angela’s Ashes - The Musical will be staged in Limerick next summer on the fourth anniversary of Frank McCourt’s death as part of The Gathering, it has been confirmed.
After its debut in Derby in England earlier this year, the cast of 45 will be bringing the musical production to the Lime Tree theatre in Mary Immaculate College for six performances from July 17.
“This is a bit of a dream come true, as I’ve been working on this for the past 11 years. I can’t wait to bring it to Limerick,” said Adam Howell, 26, who produced the music and lyrics for the show.
“This is really a natural progression and it’s another opportunity for us to develop the show, and the end goal is to get the show to Broadway. I think it has the potential to be a big West End/Broadway production,” he told the Limerick Leader.
Mr Howell, whose family hail from Cork and Trim, said he regrets he never got to meet the Pulitzer Prize winning author Frank McCourt, but was delighted with his family’s reaction when they saw the show in Derby on its opening night.
He said they were “very supportive” in taking it beyond Derby, while Bill Whelan, the Riverdance composer and another Limerick native, has been “very intrigued and quite enthusiastic” by the idea of a musical.
“The response was just electric. We thought they [Frank’s family] would either love it or hate it, but they were in tears and said ‘Thank you for doing this’. The cast were in floods of tears because they were so overwhelmed by it. The audience genuinely wanted more and wanted to see it again. I’ve never had an experience like this in the theatre. We had practically a full house for every night of the show, and a standing ovation every night.”
“There was something in the book that I always related to. A lot of people laughed when I said I wanted to make it into a musical, because they said why would you want to turn that miserable story into a singing and dancing musical. I found the book very funny in places. It just sang to me. The most surprising thing for our audience is that they were laughing the whole way through
Collaborator Paul Hurt adapted the book into a script, which has been condensed down to two acts of 80 minutes each. It has been produced by UnContained Arts and Theatre Works, both of which are based at Derby theatre. The university have made funding available to bring the show to Limerick. Tickets to see the show will be made available in the new year.