It was without doubt a difficult task for the committee of Athlone Musical Society to choose a musical for their 2010 production, from compelling tales, hilarious comedy, timeless and exciting drama in musical theatre.
“It was a case of where do we go from here?” says Joan Larkin, PRO of the society. “A couple of things were taken into consideration; what the audiences wanted. And having completed a little survey during the run of My Fair Lady it seemed audiences were looking for older shows, family shows, and basically music everybody knew and what better than Gilbert and Sullivan? says Joan. “Hence the society are pleased to announce their 2010 production is The New Pirates of Penzance.”
It’s a story about Frederick, who was as a child apprenticed to a band of tenderhearted orphaned pirates by his nurse Ruth, who, being hard of hearing had mistaken her master’s instructions to apprentice the boy to a pilot! After spending considerable time with the pirates, Frederick announces he’s leaving them for good to return to civilization, for today is his 21st birthday. His health is duly drunk, as the pirates hold a sherry party in his honour. He gives a speech, and in it he pleads with the Pirate King to turn respectable and return to civilisation. The Pirate King declines and bids farewell to Frederick. Now Frederick is left alone with Ruth, she is now determined to have Frederick all to herself, and takes advantage of his youth and inexperience. Frederick’s not quite sure whether Ruth is beautiful or not, as he has never seen another woman. And then out of the blue, climbing over rocky mountains, 21 beautiful girls appear, all daughters of General Stanley, and so the story begins.
Staging and casting responsibilities now fall on the shoulders of the newly elected committee, where the well known Mick Keena is at the helm. The demanding and challenging role of chairperson for Athlone Musical Society is never an easy one. But according to Mick, “it is a role I’ve been contemplating for a number of years now. I’m delighted to be in the chair, and looking forward to the year ahead.” Serving with him is vice chairman Terry Jackson; honorary treasurers John Connolly and Trevor Lee; honorary secretaries Aoife Connolly and Linda Murray; business manager Brenda Bigley; and PRO Joan Larkin.
Committee members also include Ruth Kilduff, Emma Larkin, Alletta Brennan, Margaret Franklin, Joe Dalby, Anita O’Connor, and Hilary McManus.
Athlone Musical Society’s summer party for cast and crew will be held on Saturday July 4 at 5pm in The Snug.