Like every other society in the country, we’re hungry for live performance and tired of Zoom! In anticipation of the accelerated vaccine rollout and the opportunity to potentially return to live theatre, Muse Productions started planning for a Shakespeare in the Park event, performing “A Midsummer Nights Dream” in the town park in Shannon on the weekend before Midsummer night. We knew it would be a close thing, but we’re down to the wire now and all indications are good. We started with readings over Zoom and finalised casting. We then worked with small groups following the guidelines allowed for outdoor gatherings. Luckily, the play is naturally split between 3 main groups, the Mortals, the Fairies and the Mechanicals. We were able to put a rough shape on each group prior to the announcement that 15 people could attend a cultural event outdoors. We then expanded our rehearsals and were lucky enough to have access to a large garden with a 40ft Deck that served as our stage. In recent weeks we have been rehearsing once a week in the Town Park in early morning. The few early risers who passed by have been very enthusiastic about seeing the finished product.
As this is a first for us, we are not charging for the performances. It will be a first come, first served, “pay what you like” approach. We have spent a lot of time dealing with the Shannon Municipal District who have given us a lot of guidance on running outdoor events of this type. Risk assessments, garda presence, first aid, toilet facilities all had to be considered, but as I say we’re on the final straight and everything is looking good. Lets just hope the weather holds!
For the production itself, we have gone back to basics. No set (apart from some camouflage netting), a handful of tables, chairs and props, and a unique styling for each group. The Mortals will be in modern dress, more well to do; the Mechanicals will be variations on denim and the Fairies will look have an eclectic fashion sense picked up from whatever they liked over the last 400 years! No lighting, no microphones, but there will be some music, performed by the fairies and some of the lovers. All in all it should be a fun few evenings for all the family, not to be taken too seriously. And even if it rains, or nobody comes, we’ll have had a couple of months of laughs and socialising that’s been badly missed. And remember, the course of true love never did run smooth! Lord what fools these mortals be!
As part of Shannon Culture Night, Muse Productions created this short piece of “Zoom Theatre” written by Sarah Lally. “Billie, Barbara and Sam” is a light hearted piece set during the lockdown.
Billie: Michelle Kelly
Barbara: Lauren Rice
Sam: Kehlan Kirwan
Written and Edited by Sarah Lally
Directed by Martin McNelis
Muse Productions are proud to announce that our next production will be the Olivier Award winning feelgood musical “Our House” based on the music of Madness.
This is a fantastic show featuring a strong youth based front line but with roles for all ages, Featuring such hits as “It Must Be Love”, “My Girl”, “Baggy Trousers” and of course the title track “Our House”, this is a dramedy for all ages. Part “Blood Brothers”, part “Sliding Doors”, we witness the alternate paths one bad decision can cause in a young life.
“Our House” will be directed by Martin McNelis, with Laura Gough joining as Choreographer and Shane McVickers as Musical Director. “Our House” will run in St Patrick’s Comprehensive School from Oct 28 – 31 and we once again thank our title sponsors at the Shannon Springs Hotel for their unwavering support of the arts in Shannon
We are delighted to announce that Muse Productions have received three nominations from AIMS for our recent production of “In the Heights”.
First up was our Front of House team led by Anne Barnes who have been nominated for Best House Management. Anne has also been nominated with our friends in Shannon Musical Society for the same award in the Gilbert Category, so here’s to the double! Anne was supported by a great team, notably her daughter Alice and Eoin Sheedy, but there were many more on the team who all deserve the recognition.
Next was Ted Germaine who was nominated for Best Stage Management. If ever there was a labour of love, this was it. In as much as its possible for one man to build an entire set, Ted did it. Thats not to take from all the people who helped out, particularly Francis Maloney who saved our bacon with the roller door, but nobody would object to singling Ted out for his single-mindedness and dedication.
Finally, Edel McFadden was nominated in the category of Best Supporting Actress for her touching portrayal of Abuela Claudia. Edel is no stranger to AIMS having won Best Supporting Actress and Best Overall Performer for SMS in the role of Irene Molloy in Hello Dolly in 1989, so this will be her 30th anniversary. Lets hope that’s a good omen!
We would like to thank the entire cast and crew for their dedication and good humour for what was a really special piece of theatre. The Nominations are a lovely cherry on top, but the reaction of our audiences is all the accolades we need. We’d also like to thank our friends and sponsors in The Shannon Springs for their constant support, without which none of this would be possible.
Finally we would like to congratulate our friends in neighbouring societies on their nominations also, particularly Shannon, Ennis, Limerick MS, Cecilians MS, Galway MS, Thurles, Bravo, Carrick and Tralee. Roll on the Awards weekend in Killarney!