Arts: The Understudies

Kilkenny’s newest young theatrical crew has two stages dates coming up this week.

Kilkenny’s newest young theatrical crew has two stages dates coming up this week.

Dramatic Irony Theatre Group presents The Understudies, a blood-soaked new rock ‘n’ roll musical featuring music from The Liabilities, at the Set Theatre next Monday and Tuesday from 8pm nightly. 
It’s based on a well-known Shakespearean play but with a few twists! This show has been written, produced and performed by young people, namely Niall O’Riordan (writer and director), Eoin Snyder (choreographer) and executive writers Paddy O’Leary and Daithi Harvey.

But how did it all begin? The crew tells Up Close and Personal:

“Flash back to New York City, 1959, where our grandparents would happily murder each other to get parts in Broadway shows! That’s exactly what The Understudies is about. Not grandparents, murder. Cold-blooded murder.

“We follow the story of Jack Manson, a low-paid theatre cleaner who has barely enough money to support his demanding wife Marilyn, who pulls a Lady Macbeth on him by dangling the thoughts of fame and fortune in his eyes. And the only path he can see to success requires the gravest sin – murder. Have we said that enough by the way? Murder! Murder! Murder! How about that?

“Fast-forward to the year 2012. A group of young writers assembled in various cafes and libraries to conceive and develop this idea. The resulting project is The Understudies, Dramatic Irony Theatre Group’s first original musical, directed by Niall O’Riordan in association with Coláiste Pobail Osraí.”

“My intention was to create a musical that would reflect the dark and slightly controversial humour of such Broadway musicals as Little Shop of Horrors and The Rocky Horror Show,” says Niall. “With the help of Paddy O’Leary and Amy Mulholland as assistant directors, this show is shaping up to be a success.”

This modern retelling of the Scottish play features many talented young local actors, some of whom are making their stage debut.

Tickets can be bought in the reception at Langton’s and are €8 each.

If you love Shakespeare, this is the perfect musical for you! However, if you don’t like Shakespeare, this is still the perfect musical for you! Parents should be aware that children under the age of 12 may find some of the content to be overwhelming. See

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