PODCAST: For Arts Sake March 2019 blog – Philomena Barry interviews AMS actress Joan Larkin

Athlone Musical Society was founded in 1902 and concerts were held each year up to 1906 in aid of Athlone Boat Club.

In May 1907 The Society produced its first Operetta, The Pirates Of Penzance, followed by The Mikado and The Yeomen Of The Guard in 1908 and 1909. From 1910 to 1918 annual concerts were the order of the day, and the proceeds were shared with other local organisations.

From 1918 to 1922 The Society lapsed, but was in full swing again from 1923 to 1929, before lapsing again until 1934 when it performed The Yeomen Of The Guard once more, followed by concerts each year until 1939. Due to World War Two and the need for blackout conditions, the Society did not go on stage again until 1947, and a show has been performed every year since then.

The first one I went to see was Rock of Ages in 2016 – yeah, I know, I was terribly late to the party! I enjoyed the show so much, it was such a fantastic experience!

This season, it was the turn of Chicago! The show was performed in the Dean Crowe Theatre from March 2nd to March 9th. I didn’t make it to any of the shows, but I’ve heard that it didn’t disappoint; a friend of mine went to see it and said that it was just as amazing as the other performances that she’s seen – in London and New York!

Before the premiere, I interviewed Joan Larkin; Joan has been with Athlone Musical Society since 1981 and has been in every single show from ’84 onwards – a phenomenal achievement!

Click here to listen to my interview with Joan!