Tuesday 17 October 2017

Musical take on 'Angela's Ashes' gets its hometown debut

Composer Adam Howell and Sarah Ayrton, who plays Angela, of ‘Angela’s Ashes’.
Composer Adam Howell and Sarah Ayrton, who plays Angela, of ‘Angela’s Ashes’.

Kathryn Hayes

THE first Irish performance of 'Angela's Ashes, A Musical' takes place in the author's home city later this month.

The staging of the production coincides with the fourth anniversary of the death of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt, who was born in Limerick.

It follows the show's successful English premiere in Derby, where Ellen McCourt described the music as a "tremendous addition" to the text of her late husband's award-winning novel.

The cast of 45, made up of professional actors, students from Derby University and community actors through Theatre Works based in Derby, will be bringing the musical production to the Lime Tree theatre in Mary Immaculate College on July 17th next.

"This is a bit of a dream come true, as I've been working on this for the past 11 years. I can't wait to bring it to Limerick," said 26-year-old Adam Howell, who produced the music and lyrics for the show.

Howell read 'Angela's Ashes' when he was 15 years old and was taken by the humour and comic scenes throughout the book. With a grandmother from Macroom, Co Cork and a grandfather from Trim, Co Meath, he says he grew up with "a strong sense of being Irish".

Now aged 26 and following many trips to Limerick later he has his first original musical score under his belt.

He never got to meet the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, but the young producer says he was delighted with the reaction from the McCourt family when they saw the show.

"We thought they [Frank's family] would either love it or hate it, but they were in tears and said, 'Thank you for doing this.'"

The production runs for four nights, from Wednesday, 17th to Saturday, 20th July.

Irish Independent

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