Monday, 17 October 2011

Glencullen Musical & Dramatic Society news Oct 2011 40th Anniversary Gala Celebrations

Glencullen Musical & Dramatic Society news Oct 2011 40th Anniversary Gala Celebrations

The 40th Anniversary of the Glencullen Musical and Dramatic Society is being celebrated this year with a Gala Show * * The Magic of Musicals * *.

One of the founding members, Seamus Keane, has written an interesting history piece for us describing how the Society started up.

It started in 1971, a group of people came together to discuss an idea mooted by Billy Canon from Glencullen . A meeting was called and on Good Friday night they met in Glencullen Library, that time you could use the Library without all the hassle that followed in later years. At the meeting were Billy Canon, Devin Donnelly, Seamus Keane and Ann Keane. We did not know what exactly we were getting into, some wanted drama (which came later) but we eventually agreed on forming a choral society.

Billy had a friend who lived in Balally his name was Eamonn Keeley, he was an amazing man with four and six part harmony and musical direction. Eamonn agreed to direct us in coral singing and harmony. At this stage we had about 30 members. Kevin Donnelly being the original Arthur Daly managed to source an upright piano and also managed to get a girl from Cornelscourt called Maria Smith to play keyboard for practice.

Our first few years consisted of harmony singing and we went on the road to sing at all the popular venues at the time, The Hitching Post in Leixlip, The Embankment in Tallaght, The Golden Ball in   Kilternan and Foxes Pub in Glencullen to name but a few. We sang a mixture of Irish, American and English songs. After a couple of years on the tour we decided to try a Musical and of course the rest is history.

Our first Musical was put on in 1974 and it was The Pirates of Penzance, Iolanthe was next in 1975, The Mikado in 1976 all by Gilbert & Sullivan these were produced by Frank Porter. We then changed direction and put on The Desert Song which was produced by Frank Gormley, South Pacific, My Fair Lady and many more followed that. In between musicals it was decided to put on some drama to offset the soaring cost of musical production. Our first play was Sive by J.B.Keane and it was put on in the back lounge of Foxes pub. Then followed more plays which were put on in St.Olafs and St. Tiernans. These plays were Many Young Men of Twenty, Juno and the Paycock and many more.

At some stage after South Pacific the society split and some of the members formed the Dundrum Musical Society, they wanted to take the name of the society (Glencullen) with them but we held on to it because there was a grant associated with the name. We managed to get the show back on the road and I stayed on until 1980-81.

Margaret Byrne came on the scene and she was a great asset to the society, a marvellous actress, singer and producer. Who can ever forget her performance in Oaklahoma. We, due to starting families and work commitments had to let others take the reigns and the society has never looked back.

Seamus Keane

The show will run at the Mill Theatre in Dundrum from Wed Nov 30 to Sat Dec 3. Please see our posters for details.  Director: Tom Ronayne, Musical Director: Gerry Connolly Choreographer: Helen McCann.

GMDS cast photo 1972

IMGP8641xx.jpg       - Tom, Helen and Gerry with the kids in rehersals
P1020824.JPG         - Kids in action: Oliver meeting Fagin's gang.

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