Launch night for ‘The Big Fella’

One of the most fateful days in the course of Irish history was remembered last week at the launch of Kilkenny Musical Society’s 2014 production of Michael Collins – A Musical Drama. The armoured car which took Michael Collins on his last tragic journey through Beal na Blath travelled from the Curragh to mark the launch of this exciting event in Kilkenny’s theatre calendar. On the week of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Irish volunteers in Kilkenny, members of the society & its production team gathered in James Stephens Barracks to launch this year’s highly anticipated show which opens on April 6th at the Watergate theatre. There was a palpable air of excitement around our city’s military base as soldiers of all ranks & file came to admire the vehicle behind which Michael sheltered from the onslaught of anti-treaty gunfire & which sadly carried his body to a Cork hospital on August 22nd 1922.

Ltnt Larry Scallan displayed his wealth of historical knowledge as he gave a fascinating insight in relation to local Kilkenny people & places that were intrinsically involved in the Irish struggle for independence, while the show’s director Christine Scarry explained her vision for portraying the complex man behind the leader & soldier. Members of the cast & chorus as well as invited guests got a real sense of how history & music are beautifully intertwined to re-tell one of the most gripping stories in our country’s divisive past.

Also in attendance were Minister Phil Hogan, Deputy John Paul Phelan, Mayor Martin Brett & many members of the borough council. The distinguished guests were unanimous in their praise for the efforts of the society in bringing such a challenging but exciting production to Kilkenny audiences. Minister Hogan in particular acknowledged the reputation of the society for performing at an exceptionally high standard and expressed his anticipation at witnessing the historic times of Michael Collins and his struggle for Irish freedom being played out on the Watergate stage. Tickets for what promises to be a fantastic nights entertainment are on sale now from the Watergate box-office on 056-7761674. The show runs from April 6th – 12th.