Donegal Youth Musical Theatre officially launched their 2019 summer production of OLIVER! this week with a thrilling musical event in An Grianan Theatre.
DYMT is hailed as one of Ireland’s leading musical theatre training companies for young actors, and the recent launch proved why, as guests were given a sneak peek of the exceptional standard of their national youth cast for this year’s production.
Artistic Director and Producer of DYMT, Séimí Campbell, spoke of the outstanding standard seen at their audition weekends this year, with auditionees travelling from as far as Cork, Dublin, Mayo to Belfast for the much anticipated production; “Having been on the audition panel for a number of West End shows in the past year, the talent that walked into the DYMT Casting room back in May was certainly on par to many of those young actors in London shows.
“We have the talent in abundance. Our young actors just need some professional training and industry guidance to help bridge the gap to more opportunities across the pond.”
Campbell, originally from Donegal Town, is working on a number of productions in London’s West End and has recently been nominated for Best Director for his gender-blind production of DYMT’s 2018 Jesus Christ Superstar in the national Irish Musical Theatre Awards.
The evening started off with performances from DYMT students including a heart warming duet of Santa Evita by two of OLIVER’s youngest cast members Eimear McTeague and Leah Herron.
Donegal actor, Pat Ward, then officially launched this year’s production, in a very touching speech. Séimí introduced Pat as his ‘main influence and idol growing up’, and thanked her for inspiring him to begin his journey to theatre. Pat told invited guests many little stories of the Director’s early life and career, and encouraged all actors present to also follow their dreams, and achieve all that they possibly want in the arts.
After a few subtle hints on his adaptation of OLIVER! Séimí then introduced three of this year’s leading roles to take to the stage to perform a preview of three songs from the show. Nancy (played by Anna Gallagher), Dodger (played by Sadbh NiBreathnach) and Oliver (played by Ethan Barron) presented a highly clever and witty ‘I’d do Anything’, followed by the tear-jerker ‘As Long as he Needs Me’ by Anna Gallagher (who starred as Judas in DYMT’s gender blind adaptation of JCS last year) and then, the sweetest and purest of vocals from Ethan Barron in ‘Where is Love?’
The preview showcased the exceptional talent that DYMT, and our country, has to offer in youth musical theatre; setting incredible expectations for this revival and great promise for professional musical theatre in Ireland.
The select cast of Ireland’s finest young actors will begin rehearsals in late July 2019, and rehearse intensively for three weeks under the tuition and direction of some of the industry’s finest Creative Team from the West End and all across Ireland.
Joining West End Director, Séimí Campbell, is DYMT’s Resident Musical Director, Herta Kelly, West End Choreographer (Once the Musical) Jennifer Rooney, Acting coach (Broadway’s Tony Winning ‘The Ferryman’ and ‘Les Miserables’ movie star) Fra Fee, international vocal coach (vocal coach to Bono, The Script, Hozier) Tine Verbeke, Associate Choreographer Amy Jordan and Designer (Abbey Theatre) Sinead O’Donnell Carey. All roads lead to Donegal this summer.
Tickets are now on sale from An Grianan Theatre Box Office, or online at www.angrianan.com. With both DYMT’s Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar selling out well in advance of Opening Night, book your tickets now for what is to be the most anticipated show of the year. DYMT’s Reimagined Revival of OLIVER! runs from Tuesday 13th to Saturday 17th August 2019.