Grand Opera House, Belfast – Tuesday 3rd – Saturday 7th May
On Tuesday May 3rd, amateur dramatics organization New Lyric Operatic Company will take to the stage in The Grand Opera House, Belfast for a week long run of Cole Porter’s musical classic High Society. However, this production will be anything but amateur, with doctors, nurses and teachers being just some of the professions that will be represented on stage.
New Lyric Operatic Company is a musical theatre company with a rich history dating back to 1948. It has always taken pride in staging amateur productions with professional production values. Having previously performed well known shows such as The Wizard of Oz, Oklahoma, My Fair Lady and West Side Story, New Lyric has a laundry list of awards and accolades – and it looks to grow that list with lesser known musical comedy High Society, which had its first run on Broadway in 1998.
Set in 1930’s New York, High Society tells the tale of socialite Tracey Lord’s wedding to her fiancé George. The only problem is, her ex-husband Dexter wants her back. Add in Mike, an incognito tabloid reporter who also has designs on Tracey, and we’re set for a love triangle for the ages. Who will she decide is the man for her?
As an amateur dramatics company, New Lyric has members from all walks of life. Young and old alike juggle work with rehearsals in a tradition for company members dating back to its inception. It is no surprise that some of the current cast finds particular challenges in balancing the two.
John Lindop, who is District Nurse in Holywood and North Down, will portray the character of Dexter, played by Frank Sinatra in the 1956 film of the same title. No stranger to the stage, John has portrayed more lead roles for New Lyric over the past 20 years than anyone else; most recently of Bob Wallace in the companies smash hit production of White Christmas this past November. John is joined in the principal line-up by A and E Doctor Ciara Mackey, a native of Dublin, taking time out of her hectic schedule to return to the stage after previously performing the title role in the company’s production of Calamity Jane. Ciara’s outstanding voice is something that needs to be heard in person to be fully appreciated.
Just some of those flying the flag for the education sector for the company are teachers Niamh McGurk of St Genevieve’s High School, Suzanne McConville of Corpus Christi College, Amy Blackshaw of Orangefield Nursery and Claire Rice of St Joseph’s College Belfast. Alison McCallister, Chairperson of New Lyric, has also worked in education for over 25 years, working with cross community and special needs projects.
Gary McAlorum, who portrays Mike, spends his time commuting between Belfast and London, where he is head of HR for Capita HR Solutions. When heading for rehearsals, Gary regularly rushes from the airport to the rehearsal room to make his call on time.
These are just some of the professionals who take time out of their lives to enjoy the bright lights of The Grand Opera House stage, with their only reward being the thrill of performing for over one thousand people each night.
High Society features classic Cole Porter songs such as ‘Well did you Evah?’, ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’ and the beautiful ballad ‘True Love.’ Lead by a professional production team of Director Kieran Griffiths, Choreographer Wendy Mairs and Ireland’s most sought after Musical Director Wilson Shields, this show promises to be one of New Lyric’s most stunning performances yet.
High Society opens at The Grand Opera House, Belfast on Tuesday May 3rd and runs until Saturday May 7th, with a matinee performance on the Saturday. For tickets contact The Grand Opera House box office.
Box office Link http://www.goh.co.uk/high-society
Company Website http://www.newlyric.co.uk/