Report written by Mary Crilly.
Stackallen Rathkenny Musical Society (“Rathkenny Revels”) have displayed a touch of genius, magic and innovation in their shows in Rathkenny Hall last weekend. As promised in earlier advertising slots leading up to the show, the show had something for everyone in the audience with two hours of the best music comedy and dance which encapsulated pure raw talent. The show opened with a full chorus presenting “One”, with the cast in black and white and lighting to lift all boats. That was quickly followed by a very topical “Health and Safety” sketch where the council were questioning the validity of the improvements at Rathkenny Hall, with Kieran Weldon and Shay Carry, Michael Conlon and Mark Reilly at their all time best, and Sean Weldon and Charlie Cullen the budding new comedy stars and the lovely Aoife Traynor handing out the brown envelopes.
The Junior Chorus simply enthralled us with a wonderful piece on “Fat Sams Grand Slam” Bugsy Malone and showed the fruits of a well rehearsed dance routine and fabulous singing where they were just enthralling and left the audience in “wow” mood.
High School Musical followed with a great selection of numbers that the audience loved and it was lively, had the X factor and was another top notch item with older children giving it everything.
Tales from the phone box was a hilarious comedy piece which centred on Shay Carry getting several unusual phone calls and that was completely hilarious and he was none the wiser when he had finished speaking to the callers who were Kieran Weldon, Liz McLarney, Christine Stapleton, Adele Crilly and Margaret Carry.
Sean McLarney sang a lovely well known number “Matchstick Men” in a series of wonderful key changes accompanied by some of the childrens chorus with Martin Donoghue following with “You’re Going Out The Same Way You Came In” in a rousing version of Big Tom’s well know hit.
“The Thorn of Meath” was a beauty queen contest starring Shay Carry, Kieran Weldon Kathleen Hussey, Christine Stapleton, Aoife Traynor, Adele Crilly, Mark Reilly and Emer Halligan where Miss Rathkenny gets left out of proceedings due to an act of nature and a technical hitch in the bathroom facilites!
The Senior childrens Chorus lifted us out of our seats with a magic version of the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” followed by an amazing display from the Junior Chorus – “Reflections” which gave us the very best of this talented young group. Rounding off the 1st half, two songs “Rhythym of Life” and “Adiemus” were presented in perfect part harmony arranged by Jacqui Walsh (Musical Director) to finish off what was a rapturous opening section in a blaze of colour across the fabulous newly refurbished Rathkenny stage.
The second half commenced with “Born This Way- Lady Ga Ga” and this was just exceptional by a young group of older teens, who stole the show.
The Junior Chorus gave us the best yet in “Beauty and The Beast” with top class, cheoreography, singing and dance, which was incredible considering the ages of these children, who gave their all to the piece.
Adele Crilly showed her prowess as a soloist with “Tale as Old As Time” accompanied by the little children, who gave such a great performance. The “Ballroom of Romance” showed off the talents of Charlie Cullen and Sean Weldon, who are the new boys in the comedy team, and it was a mile a minute comedy with a sketch based in Rathkenny and completely hilarious.
“Remembering Francis Ledwidge” is a topical tribute to the poet and soldier of World War 1 who was killed in the 3rd Battle of Ypres in Belgium and whose anniversary of his death occurs this year on 31st July 2017. This was compiled by Mary Crilly, narrated by Adele Crilly with a few special lines of his poetry through the narration and with Bernie Price in perfect tones presenting his most famous poem “Lament For Thomas McDonagh” and Ann Marie Crilly giving us a most uplifting rendition of “The Blackbird of Slane”. Brendan Reilly added greatly to the mood of the piece with his perfect guitar playing in the background.
Les Miserables included songs by Saoirse Taaffe “Castle On A Cloud”, “On My Own” by Fern Kelly, with soloists Adele Crilly and Michael Conlon portraying a powerful version of “Master of The House” accompanied by a full adult chorus that was comparable to any West End version.
“Jailhouse Rock” led by Charlie Cullen and the adult chorus was simply spectacular, and it just rocked the foundations of Rathkenny.
The “3 in a bed” sketch showed us the talents of Michael Conlon. Kieran Weldon and Liz McLarney and it had the audience in a complete uproar all through to the end.
The Adams Family was a lovely gentle piece, with beautiful music, perfect cheoreography and was a hugely popular item with all of the audience.
“A Bit of This and That” was the now well known mime act and included Shay Carry, Charlie Cullen and Mark Reilly and had the audience laughing, singing and out of their seats.
The final chorus “Lambeth Walk” was a wonderful ending to the show with soloists Shay Carry and Aoife Traynor and was a fitting ending to a show that was described by one audience member as “the best show I have ever seen anywhere” and another describing Revels 2017 as “a show filled full of amazing talent, bursting with great music and I loved the comedy which was first class, and Im so glad its back in Rathkenny”.
This years Rathkenny Revel’s Musical Director was Jacqui Walsh and Cheoreographer was Jane Wardick. General Committee: JJ Price (Chairman), Maree White, Olive Sheehy, Mary Crilly, Ann Crilly, Bernie Price, Anne Groome, Audrey Norris, Kieran Weldon, Enda Nugent, Tina Reilly, Kay McCabe, Christine Stapleton, Larry Mongey, Kathy Fox, Carmel Mongey, Marie Gray and Rita Monaghan.
Production Director: Henry Byrne; Stage Operations: John Joe Price and Audrey Norris; Costumes/Wardrobe: Ann Crilly, Rita Monaghan, Carmel Mongey, and Costume Hire: Born 2 Perform Stage School Carrickmacross; St Marys Musical Society Navan and Drogheda Pantomine Society.
Sound Management: Patrick Leddy accompanied by Anne Groome and Linda Hunter;
Front of House: Bernie Price, Maree White, Dorothy McGuinness, Marie Gray, Patsy Kelledy, Declan Deane and Michael Downey. Pro Team: Mary Crilly, with Ann Crilly, Bernie Price, Olive Sheehy, Anne Groome, Marie Gray and Maree White. Box Office: Mary McCabe and Michael Farrell; Booking Office: Larry & Carmel Mongey. The catering committee led by Cathy Fox and Angela Downey provided refreshments for everyone in the audience and the cast after each of the shows.
The cast comprised of Adult Cast: Megan White, Sean Weldon, Charlie Cullen, Sarah Finnegan, Charlie Reilly, Shauna Gordon, Jennifer Downey, Ann Marie Crilly, Sarah Crilly, Adele Crilly, Ann Crilly, Mary Crilly, Carol O Hare, Mark Reilly, Patricia O’ Reilly, Mick Conlon, Geraldine Gordon, Elizabeth McLarney, Aoife Traynor, Martin Donoghue, Christine Monaghan, Grace Monaghan, Kathy Fox, Sean McLarney, Sue Knight, Shay Carry, Margaret Carry, Olive Sheehy, Kieran Weldon, Kathleen Hussey, Christine Stapleton, Caoimhe Stanley, Sandra Finnegan, Emer Morgan, Mary Hickey, and Fern Kelly. The Junior Chorus: Sarah Carroll, Ellen O’Reilly, John Green, Stella Jenkinson, Sophie Matthews, Michael Cahalane, Nathan Mongey, Faye McCabe, Eleanor Green, Jake Hanlon, Elannah Clancy, Fionnuala Conlon, Molly Devin, Jack Johnson, Eoin Moore, Harry O’Neill, Lucy Cullen, Cliona Conlon, Ally Hanratty, Heather Meehan, Hannah Mongey, Mollie O’Reilly, Maeve Sheehy, Ruby Carroll, Niamh Kenny, Irish McCabe and Grace Kerr. Senior Chorus: Lorcan Lawlor, Caoimhe Crahan, Danny McCabe, Cathal McKeever, Leah McMahon, Joey Curtis, Seán Davis, Lyndsey Kealy, Julie-Ann Mahon, Finn Moore, Sean Clancy, Aoibheann Rock, Aaron Johnson, Roisin Canning, Lily O’Neill, Aoife Conlon, Blathnaid Farrelly, Saoirse Taaffe, Ava Hanratty, Dearbhla Hunter, Eibhlin McKeever, Joe Norris, Lucy Mae Reilly, Aoibheann Sheehy, Rebecca Corrigan, Amy Weldon, Rachel McMahon, and Robyn Weldon.
Rathkenny Revels wishes to sincerely thank its wonderful sponsors, Rathkenny Hall Committee, car park attendants, make up dept., ticket and programme sellers and those who contributed to sponsorship of the cost of the hall improvements Michael Conlon, Martin Naughton and John Gilroy. Thanks to Meath Co Council and LMETB for their generous grants, Mags Kilcooley of Kilcooley Designs for the programme and publicity items. A special word for the children of Stackallen and Rathkenny schools who took part in the poster competition “Bringing It All Back Home” and these were on display in the hall over the course of the shows. To all our patrons as well as Drogheda Independent, Meath Chronicle, Jimmy Weldon Photography, Joe Finnegan DVDs, LMFM Radio and Louth Meath marquees a massive thank you. Rathkenny Revels thanks most sincerely everyone who has contributed in any way and please keep up to date on our website www.rathkennyrevels.com or visit our Facebook page.