The UCD Musical Society’s much-anticipated production of Bonnie and Clyde will take place in Astra Hall this week. A relatively young society on campus, having been set up in 2009, the society traditionally organises two full-scale musicals each year in November and April.
The play’s producer, Christina Olwill, details the long process that goes into choosing the musicals to perform each year. “When the production team was picked we sat down and went through different musicals and we all had very different ideas. Bonnie and Clyde wasn’t even one discussed by the Musical Society committee.” Eventually however a decision was reached. “No one was agreeing on anything so we had to go home and come up with a whole new list of ideas that we hadn’t discussed, and we finally settled on Bonnie and Clyde.”
The society’s musicals are hugely popular year on year, with productions of the likes of Sweeney Todd, Grease, Little Shop of Horrors and Cabaret performed to large audiences in the past. Bonnie and Clyde itself is a factual tale of ill-fated lovers whose story has gone down in infamy since they achieved almost folk-hero status during the Great Depression, and Aidan Byrne, who will play the role of The Preacher in this UCD production, is confident it will be a resounding success. “It’s not your typical musical theatre. It’s more blues and gospel, and quite deep and different.”
A large amount of work goes into the Musical production process, and joining Olwill are Shauna Carrick (Director), Amy Gilligan (Assistant Director) and Sarah Egan (Vocal Director). Olwill reveals that even the set design can take incredible time and effort. “We built our own stage using a lot of pallets. A lot of wood and a lot of work went into it. So hopefully it will look well.”
One aspect of this year’s production that is different to previous years was the ticketing process. “This year we did something different and used an email to set up reservations so it’s selling really well.” The impressive ticket-selling figures are also undoubtedly assisted by a well-orchestrated publicity campaign. “Our Public Relations Officer has put a lot of stuff on Facebook promoting the show, so every day we’re putting up different pictures, different videos and rehearsal shots.”