While the rest of us sit down to be depressed watching the nine o clock news each night, over 35 people in the Ballinamore area are transported to a different world, singing and dancing the blues away.
Ballinamore Musical Society have reformed to perform ‘Seven Bride for Seven Brothers’ a family favourite musical that is certain to lift the spirits and dispel the gloom later this month.
The society which was founded in 1976 had taken a break for a few years but have now chosen that it is time to shake things up and bring the fun back!
From secondary students, to local footballers and even a few Gardai along with some of the founding and loyal members of the society they have been whiling the nights away rehearsing for the big fabulous colourful musical.
The musical opens on February 24th but those involved have been working on their singing, lines and dance moves since last November and at the moment are meeting up three times a week to rehearse.
When I visited a rehearsal last week in Wisely’s Warehouse on the Carrigallen road, I had not been expecting the large number of cars parked outside, or indeed the level of enthusiasm that awaited me inside.
With the accompaniment of lively music by Gerarda Burns (Musical Director) and the expert choregraphy from Ciara Duignan, I watched as men arm wrestled and threw each other off a bench, moving with precision and gusto. Very quickly a barn dance unfolded in front of me, twirling, kicking, jumping, partners changed rapidly as they moved from dance to dance. I can only imagine what it will all look like with colourful costumes, which will be ordered from Limerick and England as well as locally. The music rights had to be secured from Joseph Weinberger Ltd to allow the production to be above board and legal. The two hour show will also include top of the range lighting and sound equipment will be used in the production.
There were some tweaks to be made here and there during rehearsals, a few encouraging words from Producer/ Director Sean Creamer kept everyone moving on the right note. And Joint Chairman Jim Smith even contributed some advice.
This is no amateur production, the society has been performing since 1976 and have showcased such titles as Spring Capers, The Pirates of Penzance, Show Boat, The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, Love from Judy, Jesus Christ Superstar, South Pacific, and Anything Goes amongst others. There are 35 of a cast but the numbers working behind the scenes brings that up to about 70!
Sean Creamer, well known hairdresser on Ballinamore Main Street has been in charge of many of the productions over the years. He knows exactly what the whole thing should look like and keeps a keen eye over the proceedings.
Sean said they are lucky to have “a lot of talented people in the area.” And by area he means the 20 mile radius from which they attract the all dancing and singing cast. Although the sweat may be rolling there is a smile plastered on everyone’s face as they perfect the moves and the style with a few Texan accents thrown in for good measure.
Local Ballyconnell Garda James Boyle is playing the leading man ‘Adam’ for the second time in his life. James played the same role when Ballinamore performed the musical 17 years ago. Joining him is Cait Cullen, this is her first leading lady role, but she is certainly no stranger to the stage.
The story for those of you who don’t know: Adam, the eldest of seven brothers, goes to town to get a wife. He convinces Milly to marry him that same day. They return to his backwoods home. Only then does she discover he has six brothers - all living in his cabin. Milly sets out to reform the uncouth siblings, who are anxious to get wives of their own. Then, after reading about the Roman capture of the Sabine women, Adam develops an inspired solution to his brothers’ loneliness.
They all head into town to get some women.
It is a fun filled light hearted comedy that everyone will enjoy from the country boys Vs the townies fight, Milly’s quest to educate and teach the six brothers some etiquette and the fast paced dancing scenes.
The floor boards in Ballinamore Community Hall will not know what hit them!
-‘Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’ will run in Ballinamore Community Hall from February 24-29 and March 1-3. The society has enjoyed tremendous support form sponsors in the past and the members are very appreciative of this. As there will be major financial expenses involved any donations or sponsorship will be gratefully accepted by any committee member.