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Saturday June 24th – A Purr…Fect Afternoon Guaranteed

“Join us for a guaranteed purr…fect afternoon of fun, chat, music, and a cuppa,” writes Thurles Rotary Club member Mrs Evelyn Nevin.

Evelyn would like to invite you to come along and support Phoneix Productions at a Cats Tea Party in Bookworm on Saturday June 24th from 2.00pm 5.00pm. (Do please note your calendar).

“Thurles Rotary club has a long standing friendship with Phoneix Productions and its Founder Member/Producer Mr Gerard O’Brien,” states Evelyn, “And to this end we felt the need to support this very worthy charity, which provides such great opportunities to our local young people, through creative expression both in song, dance and stage craft.”

It is the worst kept secret in Thurles that plans are well under way for Phoneix Production’s next musical extravaganza. Yes, Deo volente (God being willing), ‘Cats’ ; composed by the great Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, and based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot, will be staged here in Thurles next August.  This of course can not happen without an enormous amount of effort, time, support and, it goes without saying, financial assistance. Theatre lovers will remember, based on past productions, that Phoneix Productions does nothing by half measures, so expect prodigious thespianism.

Evelyn continues, “We at Rotary Thurles recognise the need for patronage of this worthwhile organisation and to this end wish to support our talented local young people by coming up with what we believe is a novel idea,  “A Cats Tea Party”.

Mr John Butler proprietor of Bookworm book shop, on the corner of Liberty Square, has kindly allowed us the use of his premises for the afternoon of June 24th from 2.00 – 5.00pm, with all money raised going directly to Phoneix.

So do please join us for a ‘cuppa’, a chat and we will have special guests providing entertain for you during the afternoon. Your support would be greatly appreciated for this worthy cause and donations of buns and cakes would also be welcomed”.

For further info why not contact Evelyn on Mobile 087 9774725 and pledge your support.

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Two In A Row For Thurles Presentation School

The Bord Gais Energy Student Theatre Award for Best Overall Show returns yet again to the Presentation Secondary School and Thurles, Co. Tipperary, for a second year in succession, with the secondary school’s ‘Billy Elliot’ score, following on from the previous years, ‘The Lion King’ musical.

Presentation Secondary School, Thurles, Co. Tipperary.

The school’s students, together with their production team, led by Trisha McElgunn, Patrick Conlon and Mairead Hackett, were ‘over the moon’  this week on learning of their latest Musical Theatre Student Award; the show initially having been staged, playing to packed audiences, back during the Autumn of 2016.

‘Billy Elliot’ the musical is  based on the 2000 film ‘Billy Elliot’.  The original music is by English singer, pianist and composer Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, while lyrics are by author, playwright and screenwriter, Lee Hall.

The musicals story line revolves around a motherless Billy Elliot, who trades boxing gloves for ballet shoes. It is about his personal struggle and eventual fulfilment; balanced against a story of both family and community strife; all contributed to by a Durham coalminers’ strike.

Each year, since its inception in 2013, Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards have encouraged, recognised, and rewarded student participation in the dramatic arts. It comes therefore as no surprise that to date some 1,000 schools from across Ireland have participated in these annual honours.

Hearty congratulations to all those participating.

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Let’s Put Tipp On The Map For Dance & The Arts

Tipperary Youth Dance Company organiser Kathryn Wallace reports:

Tipperary’s first Dance Company based at The Source Arts Centre, in Thurles has now been set up. The organisers plan to provide opportunities for children and young people from across Tipperary to learn different dance styles including:- Contemporary, Lyrical, Ballet, Hip Hop, Jazz and more.

Tipperary Youth Dance Company, (TYDC) is a non-profit company and the membership are not required to pay fees; instead the company will be solely operated on public donations and other generated funding from performances.

Choreographers and well known professional dance teachers will train members of TYDC in a variety of contexts and styles. Organisers hope to put Tipperary on the map, by introducing new dance opportunities for local children and young people, that would not normally be available.

This Company will be shortly open to children and young adults, aged from 7 years up to 21 years, with two separate company schedules for Juniors (Ages 7-12) and Senior Principles (Ages 13-21) and with male and female applicants both welcome.

The organisers will be holding Auditions on Saturday 2nd September next in The Source Arts Centre.

More about this welcome opportunity for young people later.

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Borrisoleigh Drama Group Perform Leaving Cert Play ‘The Trial’

Leaving Cert play ‘The Trial’  takes to the stage in Borrisoleigh Hall.

This coming Bank Holiday Weekend (April 28th, 29th & May 1st 2017) will see Borrisoleigh Drama Group present their latest stage production, ‘The Trial’.

Cast of ‘The Trial’  to be staged in Borrisoleigh Community Hall on April 28th, 29th & May 1st, 2017.

The play was originally written in Irish as ‘An Triail’, by the Irish playwright Máiréad Ní Ghráda and is part of the Irish language curriculum for the Leaving certificate.

The play is set in Ireland during the 1960’s and deals with the pregnancy, and subsequent single motherhood of a young woman, (played by Antoinette McMahon) latter who is shunned by her family, spends time in a mother and baby home and in some rather unsavoury accommodation in Dublin city.

The play travels back and forth between “flashbacks” and the trial itself and contains adult themes, perhaps suitable for more mature audiences.

People are advised to book their seats early, as last year’s very successful run of ‘The Chastitute’, by John B. Keane, which was also performed by Borrisoleigh Drama Group; same was completely sold out over the 3 night period, hence much disappointment.

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Arrests Following Murder Of Musical Director John Donnelly

John-Donnelly-(2)Two brothers have been detained in custody in Turkey; accused of the murder of Irish theatre Director Mr John Donnelly.

Well known to members of Thurles Musical Society and indeed older members of Vincé Productions and Phoenix Productions, based in Thurles; the lifeless body of Mr Donnelly, aged 64, was found dead in an apartment he was renting on June 3rd 2016, after police were alerted to a bloodied knife, found outside the building.

Two brothers, named as Mehmet Irmak aged 28 and Sinan Irmak aged 20, have both been charged in connection with the fatal stabbing. A date for their court appearance has yet to be announced.

Mr Donnelly had travelled to Turkey on holidays shortly after his production of the hit Wexford Light Opera’s musical ‘Evita’. Turkish police confirmed that Mr Donnelly’s apartment had been ransacked and robbery was believed to have been the possible motive for his death. The victim’s body was reportedly found lying naked on the floor of his apartment on the morning following the vicious attack; his death attributed to a single stab wound.

It is believed that both men arrested were identified following the release of CCTV images which showed two men leaving his apartment building on the night Mr Donnelly died.

One of Mr Donnelly’s most recent connections with Thurles was his Direction of Spring Awakening, which contained cast members from Thurles and which walked off stage taking multiple awards; including; ‘Best Lighting’, ‘Best Costumes’, ‘Best Set’, ‘Special Adjudicators Award’, ‘Best Musical Direction’ and the much coveted ‘Best Overall Show Award’, for the 50th anniversary of the Waterford’s International Festival of Light Opera.

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