HISTORY OF CASTLEBAR MUSICAL & DRAMATIC SOCIETY
Considering that our first committee meeting only occurred in July of 2014, you may think that the history behind Castlebar Musical and Dramatic Society is very short – not so! The tradition of music, theatre and performance has been long-established in Castlebar over the years.
In the 1940’s and 50’s Gilbert & Sullivan operas were regularly performed in the old Town Hall (now the Linenhall) and throughout those years the annual pantomime was eagerly looked forward to around Christmas time each year. Thankfully the annual pantomime was revived a number of years ago and continues to be a central part of the musical life of Castlebar.
For a number of years in the 1980’s, “Tops of the Town” became another favourite musical activity, attracting many talented performers to the stage.
In 1991 a new Castlebar Musical Society was established. This group staged three shows “The Chief” (1991); ”Rebellion” (1992) & “Frontline” (1993). Those shows saw, for the first time, the introduction of tiered seating in the Royal Ballroom (as it was then called).
Since the 1980’s, a strong tradition of musical drama has developed in our local secondary schools. These continue to flourish, introducing young people to the magic of the musicals and giving budding performers their first taste of acting, dancing and singing on stage. With so much talent and such a wealth of experience floating about the town, a musical society seemed the perfect way to draw this together and create an exciting new project.