Look into the history of musical theatre in Ireland and it won’t be long before the Rathmines & Rathgar Musical Society is mentioned. Known to many as the R&R, this vibrant group has been a major part of Dublin’s musical landscape since 1913. Yes, you read that correctly – since 1913! That’s no easy task.
Far from resting on its laurels, or focusing on performances of days gone, this musical society is firmly looking to the future with a particular focus on bright young performers and up-and-coming talent. If you caught their junior productions of Matilda or Aladdin in the dlr Mill Theatre, Dundrum you’ll know what we’re talking about.
Fostering talent, with an opportunity to perform on a professional stage, has long been the practice of the Rathmines and Rathgar Musical Society. Bringing Oliver! to the National Concert Hall this November carries on this tradition…and then some!
Louis Kirwan is cast as Oliver in the upcoming R&R production. The 11 year old from Stepaside is no stranger to the NCH, having played Kurt in Festival Production’s Sound of Music on the same stage last Christmas. The bright, young performer joined the R&R Juniors in summer 2022 for their first camp and performance of Matilda Jr. He returned this year for Aladdin Jr in September, then headed straight into rehearsals for Oliver!
Louis was also cast as Young Bill in the upcoming movie Small Things Like These directed by Tim Mielents – the younger version of Cillian Murphy’s character Bill Furlong. It’s clear Louis’s star is shining bright and looks set to rise. He attends Showstoppers Stage School in Templeogue.
It’s hard to believe a society that’s been entertaining us for over a hundred years, has never staged this much-loved classic. So why now?
“The timing felt right. The R&R Junior Camps brought some terrific talent our way. Oliver!, needs a cast that’s varied and versatile, in ability and age. It allows us to showcase our members – both young and more experienced performers – and offer audiences terrific entertainment. ” Garry Mountaine, Oliver! Director
Louis will be joined on stage by his cousin Chloe Cody in the junior ensemble of Oliver!. Chloe played the lead role of Matilda in the junior production last September. This year, she spent her summer on stage at the Gate Theatre playing ‘Small Alison’ in the much-lauded Fun Home. A lot can happen in a year. Choe is definitely another ‘one to watch’.
The family connections don’t stop there! This year’s chorus includes many on-stage mum and son pairings too. Bringing new blood into the Rathmines and Rathgar society is vital for its future success:
“Musical theatre is one of few activities that brings generations together. Our society has a long tradition of family involvement. My own parents met in the R&R, singing in the chorus for many years, then holding committee positions. My sister Paula and daughter Kate have been involved too – on stage and behind the scenes. It’s wonderful to welcome new families, new connections and new members with each show.” Joan O’Shaughnessy, R&R President
While its status remains amateur, affiliated to AIMS, the society maintains a standard of performance and production that any professional company would be proud of. The full cast of Oliver! is bursting with talent, from veteran performers to relative newcomers, and younger stars to keep an eye on.
Lionel Bart’s much-loved musical plays at the National Concert Hall, for four performances only from November 9th – 11th, including a matinee on Saturday 11th.
While its status remains amateur, affiliated to AIMS, the society maintains a standard of performance and production that any professional company would be proud of. The full cast of Oliver! is bursting with talent, from veteran performers to relative newcomers, and young stars to keep an eye on.
This is one not to be missed.
Book your Oliver! tickets online at www.nch.ie or call the box Office on 01 417 0000
- Dublin City wins European Capital of Smart Tourism 2024
- Perfect for that Christmas night out, Scott’s Restaurant Seafood & Grill
- Donabate residents call for urgent action
- Health Minister welcomes legislation consultation to ban sale of e-cigarettes to U18s
- MAKE SURE IT’S ONLY SANTA WHO CAN GET IN WITHOUT A KEY!