‘Ghost: The Musical’ to revive spirit of players past

Killarney Musical Society members, from left: Hazel Devane, Des Furlong, Jack Healy, Ronan O'Shea, Raza Karim, and Gary Murphy.

A musical society with a show-stopping history has been given the rights to present the Irish premiere of Ghost: The Musical.

The grant of first rights to Killarney Musical Society coincides with three unbroken decades of entertainment drawing thousands of patrons in annual audience numbers.

However, Ghost will be the most challenging technically by a town which can trace its musical pedigree to the great Killarney Players of the 1940s and the 50s.

The former society ceased in the 1960s, followed for a while by a magnificent and fiercely competitive Tops of the Town productions — but they were short-lived.

The magnificent Desert Song of the 1950s was followed by a desert of musicals in years of the late 1970s and 80s.

Then along came Dick Shanahan, who has since passed away, and a few dedicated followers.

“From our humble beginnings 30 years ago and our first production which was HMS Pinafore under the directorship of the late Dr Shanahan, amateur musical theatre was re-born in Killarney after a lull of almost 25 years,” said spokeswoman Orna O’Shea, whose mother the late Pat Cleary was a founder member of the Killarney society and a leading light in theatre on and off stage.

“Little did we know way back then what the next 30 years would hold for us,” said Ms O’Shea.

“We have sung, danced, lived and laughed and loved through three decades.”

People grew up with the big screen version of Ghost, featuring Hollywood stars Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore.

Ms O’Shea believes the society’s production this week in the INEC in Killarney will be a big attraction. “The show will enthral audiences both young and old and we are sure patrons will recognise many of the musical numbers, and will no doubt be singing on the way home,” she said.

Ghost: The Musical is at the Gleneagles’ venue for three nights only, this coming Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Killarney’s “dream team” of multi award winners in the Association of Irish Musical Societies Awards Scheme are on board, including director Oliver Hurley, musical director Noel Lennon, and John Hurley, lighting and technical designer/operator.


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