The music of Elvis Presley rocked The Premier Hall with Thurles Musical Society receiving standing ovations each evening for All Shook Up.
It was standing ovations all round for Thurles Musical Society's All Shook Up which closed in The Premier Hall on Saturday evening last after a very successful five night run.
The music of Elvis Presley was certainly celebrated in style throughout the run, but perhaps Thursday night demonstrated the real appeal of The King with boarders from one of the local schools really getting in on the act, singing and dancing in the seats as the show progressed. It was quite a sight and a wonderful atmosphere prevailed as the cast and chorus battled to remain in time, such was the enthusiasm from the floor.
All Shook Up was that kind of show alright - all-singing, all-dancing, all-action from the moment Jailhouse Rock burst onto the stage at the opening, until the finale when the audiences were on their feet joining in with Only Fools Rush In. The storyline is catchy and funny with every possible ounce of comedy drawn out of the script by Director Aodhan Fox - we even had a 'Just one Cornetto' moment for It's Now or Never - very clever and funny.
Of course the fabulous brass orchestra under the baton of Mary Rose McNally helped to make the show what it was - a spectacular production from an amateur theatre group - while lighting, sound and the colourful costumes also added greatly to the visuals.
You can have the best costumes in the world, and the most expensive set and lights you can find, but if you don't have the people on stage to carry off the show, you are in trouble. Thurles Musical Society has proven time and again that they have them in spades - what a magnificent front line line led by the Society's Chairman Frank Tuohy as Chad - he has been a very busy boy since Christmas!!
The female leads led by the experienced Nina Scott as Mayor Matilda, and Linda Ryan as Sylvia were outstanding while Mairead Hackett as Miss Sandra was deliciously flirty and desirable. Then, newcomers Shelley Martin as Natalie, and Aoife Ryan as Lorraine, looked as though they have been on stage all their lives - in many ways they have been, both coming from stage stock on both sides of their families. Their performances throughout the run were sublime.
Barry Derby as Jim and Finbarr Shelly as Sheriff Earl have a lot of shows under their belt and their experience showed brilliantly with timing, delivery and singing of the highest order.
Then there was Damian Sweeney - another who has grown up with the theatre - playing the part of Dean Hyde and doing so with such style. He happened to be the subject of much of the boarders delights during the Thursday performance, but he didn't allow the attention to distract and seemed to revel in it.
As stated earlier Frank Tuohy played the part of Chad - the roustabout. And, his depiction was flawless, a real tour-de-force with a huge amount of dialogue and singing involved. His week was filled with magnificent performances from start to finish.
But, it was the under-stated, confidence-lacking, shy, awkward and reserved Dennis who stole the show - thanks to the performance of the quite magnificent Peter Donnelly. He was simply on a higher plateau with supreme acting, wonderful comic timing and delivery from the top drawer. His character just commanded pathos and in the end he got his girl, much to the delight of all the thrilled audiences.
Putting on a show takes a lot of time, patience and courage. Yes courage - they are expensive indulgences which rarely pay their way.
Thurles Musical Society is to be complimented on another magnificent production and can take a well deserved bow. Choreographer Debbie Kiernan, Stage Manager Tommy Sweeney, Stage Director Rita Dempsey, and all those who contributed to the success are deserving of praise - in total, upwards of 100 people were involved.
But, Thurles has always been renowned for its magnificent chorus and that ackowledgement shows no signs of diminishing - Chorus Mistress, Mary Rose had them in fine voice all the way through and they really seemed to be enjoying the buzz.
Superb show all round.