound and video production.

The Tale Behind The Musical
It’s 1937 and the Earl of Hareford has died leaving no apparent heir. The family members have gathered, eagerly waiting to hear how the estate will be split. However the family solicitor, Parchester (Geraint Fyler), announces that he has tracked down an heir to both the family fortune and the family seat of Hareford Hall. The unlikely beneficiary is one Bill Snibson (Jonathan Gleeson), a barrow boy from Lambeth.

Maria, Duchess of Dene (Maria McElgunn), decides to turn Bill into a gentleman worthy of the Hareford name, despite the advice of Sir John Tremayne (Brendan Bailey) to simply pay him off. She also tries to get him to marry Lady Jaqueline (Cathy Keane), who is so eager for money and the title, that she breaks off her engagement to the Hon. Gerald Bolingbroke (John Butler). Despite Lady Jaqueline’s advances, Bill is determined to marry his sweetheart from Lambeth, Sally Smith (Michelle O’Connell).

Sally does not want to ruin Bill’s chances and tries to convince Bill that he is too good for her, despite loving him deeply. She even resorts to gatecrashing his party with a group of raucous Lambeth locals. However, everyone joins in and does The Lambeth Walk.

Despite having won over Sir John, Sally decides to leave Hareford and return to Lambeth. After drowning their sorrows, Bill and Sir John hatch separate plans to bring her back. Bill travels to Lambeth to find her but returns empty handed as Sir John has packed her off to a certain speech professor he knows!

The Duchess decides to throw another party but Bill is not in the mood. The Duchess begins to realise how much Sally means to him and, in a reflective mood, accepts Sir John’s proposal of marriage. Jaqueline also recognises her folly and returns to Gerald. With the party in full swing, Sally makes a second uninvited entrance and, displaying her new-found elegance, shows she is a suitable wife for an Earl.

Nothing like a happy ending to lift a little of the woes we are currently going through. Other notable parts are Lord and Lady Battersby ( Pat Hayes and Breda Byrne), Bob Barkin (Finbarr Shelly), Major Domo (Barry Cagney), Constable (Gary Dempsey), Maids (Katie Lawless and Joan Farrell), Charles (Barry Derby) and Lord Jasper (Brian Gleeson).

The opening night of the show is being run as a Charity Night in conjunction with Thurles Lions Club, with the proceeds going towards the Club’s 2011 nominated charity, namely the Order of Malta Building Fund.

Tickets for this special show cost €20 and include a cheese and wine reception along with a number of other surprises.

For the remaining nights, tickets cost just €15 and €12 for adults in the balcony and downstairs; and €10 and €8 concessions for children.

Other concessions are also available by contacting:
Booking Office in Hickey’s Pharmacy in Liberty Square, Thurles, Tel: 0504- 21423. Get in there and book now folks, to be sure of a guaranteed seat and a most enjoyable night out.

Note Your Calender: Show runs Premier Hall, Thurles from Tuesday April 12th – 16th inc.

Thurles.Info, on behalf of Co Tipperary residents everywhere, would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank Thurles Musical Society for not just giving us 60 wonderful years of top quality entertainment, but also for their huge achievements in fostering the love of music and stage craft, down through the years here in the Cathedral Town.

Happy Birthday ‘Thurles Musical Society’ and here’s to 60 more successful and enjoyable years .

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