The Dunamaise Arts Centre was a hive of activity this evening as the Portlaoise Musical Society launched their latest production – a suitably ambitious production to mark the group’s 20th anniversary.
Titanic – The Musical is on stage from Saturday, November 24, to Saturday, December 1, with a cast of over 70 adult members and a further 10 children.
This evening the show was launched with cast members in costume, a good representation from the local arts and political scene and the wonderfully talented local musician Cian McGearailt entertaining the gathering.
Among the guests were Regina McGinley, curator of the Abbeyleix Heritage Centre, who spoke of Abbeyleix’s links to the Titanic and how the incredibly luxerious carpets for the ship were made in a factory in the town.
She also mentioned the two Laois people who were known to be on the fateful ship – William Gillespie, who was the Clerk of the factory and bought a ticket for that infamous sailing in Morrissey’s pub, and a Michael McEvoy from Ballacolla who shared a ticket with a lady from Dublin who was 15 years his elder. Little more is known of his background.
Alex Cathcart was MC for the event and the speakers included Annete Nugent, a long-time member of Portlaoise Musical Society, Cllrs Catherine Fitzgerald and Mary Sweeney, Director of the Dunamaise Michelle de Forge and Louis Brennan, who recently retired as chairman of the Dunamaise Arts Centre.
The musical is based on real people aboard the world’s most legendary ship, this stunning and stirring story is focused on the hopes, dreams and aspirations of the passengers, as they face one of the most tragic disasters of the 20th Century. The 2018 AIMS Award winners (Best Visual & Runner Up Best Technical), present one of their most ambitious and spectacular productions to date, featuring an amazing cast and crew from Laois and beyond!
Chairperson of Portlaoise Musical Society, Sharon Dunphy added: “We are thrilled to be able to say we have enjoyed 20 amazing years and 19 productions to date. We are delighted to bring top quality performances to the public each year, through artistic excellence and imaginative programming – from our committees, casts and crews.
“We exist because we are passionate about musical theatre and to support the artistic and educational activities of our volunteer members and we recognise the immense commitment that each gives every year, without which we couldn’t exist! We can’t wait to bring our biggest and best production yet to the stage this November/December to celebrate our 20th anniversary.”
Titanic – The Musical takes place at Dunamaise Arts Centre Portlaoise from Saturday, November 24, to Saturday, December 1, at 8pm nightly, other than an earlier start time of 6pm on Sunday 25 November. Tickets are priced €18/€15/€12 (Concessions on Sunday and Monday only) and are on sale from Dunamaise Box Office. Tel: 057 8663355 or www.dunamaise.ie.
Our photographer Julie Anne Miller was on hand to capture a selection of images.