Next week will see a revivial of the glory days of musical theatre at Kildare town’s Irish National Stud with a performance of Gilbert and Sullivan’s ‘The Mikado’ in the Japanese Gardens.
During the 1980s, the famous gardens were the setting for some memorable performances under the direction of local women Gay Brabazon, now a visual artist, and horticulturalist Yvonne O’Conor.
Many in Kildare will have lively memories of their original performance of ‘The Mikado’, which was staged in 1980 in aid of the then newly-opened KARE school on the Curragh, or the two-masted ship, with fully firing cannons, that they built on the lake for their production of ‘HMS Pinafore’.
Irish National Stud boss John Osborne mooted the idea of getting the ‘Irish National Stud Entertainment Troupe’ together last February, which Gay laughs was “a bit of a land”.
Two of the troupe’s original stars are back for this performance, which will take place as part of the Kildare Town Derby Festival from next Tuesday, June 26 to Thursday, June 28. The show starts at 8.30pm each night.
This time around, Philip Scott takes the part of Nanki-Poo with John O’Loughlin taking on the title role of the Mikado. Other local stars who will make an appearance include Moat Players Conal Boyce as Ko-Ko and Padraig Broe as Pooh-Bah. Irene Kavanagh plays heroine Yum-Yum and Julie Duane is Katisha. Dave (Doc) O’Connor is musical director.
“I was over the moon when they agreed to take part. It’s an absolute revival, a real flashback to the golden days of theatre in the National Stud,” said Gay.
As in former times, the shows will take place under twilight skies outside, so the audience is asked to bring weatherproof clothes. “Bring weather gear and rugs, they are just up for this whatever the weather,” said Gay.
The Mikado will play to 300 people each night, but the Thursday show is already sold out. Tickets for the other two nights are E35 each, and are available to book at 083 1475057.