Stage set for Evita from Marian Choral Society


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Stage set for Evita from Marian Choral Society Stage set for Evita from Marian Choral Society

The Marian Choral Society production has become something of ‘a hardy annual’ in Tuam at the latter end of every year – and 2023 is no exception.

The group has a proud record of never repeating a show and that hasn’t changed with this year’s offering, Evita. It will run in St Jarlath’s College hall from next Tuesday, October 30, to Saturday, November 4.

Since the musical society was formed back in 1977, it staged a show every year – until the pandemic put an end to that record. Due to Covid, members were forced to take a two year break.

But they returned last year with Sister Act which played to a sell-out crowd. The committee were delighted that so many of the cast and crew, as well as audiences, had stayed loyal.

Chairperson Stuart Barrows, who has appeared in many productions, told those gathered at the Ard Rí Hotel for last week’s launch that things were “back on track”, following the uncertain times created by Covid.

“This our 45th autumn performance and it takes a huge commitment from so many people,” he said.

“After the enforced two year-break because of Covid, it was difficult to know what would happen but when we returned last year, the reaction was phenomenal.

“The audiences will see a lot of familiar faces on stage and behind the scenes, but we also have a lot of new talent, which is great to see,” he added.

The Director is Ronan Lardner and the Musical Director is Shane Farrell, who both have a long association with the Marian Choral Society, while their talents have also been availed of by other musical groups around the country. The Choreographer is Jay Molyneux.

With music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice, Evita is based on the historical story of María Eva Duarte de Perón, who was born in rural Argentina in 1919. Reared in poverty, she grew up to be the country’s First Lady.

Aged just 15, she moved to Buenos Aires to pursue an acting career and achieved success in this field.

In Buenos Aires, Evita developed a relationship with emerging politician, Juan Perón, and they married in 1945. The following year, he became President of Argentina following a campaign in which she featured strongly.

As First Lady, she aligned herself with the poor, becoming a hero to them and to the working class – and an enemy to the rich.  Hers was a short but eventful life, as she died of cancer in 1952, aged 33.

In the musical, a young and unknown revolutionary, Ché Guevara, narrates the rise and fall of the matriarch.

Clíodhna McNelis takes the lead role of Eva Peron while Keith Hanley plays the show’s narrator Ché, with Cian Forde as Juan Peron.

Niall Conway plays Augustin Magaldi and Alana Mullins plays Mistress. The show boasts a large chorus of many familiar Marian Choral Society faces.

At the launch, Stuart Barrows thanked local businessman Seamus Walsh for his sponsorship and those in attendance heard that the Marian Choral Society had staged Irish premieres in the past and would do so again in the future.

Tickets for Evita are €20 but €15 on the opening night. They are available from Quinn’s on Bishop Street and Grogan Travel.

Pictured: Tuam Marian Choral Society committee. Back: Suzanne Garvey, Eimear Kealy, Emer Kelly (Secretary), Stuart Barrows (Chairperson), Tamara O’Reilly Morrin, Denise Brady (Treasurer). Front: Mike Flaherty, Norman Quinn, Sean Callaghan and Keith Fleming (Vice Chairperson).


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