Laragh back with laughs galore

Story by Sean McMahon

Tuesday, 23rd April, 2019 4:57pm

Laragh back with laughs galore

I think I’ll make myself some money this weekend and go digging at an ATM machine near you.

Laragh Gala Variety Show is all set to pack them in again over four successive nights commencing tonight, Wednesday, April 24.
This year is the 34th incarnation of the extremely popular homegrown production which boasts an extravaganza of brilliant comedy, song and dance. The annual gala event has caught the imagination of audiences for decades and from watching the dress rehearsal, the Celt can guarantee, that all facets of this year’s production are truly magical.
The quality of the show is testament to the commitment and dedication shown by the team of joint producers including Benny Sexton, Sean Brady, Michael Leddy and Fionnuala Farrelly. The large production crew weave all the various strands of the show together in a professional manner, aided by a very talented team of musicians and excellent sound by M&K Sound.
One of the producers, Sean Brady told the Celt that there is a cast of 120, ranging in age from 14 years to 80.
"There is a high percentage of young people who will be showcasing their talents and the cast is drawn from the Foróige, Camogie, Gala and Comedy groups together with the various solo singers", explained Sean Brady.
He said that rehearsals commenced at Christmas and the various groups have been working on their performances independently, before merging their combined talents on Good Friday night, to put the show together.
Fionnuala Farrelly, secretary of the show committee, said that the Foróige participants are providig breath-taking numbers from The Greatest Showman, the hit musical inspired by the imagination of P. T. Barnum, plus a traditional music performance.
The camogie group are also playing songs from various musicals and have promised a crowd-pleasing ABBA number.
Michael Leddy says the mime act is an integral part of the comedy routines, allowing for good hearted swipes at topical issues, all done with great hilarity. Benny Sexton sources much of the comedy, with the aim of ensuring it is creative and fresh each year. The comedy team are very fortunate to have up to 20 people involved.
"We are also lucky to have characters that really suit the various parts they are asked to play," enthuses 
Sean Brady.
Amongst that multitude of mirth is Fionnuala Farrelly
She acts in several of the comedy sketches, having started acting at a young age through the Lavey Variety Show.
"It is great hobby and a great way to mix with people and make friends. I enjoy doing it," says Fionnula.
The benefits of becoming in volved in the impressive production is a recurring theme when speaking to the producers. 
Michael Leddy points out that taking part in the show offers a great confidence boost for young people and will stand to them later in life.
"Five or six people in one of the choruses are third generation of participants," says Michael.
There is up to a further 100 people involved behind the scenes in this huge community effort, from floor staff, to parking attendants, kitchen staff, make-up and lighting.
"People have no problem coming back to help every year – they don’t even have to be asked – they like doing it," said Fionnuala Farrelly.
The Production crew includes Sean Brady, Benny Sexton, Michael Leddy, Fionnuala Farrelly, Louise Reilly, Ita Smith, Declan Smith, Ollie Tynan, Carmel McCaffrey, Ciaran Plunkett, Vivian Brady, Tom Dowd and Make-Up is courtesy of Mary Denning.
The 34th Laragh Gala Variety Show will be staged on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, April 24-27 at 9pm. You are all urged to get to the Stradone Community Centre in good time, preferably by 8.30pm, as a full house is expected each night.

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