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Kilrush enters into the fairytale world of Brigadoon

Cathy Collins as Meg Brokie and her daughter Faye Collins, a chorus member in rehearsals for Kilrush Choral Society’s production of Brigadoon which runs until Sunday in Kilrush Community School. Photograph by John KellyKILRUSH Choral Society will be clearing their collective throats just before 8pm each evening this week until St Patrick’s night. The group is presenting Brigadoon, in Kilrush Community School. The musical is their ninth annual production. The presentation features up to 50 people on stage, including tenor Joe Kiely and his young grandson, Joe Junior. The show is produced by Ger Rush, while Catherine Tobin is the musical director.
Brigadoon is a romantic, tragic and comedy, featuring men in kilts, bonnie lasses, whiskey and bagpipes.
Charlie Killeen plays Tommy Albright, Deirdre Browne is Fiona MacKeith, Kevin Shalloo plays Jeff and Cathy Collins is Meg Brockie.
The story revolves around two Americans, Tommy and Jeff, who get lost during the first night of their hunting trip in Scotland. They then stumble upon a village, Brigadoon. They learn that the town appears once every 100 years in order to preserve its peace and special beauty. The citizens go to bed at night and when they wake up, it’s 100 years later. Tommy falls in love with Fiona and is torn between staying or, as Jeff is encouraging him, going back to his hectic life and fiancée in New York. People can come to Brigadoon and leave before night falls or have to stay forever to prevent the miracle from breaking.
“We’ve been rehearsing since last October. The choral music is absolutely beautiful. The story is a fairytale. You have to suspend belief,” Ger Rush explained.
The society is just nine years old but their productions have become part of the entertainment scene in Kilrush and West Clare in recent years.
“We’re a young society really. Kilrush was home to the Grand Opera here years ago but as far as this society is concerned, this is just our ninth show. I’m really, really passionate about it,” the show producer added.
However, Ger says that while the society is still a fledging one, age isn’t a barrier to appearing on stage.
“We have members on stage from four years of age to the late 70s. Our major singers are the older people. Very few societies have older people in them. But a town is made up of everyone. We have a lot of people who say it is refreshing to have so many very experienced members,” Ger said.
The lyrics are by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. Songs from the musical, such as Almost Like Being in Love have become very well known.   
The original production opened on Broadway in 1947 and ran for 581 performances. Brigadoon then received a West End production opening in 1949 that ran for 685 performances, and many revivals followed including a 1954 film version starred Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse and a 1966 television version starring Robert Goulet and Peter Falk.
The show started in Kilrush on Wednesday of this will week and runs until Sunday in Kilrush Community School. Doors open at 7.30pm for an 8pm show. The booking office is at Lillis Travel, The Square, Kilrush from 1pm to 5pm weekdays. Telephone 065 905 2046.

 

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