Last night we visited the Grand Opera House to see the World Premiere of Angela's Ashes The Musical, it was opening night in Belfast and the Theatre was literally packed to the rafters.
As a child I regrettably never read the book, I did see pieces of the movie though my memory was slightly lacking, recently I have spoken to friends who are avid fans of both and with the knowledge that I was attending tonight I spoke to people who watched the Musical in Dublin last week therefore I was gearing myself up for some major blurting and came well prepared with tissues in tow.
Firstly i'll say that there is no need to be familiar with the story as the Musical abduction is so easy to follow, David Wray the MD done what can only be described as a beautiful job, so many heart felt numbers with a great mix of comedic tunes.
About the Cast
West End star Jacinta Whyte returned home to take on the role of Angela. Dublin born Jacinta Whyte has made her mark on the international stage performing in some of the biggest musicals of all time including, Les Miserables, Blood Brothers and Miss Saigon. From the moment Jacinta walked onto the stage as a child in the title role of Annie in the original production in London’s West End, it was clear that a musical star had been born.
The role of Frank was played by Eoin Cannon whose career has included The Woman In White (Palace Theatre, London – alongside Michael Crawford and Michael Ball), The Wizard Of Oz, Jerry Springer – The Opera, Michael Collins – A Musical Drama, Grease and the European tour of Beauty And The Beast as well as performing as a featured lead singer in Riverdance. Television work includes Fair City (RTE) and The Bloody Irish (PBS).
The main cast also included: Clare Barrett as Grandma, Karen Ardiff as Mrs Finucane, Marty Maguire as Malachy, Bryan Burroughs as Quasimodo, Emmet Byrne as Malachy Jnr., Elaine Hearty as Nora, Shane McDaid as Billy Heffernan, David O’Meara as Uncle Pat, Mark O’Regan as Mr Griffin, Brigid Shine as Theresa Carmody and Doireann Mac Mahon & Cait Moloney as Ensemble
The Story in a Nut Shell
Franks parents struggle to provide for him and his brothers in 1940's Ireland, we follow young Frank’s escapades and experiences in a Dickensian landscape peopled by a drunken father, a helpless mother, pompous priests, bullying schoolmasters, money-lenders and dancing-teachers, culminating in his defiant escape to a new life in America. Along the way there is sadness, excitement and so much more.
Those with appreciation for the arts should take the time to see this production, the acting, movement, singing and staging worked seamlessly together, from what I initially thought would be doom and gloom actually was surprisingly funny.
The show runs in the Grand Opera House until Saturday (5th August) performances each evening at 7.30pm and Matinees on Thursday & Saturday at 2.30pm
Visit www.goh.co.uk/angelas-ashes for tickets or call their box office on 028 9024 1919