Tipperary delight at scooping top show award for first time

Tipperary Musical Society has a lot to sing and dance about this week after scooping four of the top gongs, including Best Overall Show, at the annual Association of Irish Musical Society Awards.

Tipperary Musical Society has a lot to sing and dance about this week after scooping four of the top gongs, including Best Overall Show, at the annual Association of Irish Musical Society Awards.

And St Mary’s Choral Society in Clonmel is also celebrating winning two AIMS awards, which were announced at a gala ball in the Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney attended by more than 1000 members of amateur musical societies around the country.

Tipperary Musical Society won the Best Overall Show award in the Gilbert (higher level) category for their production of Dale Wasserman’s “Man of La Mancha, which ran for a week at the Excel Arts Centre in Tipperary in January.

Two of the actors/singers who played leading roles in this challenging show won awards for their performances. Cathal O’Donoghue, who played Cervantes/Don Quixote, won the Best Actor prize, while Deirdre Ryan received the Best Actress award for her portrayal of the lead female character Dulcinea.

Cathal is a member of Tipperary Musical Society since 1998 and when not performing on stage he works as a dentist in Thurles. He previously won an AIMS Best Supporting Actor award for his performance in Tipperary Musical Society’s production of L’il Abner.

Deirdre Ryan (nee O’Connor) joined the Society in 1997 and her father Val was also among the cast in Man of La Mancha. She previously played Eliza in the Society’s production of “My Fair Lady”, Rizzo in Greece and her portrayal of The Wardrobe in Beauty & The Beast led to her being chosen to play the role professionally at The Gaeity Theatre in Dublin.

There was also huge delight among the 40 strong contingents of Tipperary Musical Society members at the AIMS Awards ceremony when Bill O’Dwyer, a Society member for more than 30 years, received the “Mary Kelly Unsung Hero” award. He was nominated for the award by the TMS Chairman Noel Greene for his lifetime of contribution to the society.

While Bill has performed in shows like “The Wizard of Oz and Show Boat in the past, he is best known as a “front of house” man for the Society and has worked tirelessly back stage and in the important jobs of raising funds for the Society.

Tipperary Musical Society PRO Jason Ryan said they were absolutely delighted with the Society’s success at the AIMS. “We were all on top of the tables jumping. It was crazy. The celebrations went on until 8am the next morning. We are the best Musical Society in Ireland at the moment and we now have a high standard to keep up,” he told The Nationalist.

Jason, who played a minor role in “Man of La Mancha”, said this was the first time Tipperary Musical Society has ever won the AIMS Best Overall Show award. The Society was nominated two years ago for the Overall Best Show prize for its production of Beauty & The Beast.

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