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Thespis has previously costumed some of the largest productions of Phantom of the Opera outside of the West End for touring and amateur groups across Europe. From Iceland all the way down to Malta. And now we’ve had the opportunity to be involved in something truly special.

Carrick-on-Suir Musical Society made history by becoming the first amateur group in Ireland to stage an adult production of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and Thespis were the ones fortunate enough to costume it. We, the team at Thespis, could not be more honoured and proud to have been involved, and my word, what a show it was! Don’t believe us? We’ve already been contracted for another huge ‘Phantom’ for Wexford, Blackpool, and a few other biggies we can’t discuss just yet! Take a look at this roaring article giving us a taste of just how momentous this show was:


Worth thinking about.

She said, “there was also an influx of people signing up to become Musical Society patrons to ensure they got early tickets for Phantom”. — A quick note from us here at Thespis, we thought this was pretty clever thinking from Carrick-on-Suir here, for societies and groups to increase the funds they have at their disposal pre-general ticket sales, opening your doors early to patrons to bolster your pre-run bank balance, something worth thinking about perhaps if you’re looking to stage a large show but can’t afford to wait until you’re mid-run to start balancing your finances. 


People travelled from as far as Belfast to see Phantom of the Opera in Carrick-on-Suir
AIMS Awards adjudicator attended the final night of Carrick-on-Suir Musical Society's annual show

People travelled from as far as Belfast to see Phantom of the Opera in Carrick-on-Suir
Ashley Cooke as Christine and Keith Dwyer-Greene as Raoul in Carrick-on-Suir Musical Society's production of Phantom of the Opera, which finished last Saturday night.

Carrick-on-Suir Musical Society’s production of Phantom of the Opera was greeted with all-round acclaim by audiences that packed the Strand Theatre for six sell-out shows last week for the Irish Adult Premiere of the Andrew Lloyd Webber hit musical.

The final curtain fell last Saturday night (April 22) with the 62-strong cast receiving the ultimate show of public appreciation – a standing ovation for the sixth night in a row.

The adjudicator for the Association of Irish Musical Societies (AIMS) Awards was in the audience and according to Carrick-on-Suir Musical Society Chairperson Helen O’Hanlon he couldn’t have chosen a better performance to judge.

“He picked the best night. Everyone was in fine fettle and at full tilt on stage. They gave it their all. They were unreal,” she told The Nationalist.

Tickets for the show sold out in a record three hours and people travelled from all over the country to see the musical made famous by such enchanting songs as “All I Ask of You”, The Music of The Night” and The Phantom of the Opera”.

AIMS President Feargal Cavanagh from county Galway attended the second night of the show last Tuesday, April 18.

“We had people down from Belfast to see it. They came from all kinds of places,” said Helen.

She said there was also an influx of people signing up to become Musical Society patrons to ensure they got tickets for Phantom tickets.

Ms O'Hanlon pointed out Phantom was a demanding show to stage with a lot of high register singing required from all the cast. Some of the roles were almost operatic singing parts.

The leads of the Phantom and Christine were played by Neill Bourke and Ashley Cooke while Keith Dwyer-Greene played Raoul, Louise Russell played Carlotta, Eoin Sheedy was Piangia while Caolan Deehy-Power filled the shoes of Firmin.

Other main cast members were Alan Hearne as Giles André, Sandra Power as Madame Giry, Padraig Sheehan as Monsieur Reyer, Chris Hanlon as Joseph Buquet and Seamus Power as Monsieur Lefevre.

The show also featured a 34 member chorus and ballet troupe of nine dancers.

It was directed by Martin McNelis with Edel Quinlan in charge of choreography and Eamon O’Malley, the chorus master. Fergal Carroll was musical director and Martin Morrissey was production manager.

Ms O’Hanlon said there were some doubters when the Musical Society first accepted the challenge of staging the Irish Adult Amateur Premiere of Phantom of the Opera but the cast and production crew more rose to the challenge.

“To say we managed to do it in Carrick-on-Suir with a Carrick-on-Suir cast was just amazing. I am so proud of our town,” she declared.

Four more amateur musical societies around the country will stage Phantom of the Opera over the next year and a half.

They have a high standard to live up to after Carrick Musical Society’s trailblazing production.

This report and more social photos from Carrick-on-Suir Musical Society's production of Phantom of the Opera are published in this week's edition of The Nationalist on sale in local shops. 

Article from Tipperary Live 25/04/23

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