Muse Productions soars to new heights

Shannon-based Muse Productions has received three nominations from the Association of Irish Musical Societies (AIMS) for their recent production of ‘In the Heights’. Ahead of the upcoming awards weekend in Killarney, David Byrne spoke to director, Martin McNelis.

The cast of Muse Productions performing 'In the Heights' live on stage in Shannon back in November

THE people at Muse Productions are no strangers to success and confidence is certainly high ahead of this weekend’s highly-anticipated AIMS awards show, which takes place in Killarney on Saturday.

The Shannon-based performing arts society have received three nominations for their recent production of ‘In the Heights’ which wowed audiences back in November.

The group’s front-of-house team, led by Anne Barnes, has been nominated for ‘Best House Management’, while Ted Germaine has been rewarded for his dedication and impressive ‘In the Heights’ set with a nomination in the ‘Best Stage Management’ category.

Meanwhile, Edel McFadden is hoping to see her name in lights following a nomination in the category of ‘Best Supporting Actress’.

Ms McFadden, who has been nominated for her portrayal of Abuela Claudi, is no stranger to such events having won ‘Best Overall Performer’ for Shannon Musical Society in 1989.

“It is the 30th anniversary of her first and only nomination,” explained Martin McNelis.

“The show that she was nominated for was my first time involved in musicals.

“I joined as a chorus lad and then 30 years later I am directing her [Edel McFadden] in a show [In the Heights],” said the Muse Productions director.

As a town built in the 1960s, Mr McNelis spoke about the importance of local community focused groups in Shannon, such as Muse Productions, which have played an integral part in bringing people together from all walks of life over the years.

The cast of Muse Productions’ ‘In the Heights’ performing on stage in Shannon back in November

“Shannon Musical Society and Muse fill a gap for people who are not necessarily sporty. They are very much part of the arts landscape of the town,” he said.

Also paying tribute to Eclipse Stage School, Martin said that Muse Productions provides a platform for talented youngsters who attended the school to display their wide range of talents.

“We are trying to catch them and get them involved before they lose the interest or get too cool for it,” he smiled. 

Looking forward to the upcoming AIMS award ceremony, which takes place in Killarney, the Muse Productions director also took time to congratulate those involved with Ennis Musical Society, Shannon Musical Society and Limerick Musical Society who have also received nominations.

Muse Productions’ front-of-house team leader, Anne Barnes, has also been nominated for ‘Best House Management’ in the ‘Gilbert Category’ at the upcoming AIMS ceremony with Shannon Musical Society.

As Muse Production gears up Saturday’s award ceremony, Martin McNelis said the recent success and growth of the Shannon-based group would not have been possible without the significant backing of Shannon Springs Hotel in Shannon Town.

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