Rehearsals are well underway at the White Memorial Theatre where St. Mary’s Choral Society is preparing to present its 110th production ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ from Saturday, April 27 to Saturday, May 4.
An evocative tale of the epic battle between good and evil, ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ is based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story about a brilliant doctor whose experiments with human personality create a murderous counterpart. Convinced the cure for his father’s mental illness lies in the separation of Man’s evil nature from his good, Dr. Henry Jekyll unwittingly unleashes his own dark side, wreaking havoc in the streets of late 19th century London as the savage, maniacal Edward Hyde.
This wonderful musical features such super well-known numbers as ‘This is the Moment’, ‘Someone Like You’ and ‘Once Upon a Dream’.
The original stage conception for ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ was by Steve Cuden and Frank Wildhorn. The music was composed by Wildhorn and the lyrics were written by Leslie Bricusse.
‘Jekyll and Hyde’ was originally produced in 1990 at the Houston’s Tony Award-winning Alley Theatre. An instantaneous success with audiences and critics alike, it went on to break box office records, and its original run was extended four times during that first summer.
In 1995, the show was remounted by Houston’s Theatre Under the Stars and Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre. Adding to the show’s momentum, stars such as Liza Minnelli and The Moody Blues and so on began to record songs from the show.
Finally on April 28, 1997, ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ made its Broadway debut at the Plymouth Theatre. Another resounding success, this production was nominated for four Tony Awards. Robert Cuccioli (Jekyll/Hyde) won the Drama Desk Award for Best Actor in a Musical and Linda Eder (Lucy) won a 1997 Theatre World Award for Outstanding Debut Performer in New York City. The show ran for 1,543 regular performances, closing on January 7, 2001 and is the longest-running show in the history of the Plymouth Theatre.
This will be the first time ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ has been staged in Clonmel, although neighbouring societies of Carrick-on-Suir and Thurles have staged the musical in recent years to great success.
The production is being directed by Michael O’Donoghue, Musical Director is Fergal Carroll, Chorus Mistress Mary Rose McNally, Choreography is by Gillian Hewitt-Fitzgerld and Majella Louise Fitzgerald, Set Design by Diarmuid Vaughan and Assistant to the Director is society stalwart Margaret O’Sullivan.
Auditions were held recently for the many parts in this wonderful musical and the line-up of principals is as follows: Diarmuid Vaughan, winner of the 2011 AIMS Best Actor Award will play the title role of Dr. Henry Jekyll/Edward Hyde. Making a very welcome return to the stage in the role of Emma Carew will be Andrea Ruth Houlihan and Lucy Harris is being played by Holly Jean Williamson who is making her debut with St. Mary’s Choral Society in this production. David Hughes plays John Utterson, Derek Ryan is Sir Danvers Carew and Cian Corcoran will play the sinister role of Spider.
The numerous other supporting roles in this wonderful musical are being played by Fiona Corcoran, Kiya Donlan, George Barry, Jack Hickey, Liam Hunter, David Hogan, Jason Ryan, Noel Cairns and a host of familiar faces who make up the cast of Aristocrats, People of London, Street People, Prostitutes, Servants, Red Rat dancers etc.
Booking will open on Tuesday, April 16 at Marians, O’Connell Street, Clonmel (052)6123813. Put the date in your diary as tickets for this wonderful production will surely sell out fast once booking opens.
In the meantime, to defray the costs of putting on this mammoth production, the society have begun fundraising in earnest.
It is currently running a cast draw with fantastic prizes and the usual table quiz will take place in Liam Daly’s Lounge on Thursday, March 14.