Lilac Time, 1984

Creative Team
Director – Ken Powles
Musical Director – William Cairns
Choreographer – Louise Webb

Mitzi – Margaret McGahan
Litzi – Claire McNally
Fritzi – Judith Watson
Mrs Zell – Margaret Smyth
Otto Zell – Michael Blair
Adelina Taliani – Winifred Briggs
Mrs Kraus – Therese Timoney
Mrs Weber – Agnes McComb
Rosl – Ann Burns
Tilli – Roisin Moran
Franz Schubert – Allen Hall
Baron Franz von Schober – Frederick Green
Johan Vogl – William Curran
Moritz von Schwind – Paul McQuillan
Ludwig Kuppel – Kevin Hart
Ferdinand Binder – Joseph Downey
Andreas Brun – David Curran
Novotny – Oliver Johnston
Count Scharntorff – Brian Watterson
Piccolo – John McCabe
Waiter – John McGrillan

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Chorus
Brian Anderson, Irene Cairns, Paul Campbell, Sheila Campbell, Sheila Cooper, Ruth Couser, Clare Crummy, Mary Crummy, Jean Cunning, Margaret Donnelly, Sean Donnelly, Ethna Harding, James Hesion, Florence Hunter, Jennifer Kells, Sheila Kerr, Angela Lowry, Hugh Magee, Bernarda McIlhone, Bernadette McKeague, Una McLarnon, Thomas McTeague, Veronica Monan, Nuala Mooney, Therese Scallon, Terence Shiels, Marie White

Jennifer Cairns, Sharon Cairns, Patricia Duffin, Marcela Leal

Elizabeth Harding, Lucy McCullough, Gavin McGeary

Pleasant Lilac

Fortwilliam Musical Society presented Lilac Time, an operetta based mainly on the music of Schubert.

This young company has been steadily progressing with each new production, but while this show was most effectively done, I felt that it lacked something of pace, especially in Act 2 and the full glamour and colourful atmosphere of Viennese society were not completely captured.

A quicker tempo might have helped in some numbers such as Hark, Hark, the Lark and the celebrated Serenade in Act 2.

These quibbles apart, however, the production was always entertaining and visually attractive.

I was greatly impressed by Michael Blair’s playing of Otto Zell. It had a splendid presence, impeccable diction, a fine sense of style and the evening really sparkled when he appeared on stage.

Margaret McGahan was a sweet-voiced Mitzi, and gave us a nice coquettish effect. In particular, her duet in Act 2 was beautifully delivered.

The part of Schubert was taken by Allen Hall. He certainly looked the part and played with a neat sense of diffidence which seemed entirely appropriate. But his singing voice, a pleasant light tenor, was not really strong enough, especially when singing from the piano in Act 2.

Schubert’s music was done full justice by the singing of Frederick Green. His duet with Winifred Briggs in Act 2 was nicely blended. His acting was sometimes a little stiff and did not entirely suggest the man-about-town.

Winifred Briggs was a strongly impressive figure as Taliani, the opera singer, and Margaret Smyth was most effective as Mrs Zell, although it was a pity she did not have more singing to do.

The daughters, Litzi and Fritzi, were played in a charming fashion by Claire McNally and Judith Watson.

Among the smaller parts, William Curran’s Vogl had considerable authority and there were excellent contributions from Paul McQuillan, Kevin Hart, Joseph Downey, David Curran and others in non-singing roles.

Director Ken Powles did his best with the cramped stage conditions which limited chorus movements. The excellent sets were by June Cleary and Russell Caughey and conductor William Cairns secured a firm liaison between stage and orchestra.

G. O’R.


Production Team
Stage Manager – William Terrins
Set Construction – William Terrins & Larry White
Set Painted by – June McGeary & Russell Caughey
Lighting – Barton Hunter & Malachi Lowry
House Managers – Dermot Corrigan & John McGrillan
Ticket Secretaries – Eileen Kennedy & Amy Curran
Librarian – Therese Timoney
Publicity / Programme – Winifred Briggs & Judith Watson
Cover Design – Vivian Clarke
Wardrobe Mistress – Marie White
Dressers – Millie Hession & Kathleen McTeague
Make-up – Dorothy Bamford, Anne Johnston, Pauline Mulligan & Kathleen O’Neill
Props – Veronica Monan & Anne Johnston
Costumes – S B Watts of Manchester

President – Gerry Deignan
Chairman – Margaret Smyth
Vice-chairman – Winifred Briggs
Hon. Secretary – Agnes McComb
Hon. Treasurer – Eileen Kennedy
Ruth Couser, William Curran, James Hession, Ivan McKenna, Veronica Monan, Marie White

Sir Myles Humphrey
His Honour Judge Higgins
Rev. Donald Cairns
Mr Nicholas Bowman
Mr Leo Forte

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