Limerick’s UCH transformed for ‘Leading Ladies’

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

THE multi-functional University Concert Hall has been transformed for College Players’ latest production, Leading Ladies, the company’s debut in the venue.

THE multi-functional University Concert Hall has been transformed for College Players’ latest production, Leading Ladies, the company’s debut in the venue.

After three months in pre-production and the construction of a magnificent set - designed by Gerry Lombard and constructed by Mike O’Regan - College kicked off their latest show this Wednesday to rave reviews in the UCH.

Director Joan McGarry explained that, although College Players have been traditionally associated with the Belltable, the decided to move to the UCH to allow for a bigger production.

“The production demands multiple settings, not the least of which is this huge stately home, but also three other different sections, a garden, a railway station and then inside a theatre, so we needed to have space,” explained Joan of Leading Ladies, a comedy set in America in 1958 with romantic entanglements involving two shored up English actors who, to make ends meet, resolve to pass themselves off as the relatives of a dying, very wealthy millionairess.

Written by Ken Ludwig, Joan said it is a “laugh a minute piece of theatre and guaranteed crowd pleaser”.

““It is a hilarious comedy and is just great fun, that is the key to it,” she explained.

“It is hilarious but it is not pantomime, it is not over the top, it is great theatre. In these days of austerity and bad news it is lovely and you will be able to go in and laugh your head off at it.”

Well known actors Dave Griffin and Nigel Dugdale play the titular Leading Ladies, down at heel Shakespearian actors who discover at the last minute that the relatives they are attempting to pass themselves off as, are actually female.

John Finn, Padraig Hastings, Jean McGlynn, Sinead O’Sullivan, Conor Ryan and May O’Halloran all also appear, a terrific supporting cast.

“We have a terrific line-up of local talent, superb talent - it is a Rolls Royce cast, wonderful performers all of them,” said Joan.

“There is a huge amount of first rate performers living and working in Limerick and this cast certainly represents Limerick’s finest,” she added.

Leading Ladies runs in UCH until Saturday.