Pinstripe Media creative director Eamonn B. Shanahan was delighted to produce Ireland’s national Musical Theatre Intervarsity programme in the Premier Hall, Thurles in March 2022. Established in 2016, Musical Theatre Intervarsities has built a reputation of inclusivity, involvement and friendships, harvesting a shared love for Musical Theatre and performance. After two years of virtual events, the 2022 championship was that extra bit special as the curtains drew open to a live event with a physical audience of 400 people. Universities included the 2022 overall winners Galway University with their production of Chicago, Maynooth University performing The Prom, Trinity College Dublin performing Mamma Mia, University of Limerick performing 9 to 5 the Musical, Munster Technological University performing The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Queens University Belfast performing Tuck Everlasting and University College Dublin performing their original musical Song of Achilles.
Musical Societies are a fundamental source of entertainment, outreach and social engagement for communities across Ireland. Instilling these qualities to students at third level creates an understanding of the importance of these societies and their place within the community as a means of social engagement.
Producing this event in a regional theatre created a short term economical influx to the local hospitality sector and suppliers used to fulfil the operational requirements of the event. Hosting 200 students for three nights within Thurles highlighted the limited accommodation available in the area that would potentially hinder future events from considering the use of this town as a host. The recently renewed infrastructure presents a clean streetscape that is equivalent in standard and design to that of any developed town across Europe in that is it environmentally conscious and user accessible and has excellent, frequent transport links by train from Dublin, Limerick and Cork. The infamous Semple Stadium can accommodate an impressive 50,000 patrons however the town loses out on potential economic injection due to the limited amount of stay-time visitors can spend in the town, as a result of the lack of accommodation on offer. As a tourist destination, Thurles leads to multiple cultural outlets on its’ doorstep as it sits within the beautifully green heartland of Tipperary.
For this project Pinstripe Media and Musical Theatre Intervarsities engaged with AV Star Systems for Sound and Lighting hire, rig and design services; Parkers Restaurant as Caterers, The Presentation Sports Complex as an external workshop venue; The Premier Hall as the main host venue for the event; Hickey’s Bar as hosts for our Friday evening’s entertainment; Hayes Hotel for the Saturday Night after show party; Stakelums Office Supplies for printing supplies. We received excellent support from Jane Ryan of Thurles Tourism Office, Cllr. Jim Ryan, The Source Arts Centre and the Tipperary Star.