Starlight Stage Productions took on the ambitious task of mounting, at the Watergate Theatre in Kilkenny, the first musical written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice – The Likes Of Us. Despite some fine singing and a great young cast as Orphans, the pace of the show never caught fire. Add to this poor stage management, a lack of precision in choreography, a lack of direction and motivation and a comedian as a narrator who was often out of character and you would get the distinct feeling that this was an ambitious step too far for a young and adventurous company.
Jason Paul Ryan, as Barnardo, led this young company and his light pleasing tenor voice, had suitable confidence. Amy Mullholland as Syrie had an attractive tone but simpered a bit too much for me in This Is My Time.
Molly Keana was a stand-out as Jenny and Conor Brassil as Johnny had good vocal confidence. Sharon Molloy as Rose was easily the most impressive and supportive performer on stage. Time and again she rallied the young cast in We’ll Get Him and Hold A March to instil some spirit into the evening.
Jack O’Connor did well in two contrasting roles and Sean Lennon and Eilis Fitzgerald had a beautiful cameo duet in Man Of The World.
The young cast of Orphans sang well ad brought a sense of period and beauty to a difficult show to bring alive.
Once again Johnny Holden at Cleere’s showed his fine welcoming skills and when we asked for snack biscuits he offered us to share his own tea – a fine pizza. While at the Watergate I got a present of the newest book on Kilkenny hurling, The Stripey Men from Ger Cody, the livewire manager of the venue, who published the book, written by his brother Joe Cody, with fine photo of Brian Cody on the back cover.