St. Mel’s Musical Society are busy preparing for their production of ‘Oklahoma!’, which will be staged in the Backstage Theatre in Longford later this month. As always, there is great local interest in who will play the leading roles, and this year sees Kate Larkin from Newtownforbes taking centre stage when she appears as Laurey Williams, an independent young woman who struggles to choose between two men.
“This is my first time acting and learning lines,” says Kate. “I’ve had lots of help and support from everyone in St. Mel’s Musical Society, though.”
While it may be her first acting role, Kate is no stranger to the stage as she is a classically-trained soprano. “I started singing when I was young and studied voice at the Royal Irish Academy of Music before moving on to the Conservatory of Music at DIT,” she explains. “I only graduated last year, as I did my degree over five years.” Her singing ability has seen her perform throughout the country, including appearances at the National Concert Hall in Dublin and Belfast’s Grand Opera House.
Although there are differences in styles, Kate says her classical training is ideal for her role as Laurey: “The vocal lines for Laurey are quite high and quite technical, so in a way it is similar to singing for opera. A lot of Rodgers and Hammerstein works come from a classical background.”
Kate is a daughter of Gerry and Gaye, who many people will know from Longford Electrical Wholesale and Harneys Jewellers, and her boyfriend is none other than Killoe and Longford football star, Michael Quinn. “As far as I know, he has tickets bought for the first performance, although he does have a habit of leaving these things until the last minute,” laughs Kate.
Oklahoma! will run at Backstage Theatre for eight performances from April 20– 28, including two matinee performances on Sunday, April 21 and Sunday, April 28. Please note that there are no performances on Friday, April 26 or Saturday, April 27. Tickets are available from Backstage Theatre box office on 043 3347888, online at www.backstage.ie, and at Farrell & Coy in Longford town.