AFTER a three year wait the Ennis Players are back in their new show ‘Glorious!’ by Peter Quilter, with rehearsals are well underway for this four night production.
Directed by Bernie Harten, this play is based on the true story of Florence Foster Jenkins. Known as ‘the first lady of the sliding scale’, she warbled and screeched her way through the evening to an audience who mostly fell about with laughter. The play details Florence’s charity recitals, her bizarre recording sessions and an ultimate triumph at Carnegie Hall in this heart-warming comedy.
This production features Maeve Plunkett as Florence Foster Jenkins, Jackie Scanlan as her suffering accompanist and John Lillis as St. Clair Byfield, her boyfriend. Patricia Clune plays the sharp-tongued truth-speaking Mrs. Verrinder Gedge, Geraldine Greene is Florence’s non-English speaking Mexican maid while Emer O’Flaherty plays Dorothy, Florence’s close friend. Ricky the loyal but sleeping poodle plays himself!
Director Bernie Harten says she is, “thrilled to introduce Ennis audiences to the remarkable Florence. When her father refused to allow her study music in Europe, she eloped with an older man but contracted syphilis on her wedding night and separated immediately. Despite much adversity and her inability to hold a note, she became a cult figure in New York Society, tackling the most difficult operatic arias. Her audiences whooped and hollered to cover their hysterical laughter and we have no doubt our audiences will love Florence just as her own audiences did and as we have grown to.”
Speaking about the event, Mary Curley, Chairperson of Ennis Players said, “Following a hiatus of three years, we are delighted to perform our full-length production of Glorious! We look forward to welcoming our friends to glór once again, where they will be treated to a wonderful night of high quality theatre.”
Over the years Ennis Players have helped raise over €90,000 for local and national charities through initiatives on opening night performances. This tradition will continue this year, the chosen beneficiary being Clare Haven House.
‘Glorious!’ will be staged in glór from Wednesday, March 22 to Saturday, March 25 inclusive, nightly at 8pm. Tickets are on sale now from glór box office (065-6843103) and www.glor.ie. Early booking is advised, as this event is always very popular in the diary of Clare’s theatre audience.
Ennis Players has been competing on both the One Act & Three Act festival circuits since the mid-1980s, winning the titles on a number of occasions.
Over the years Ennis Players has toured extensively both at home and abroad travelling to the Canadian Folklorama at Winnipeg, the Bailiwick Theatre in Chicago, the Atheneum Theatre in Melbourne, the Princess Grace Theatre in Monaco, the Liverpool International Theatre Festival in Nova Scotia and the Milwaukee Irish Festival.
In 2003, 2011 and 2021 Ennis Players had the honour of hosting the All-Ireland One Act drama finals with much success.