Back on stage with St Mel’s

After a break of five years, Leonard Anderson returns to Longford to direct this year’s St. Mel’s Musical Society’s show, Cabaret.

After a break of five years, Leonard Anderson returns to Longford to direct this year’s St. Mel’s Musical Society’s show, Cabaret.

The show will be his eighth in charge for the local group, and as with previous years, it’s another umissable show for musical fans.

Cabaret, made famous by the film of the same name, was originally adapted from a play called ‘I am a Camera’ into a musical, before finding its worldwide fame through Liza Minelli and Michael York on the silver screen.

While the musical differs in many ways to the film, the same well-known numbers, including ‘Tomorrow Belongs to Me’, ‘If You Could See Her’ and the title song ‘Cabaret’ are in the stage production.

Speaking to the Leader, Leonard said he is delighted with the cast he has assembled for this year’s production.

“I think this is a show that suits St Mel’s Musical Society down to the ground, really. It’s a very strong cast. It (Cabaret) requires strong acting, which we’ve got and good singing. We’ve got people ideally fitted to the roles.

“Jim Davey is playing Clifford (Bradshaw) and Miriam O’Reilly is playing Sally Bowles. He (Cliff) has been trying to write a book and he meets Sally and they fall in love.

“There’s also a very interesting, touching and funny sub-plot with Frauline Schneider (Maureen Dunne) and Herr Schultz (Tony Wadd). The story takes place with the background of the rise of the Nazi party and Frauline Schnieder has to make a decision about whether to marry Herr Schultz, who is a Jew,” explained Leonard.

Playing the other principal roles are Jim Maher (Ernst Ludwig), Michelle Kelly Conlon (Frauline Kost) and Doug Fox-Roberts (Emcee).

“He (Emcee) is like the Master of Ceremonies, and he’s in and out of the show. I see him really as the puppet master, pulling all the strings.”

The set will again be something of a feature, with a interesting twist for audiences.

“We have a stage within a stage, and I’m themeing it in the colours of the Nazi party (red, white and black). We’re also doing it as a multimedia experience; not only is there a minimalistic set, but we’ve introduced new dimensions of multimedia, with video clips and slide projects to help show what the story is set against, with the rise of Hitler and Nazism.

“It’s very technical this year, from an operational point of view with light and sound. We have Alistair Kerr, who has specialised equipment,” he said.

The show opens on Friday April 1, and runs for for a total of eight performances in Backstage Theatre, Longford, until Saturday April 9 (with a break on Monday April 4). Tickets are now on sale at the Backstage Theatre Box Office (043-3347888), from Farrell Coy in Longford town and online at www.backstage.ie