Michael Collins - A Musical Drama
The tapestry of Irish history boasts many an iconic figure weaved into its fabric, their legacies fuelling the stories and memories of our past and present peoples; none more so than Michael Collins. Revered by some, resented by others ‘the big fella’ as he was affectionately known, has imprinted his story upon the psyche and culture of our politics and our people since the volatile events of the Irish Civil war and his ultimate assassination in 1922 at Beal na Blath. His inspiring but ultimately tragic story has been captured in one of Ireland’s newest & most exciting musicals; Michael Collins – A Musical Drama. The creative seed of Waterford man Bryan Flynn, this musical re-telling of a familiar but often forgotten story is Kilkenny Musical Society’s choice of show for 2014.
Set against the backdrop of the War of Independence, the treaty negotiations and ensuing civil war, Michael Collins – A Musical Drama is a mesmerizing piece of musical theatre with rousing chorus numbers such as ‘Flag of Freedom’ as well as haunting ballads in particular ‘I’m Not that Man’. Creator Bryan Flynn wonderfully captures the angst and frustration of an Irish people struggling under stifling English rule, Collins’ charismatic leadership and a bitter love story which threatens to tear a friendship & a political alliance apart.
Aside from its highly acclaimed professional launch at the Cork Opera House in 2008 only two amateur societies have so far performed this show. Kilkenny Musical Society is the first society in the south east region to secure the rights to stage a performance of such an iconic piece and word has already filtered through to south east musical theatre fans that this spectacle of Irish musical theatre is about to be staged on their doorstep.
The cast-list for this eagerly anticipated show is a fantastic combination of youth & experience, local faces and exciting newcomers. Playing the central role of the big fella himself is Michael Hayes. Kilkenny audiences will know this AIMS nominated performer from previous leading roles with the society such as Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar and Curely in Oklahoma.
Stepping up to play the equally iconic role of Harry Boland is Portlaoise native Eoghan Fingleton, a regular performer with Portlaoise Musical Society. Local actor Ciaran Dunphy, who many will have recently seen in KATS’ outstanding production of ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s nest’ takes on the challenge of depicting Collins’ eventual antagonist Eamon De Valera, while fellow local actress Kevina Hayes has been cast in the role of Kitty Kiernan, the centre of a potentially divisive love triangle throughout Collins’ story.
Other significant roles such as the players who narrate the story of this tumultuous period in Irish history will be performed by experienced members of the society; Declan Taylor, Sarah Brennan, Kevin Reade & Nicola Brennan. The key figures of Mother Ireland, Joe Emmett, Cathal Brugha and Arthur Griffith will be played by equally experienced performers, Delia Larkin, Fergal Miller, Brendan Corcoran & John Byrne respectively.
To keep up to date with the latest news on our production, please like our Michael Collins Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kmsmichaelcollins