With a cast over 60 people, the small community of Clonmore came together last weekend to showcase some of the amazing local talent to celebrate the centenary of the local GAA club, Clonmore Robert Emmets.
The show enjoyed a sell-out crowd all three of the nights of the weekend and but for the difficulties in getting cast, crew and equipment altogether again on another date, demand for tickets was such that at least two more nights of the show could have been realised.
Each night, the cast enjoyed a rousing response and standing ovation from the audience which was hardly surprising given the variety and quality of entertainment they were provided with. The show commenced with an Irish music scene ranging from the haunting Song for Ireland/Paddy’s Green Shamrock Shore, to “The Little Beggarman” performed by Clonmore’s 2016 Scór Ballad group, who are all offspring of the 1986 Ballad group. The 1986 group (Eileen Donaghy, Teresa McBennett, Gerard Convie, John Donaghy and Gerard Cunningham) performed their Ulster final rendition of “Uncle Nobby’s Steamboat”. Emma McBennett, who was Armagh county champion solo singing in Scór 2016, gave a spellbinding performance of “The Fields of Cluain Mór” penned by the Clonmore GFC chairperson and show director, Gerard Cunningham. All Irish scene performers then collectively sang “The Rocky Road to Dublin” joining with local band, “The Knights”.
The Clonmore Players who have previously performed A Wake in the West and a few of Sam Cree’s comedies presented a comedy sketch called “A Director’s Nightmare”, also penned by Gerard Cunningham. The crowd warmly received the sketch with a laugh a minute from the terrible dance routines to the overturned bath/boat, with the cast deservedly receiving rapturous applause. Next on show was a tribute scene to the musical Mary Poppins with the fabulous Catherine McBennett playing the starring role, accompanied by a convincing Ruairi Cunningham as Bert. Children from Clintyclay PS provided the chorus with Maeve McWeeney and Daniel Cullen brilliantly playing Jane and Michael Banks. The Clonmore Ladies footballers provided wonderful dancing during the scene and supporting roles by the very talented Teresa McBennett, Shelagh Kelly, Oliver Donaghy and Mel Mullen made this a treat to behold with favourite Mary Poppins numbers such as ‘Let’s Go Fly a Kite’ and ‘Step in Time’.
After the interval, it was a case of ‘Be Our Guest’ with seasoned local performer Brian Mills singing the Beauty and the Beast favourite, joined by the delightful Suzanne McKenna, with pretty Caollaidhe McGeown as Belle and the energetic Clonmore ladies again performing as backing dancers. Next up was Ruairi Cunningham singing Avici’s ‘Wake Me Up’ with Sarah Quigley, Niamh Forker and Emma Conlon giving a brilliant soft and heavy jig Irish dance showcase.
The final act was a snapshot of the musical ‘Mamma Mia’ performed largely by the Clonmore Choir who have been singing together for almost two decades. With numbers like ‘Money, Money, Money’ and ‘Dancing Queen’ it proved to be a popular segment of the show. Donna Sheridan was perfectly played by Roisin McAliskey and her comedy sidekicks, Rosie and Tanya played wonderfully by Joanne Mills and Sinead Willox. With the amazing Niamh McBennett and Caolan Cunningham playing the youthful couple, Sophie and Sky and old hands Brian Mills, Stephen Donaghy and Hugh McAlinden superbly playing Sam, Harry and Bill it was certainly a spectacular sight when the strong cast performed their penultimate number ‘Super Trouper’ and ended with the high energy ‘Waterloo’.
In a dramatic finale, the draping club colours provided a great spectacle for the crowd. Gerard Cunningham club chair and show director made a short speech thanking the entire community for the effort put in front of house, behind the stage and on the stage and for the preparation put in for weeks prior to the show. This ranged from set designers, to prop and costume organisers, stage managers and sound and lighting assistants. He spoke about how proud the Clonmore Gaels who have passed on would be to see the celebrations the current custodians of the club had arranged and that the show was a great testament to them. Gerard mentioned the importance of small communities pulling together and made particular reference to Clintyclay PS that has been battling against closure for a number of years and how important keeping children educated with their neighbours was.
Gerard was presented with a gift on behalf of the cast from Roisin McAliskey who made testament to Gerard’s level of commitment and dedication to the show and the community and how that had influenced the choir and the cast of the show to pull out all the stops in their performance.
Clonmore GFC would like to thank all those who assisted in any way in making the weekend one to remember forever in Club history and to all those who supported by coming to watch the show. The calendar of events continues with the club’s golf classic taking place in May – for more details and to view pics from the show, visit www.clonmore.net.
Photos by Oliver Corr Photography