Tradition and pride is the X factor for Ballinrobe Musical Society

Some of the cast of All Shook Up: Louis Brennan, Tuam; Liz Parsons, Ballinrobe; Jamie Dockery, Knock; and Emer Kelly, Tuam.

Some of the cast of All Shook Up: Louis Brennan, Tuam; Liz Parsons, Ballinrobe; Jamie Dockery, Knock; and Emer Kelly, Tuam.

One of the most highly anticipated stage productions on the Mayo entertainment calendar is just around the corner.

The multi-award winning Ballinrobe Musical Society is bringing two masters to stage this year in the juke box comedy, All Shook Up, which combines the story of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night with the music of the King himself, Elvis Presley.

The show opens on February 15 when the hall at Ballinrobe Community School will be transformed for a week, West End style, with an innovative and intricate set, a cast of 60 talented performers, professional stage lighting, an 11-piece orchestra, and tiered seating.

Des Treacy, chairperson of Ballinrobe Musical Society, said audiences can expect a lively and upbeat show this year with beautifuly orchestrated music and a well-written story.

Ballinrobe Musical Society is widely recognised as one of the most successful amateur groups in the country.

In years past, Ballinrobe Musical Society has wowed audiences with large-scale productions such as Evita, The Pirate Queen, and Fiddler on the Roof. The calibre of the shows is greater than what one would usually expect to find in a school auditorium in a small west of Ireland town.

And the group has plenty of accolades to show for its work.

It has won numerous AIMS Awards - considered the Oscars of the musical world in Ireland - including Best Actress for Angela Curley Staunton in Evita in 2013 and Best Overall Show for The Pirate Queen in 2010.

Mr Treacy, who joined the society in 1999 and has not missed a show since, attributed the success to ‘tradition and community’.

“The first show was staged in Ballinrobe 71 years ago, so it is a very long-standing tradition in the town,” he explained. “Over 100 people drop everything every year to pull this off and I think that really tells when the show comes to stage. It is a community effort.”

Liz Parsons is the society’s PRO but she is swapping her backroom role for a position front and centre this year, playing one of the principal chararcters, Miss Sandra.

After studying drama in university, Ms Parsons was delighted to find such a vibrant and impressive musical society in Ballinrobe when she first moved there in 2007.

“There is a real sense of pride in the society,” she said. “I have never experienced anything like it before. The committment is unbelievable.”

Tickets for All Shook Up, a story about a mysterious, leather-jacketed, stranger who shakes up a small midwestern US town in the 1950s, are on sale now from the Tacu Family Resource Centre, Main Street, Ballinrobe, telephone (094 ) 9542907, or go online to www.ballinrobemusicalsociety.com

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