ACCLAIMED local actress and singer Jean McGlynn returns to the Belltable stage this week with a show she conceived, devised and produced in collaboration with musical director Noel Lennon and director Mike Finneran.
Originally from Caherdavin, McGlynn trained in the UK and appeared on the West End in a variety of productions, such as South Pacific, Oliver, Beautiful Game and Les Miserables. She is well known locally for appearing with Bare Space Theatre Company and Bottom Dog, among others, but has never performed a one-woman show. Thus, the song-cycle ‘Lily’, opening in the Belltable this Friday, will be a first for the experienced actress.
“I’m terrified,” laughs McGlynn when asked about the prospect of carrying a show by herself.
“But I have been doing this a long time,” she continues. “It has been a huge challenge but I have been training for this - for me it is the equivalent of a runner doing a marathon. I have been training for the last three months vocally to get this right. I feel I am prepared, I will rise to the challenge,” she laughs.
‘Lily’ is a theatrical piece about “love, losses and longings” and is a “celebration of women” she explains.
“It was conceived and devised with Noel and Mike as well. It was definitely a collaboration between the three of us,” she says.
“I have been asked a few times by different people and organisations to do a one woman show and it has never been the right time and I have never really had the right inspiration. The inspiration from this came from a piece of music I discovered about a girl with nobody in her life. From there a series of songs sparked something. A lot of the repertoire in the show is musical theatre but I have taken other well known songs and I have created characters around these different songs. The piece is set in one room and there are lots of discoveries in the room, sparking memories and bringing characters to life,” she adds.
McGlynn sees ‘Lily’ as a piece of theatre which will take the audience on a journey through a range of emotions.
“It is a celebration of women and it is not maudlin,” she stresses. “It is a sneak peek into the lives of different women and private moments in their lives.”
Lily runs in the Belltable this Friday and Saturday, October 21-22, at 8pm.