The champagne was popping and it was smiles all round this week as St. Mary’s Choral Society in Clonmel celebrated receiving four nominations in the Amateur Irish Musical Societies (AIMS) award for their recent production of Chess the Musical.
Following an eight-night, sell-out run in the White Memorial Theatre the nominations were well deserved and the nominees, well chosen.
Current holder of the Best Actor Award, Diarmuid Vaughan, has been nominated for Best Male Singer for his performance as Anatoly the Russian, while Keith Greene has been nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Award for his performance as Molokov.
Choreographers Gillian Hewitt-Fitzgerald and Majella Louise Fitzgerald were nominated in the Best Choreography category and Ruth Butler has been nominated once again for the show’s impressive programme.
This is the fifth AIMS nomination for Diarmuid Vaughan, who won the Best Actor Award for his portrayal of Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar last year. This year’s nomination sees him follow in the footsteps of his late father Michael who was nominated for the same award in 1983.
Its the first time for Keith Greene to be nominated for an AIMS Award, however, it will not be the first time that Keith has represented his society on the AIMS podium having collected the Best Ensemble Runner-Up Trophy for Jesus Christ Superstar last year.
Choreographers Gillian Hewitt-Fitzgerald and Majella Louise Fitzgerald who put such tremendous work into the wonderful dance numbers in the show will represent the society in the Best Choreography category. This is the first time in a number of years that St. Mary’s Choral Society has been nominated in the Choreography section, the last Choreography Award for Clonmel being for Man of La Mancha in 1989.
Ruth Butler (programme editor) has had numerous programmes nominated over the past seven years including Show Boat in 2006 and last year’s programme for Jesus Christ Superstar which both won the overall Best Programme Award and the society is hopeful that the Best Programme Award will be coming home to Clonmel for the second successive year.
Eight other nominations came the way of the Premier county this year: Tipperary Musical Society also received four nominations for its production of Man of La Mancha, which they staged in February. Cathal O’Donoghue, who played the lead role of Cervantes/Quixote in the show has been nominated for the Best Actor Award.
Deirdre Ryan (nee O’Connor) who played the lead female role of Aldonza/Dulcinea has been nominated for Best Actress.
Society Stalwart Bill O’Dwyer has been nominated for the Mary Kelly Unsung Hero Award and Man of La Mancha has also been nominated for Best Overall Show; Carrick-on-Suir’s Breda Butler has also been nominated for the Mary Kelly Unsung Hero Award; Thurles Musical Society received a Best House Management Award for their March production of Calamity Jane; Nenagh’s March production of Beauty and the Beast received a nomination for the AIMS Adjudicator’s Special Award and Roscrea’s Proinnsias Loughnane received a Best Comedian Nomination for his performance as Chad in All Shook Up, which the society staged in late April.
Another nomination with a Clonmel connection is Mimi Lane who has been nominated for the Best Female Singer Award for her performance as Eponine in Les Miserables with the South Eastern Youth Theatre Group who are based in Waterford. Only last week, 16 year old Mimi was the winner of the Best Female Singer and Best Female Performer Awards for the same role at the Waterford International Festival of Light Opera. The winners of the Awards will be announced at the AIMS/HB Awards ceremony on Saturday June 16, in the Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney.