11 October 2016
Muse Productions return to the stage in St Patrick’s Comprehensive from November 3rd–5th with one of their most ambitions projects to date, Man of La Mancha.
Martin McNelis, founder of Muse and an award winning actor in his own right, will debut as musical director. The original production of Man of La Mancha won five Tony Awards and has been revived four times on Broadway, becoming one of the most enduring works of musical theatre.
Written by Dale Wasserman, it is inspired by the Spanish classic, Don Quixote of La Mancha, the story of one man’s quest for idealism while tilting at windmills and dreaming ‘The Impossible Dream’.
It’s the story of the knight, Don Quixote, as a play within a play, performed by the writer Miguel de Cervantes and other prisoners held by the Spanish Inquisition.
Chris Willetts stars as Don Quixote with Brian Roche as his man-servant Sancho Panza, the cast also includes Eoghan Rice, Mikey O’Gorman, Eoin Sheedy, Jessica Bray, Clare McNelis, Gary Loughnane, Tony Little and Noel Murphy, names familiar from previous Muse and Shannon Musical Society productions.
Stage design is by Martin McNelis, lighting by Diarmaid O’Loughlin, costumes by Clare McNelis and sound by Star Systems. The set is expertly constructed by Frank Boland and team.
Man of La Mancha takes place in a dungeon cell when Cervantes provides some imaginative escapism for his fellow prisoners awaiting a hearing with the Inquisition.
Cervantes presents a play as his defence in a mock trial. In it, he plays Alhonso Quiana, a man who has set his own reality aside and become Don Quixote De La Mancha. Assisted by Sancho Panza, Quixote tries to avoid his mortal enemy, the Enchanter, and woo the serving wench Aldonza, who he takes to be the lady Dulcinea.
While the production contains some dark moments, McNelis has striven to present the sensitive material in a way that will convey the message that hope and idealism can triumph over cynicism and despair.
Man of La Mancha has been described as a remarkable show and one of the great theatre successes of our time. It is a poignant story of a dying old man whose impossible dream takes over his mind.
Songs such as It’s All the Same, Dulcinea, I’m Only Thinking of Him, The Impossible Dream, I Really Like Him and Little Bird remain in your thoughts well after the performance.
Quixote’s dream is Everyman’s dream. His tilting at windmills is Everyman’s great adventure.