Shannon Musical Society has been nominated for six national awards for its recent stage production of Jesus Christ Superstar.
The society hasn’t had so many nominations for the Association of Irish Musical Societies (AIMS) awards since 1993, when they presented Half a Sixpence to the Shannon audiences.
This year, the Shannon group has been nominated for best overall show, against stiff competition from around the country. The last time they were nominated for this award, it was for their production of The Wiz in 2006 and, prior to that, they were nominated for Hot Mikado in 2000.
That show was directed by twins Sean and Brian Power. This year, Sean Power stepped out of the family partnership and directed on his own for the first time and he was delighted to be nominated in the best director category.
The Shannon group has also been nominated for best visuals. This award encompasses costumes, props, hair and make-up. Jesus Christ Superstar relies heavily on sound and vision and the society has also been nominated for the best technical award, which encompasses lighting, sound and sets.
The Shannon front-of-house team, under the stewardship of Tom Keane, has been nominated for best house management, while the last of the nominations is for an ensemble piece around the song, Could We Start Again Please. This was a particularly dramatic and moving scene, involving Mary (Lauren Dunne) and Peter (Joe Bracken), lamenting the betrayal of Jesus (Eoin Sheedy). Their solo singing is bolstered by an excellent SMS chorus, under the direction of Carmel Griffin. The scene subtly portrays Jesus being beaten and persecuted under the watchful eye of Judas (Jared Nadin).
“We are thrilled that our members’ hard work has been recognised by AIMS. Even though we are all involved in SMS to entertain the people of Shannon first and foremost, it is nice to see the group effort acknowledged by the association. I am also delighted for Sean Power to be nominated at his first attempt at directing solo,” said society chairman, Derek Barrett.
The AIMS awards will be presented at its annual conference at the INEC in Killarney on June 14.
Preparations are already underway for Shannon’s next production, Sister Act, which will take place in February of next year. The show is based on the box office hit, which starred Whoopi Goldberg.
For more details, check out Shannon Musical Society on Facebook.
By Owen Ryan