Click on the photo below to open a gallery of images from the event
New Ross Musical Society provided a wonderful week of entertainment last week at St. Michael’s Theatre, with the Irish and UK premiere of 'Chaplin the Musical'.
Chaplin is based on the real-life story of Charlie Chaplin, the iconic film actor, writer, producer and director, played by Tullamore native Graham Finnerty.
The new musical spans the comic’s entire career, from Chaplin’s first performance as a child in 19th-century London to his tearful acceptance of an honorary Academy Award in 1972.
The show documents the beloved actor’s rise to fame and the people who shaped his life, including his mother Hannah (Lynsey Penkert), his older brother Sidney (Conor Lyons), his fourth wife Oona O’Neill (Ashley Doran) and gossip columnist Hedda Hopper (Jenniffer A De-Faoite).
The musical dramatized the making of Chaplin’s legendary films, including The Kid, The Circus, Modern Times and The Great Dictator as well as his turbulent childhood, frenzied love life and political beliefs. Featuring an original score by Christopher Curtis, including “Look at All the People,” “Just Another Day in Hollywood” and “This Man,” Chaplin tells the touching story of the man who makes the world laugh as his legendary screen persona, the Tramp, but struggles to find happiness in his own life.
From the opening number to the final curtain, audiences were captivated with the story of Chaplin. "Entrancing from start to finish. Graham's portrayal of this iconic man was simply breath taking," said one audience member. "Finnerty was spellbinding" said another. "We felt we were in the West-End" from another.
Word of this outstanding show travelled fast and after Tuesday nights opening performance, with only five tickets remaining for the rest of the week. And those lucky enough to snap those up were not left disappointed as the cast and chorus continued to deliver night after night.
With a strong supporting cast beside him, including well known locals Sean O'Brien and James Dobbs, the story of Chaplin was played out beautifully through stunning solo songs and entertaining chorus numbers. The finale each night had audiences on their feet in appreciation of the talent that was presented on stage.
This year marks New Ross Musical Society’s 55th year.
"We were delighted to welcome back director Derek Shannon and our choreographer, Anne Marie Cooney, who this year celebrates her 35th consecutive year involved in the society. It was wonderful to have a full chorus back this year and a 10-piece live orchestra, under the baton of Musical Director, Philip Kennedy,” said Jean Brennan of the musical society.
“Our society is absolutely overwhelmed by the amazing support and wonderful feedback we received last week from our audiences. We wish to thank all the local companies and our fundraiser supporters for enabling us to bring this special show to the stage in St. Michael’s. “Without you, a production like this would not be possible and we are truly grateful. And of course we couldn't do it without the amazing talent and dedication of our cast, crew and production team.”