PICTURES: Four musical theatre awards for Offaly at AIMS 2019

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Offaly productions claimed four awards at the annual Association of Irish Musical Societies (AIMS) awards last weekend.

Tullamore Musical Society and Clara Musical Society scooped two awards each.

Tullamore man Paul ‘Nippy’ Norton won best director for TMS production of Jekyll and Hyde. No stranger to an Aims award, this was Paul’s first time to take this particular accolade home with his home society. An emotional Paul paid tribute to his late parents who were both long-serving members of Tullamore Musical Society. This was not Paul’s only nomination on the night, he was also nominated for best director in the Sullivan section for Our House with Galway Musical Society. 

Also for Tullamore and after five nominations, Westmeath man Chris Corroon took home his first AIMS award, for the best male singer for his portrayal of the dual personalities of Dr. Jekyll and Edward Hyde. Chris was also nominated for best actor in the Sullivan section for his portrayal of Roger in The Odd Theatre Company, Newbridge’s production of Rent. 

TMS had an additional four nominations on the night which celebrates musical theatre throughout the island of Ireland. Linda Murray was nominated for best female singer for her portrayal of Emma Carew. Tullamore and neighbours Clara were both nominated for best ensemble, TMS choreographer and president Graham Finnerty represented Tullamore, while Sinéad Handy represented Clara.

Sinéad happened to be in the unique position of being part of both nominated ensemble performances. Additionally, Tullamore were nominated for best visual, for which Bláthnaid Fitzsimons represented her home society. Tullamore was also thrilled to be nominated in the Best Overall Show category which is announced on the Friday night.

Former chairperson Natalee Kelly represented TMS on Saturday. Tullamore they did not win this accolade, with Portlaoise Musical Society taking home the silverware. Paul Norton was also responsible for directing Portlaoise’s winning production of Titanic. 

Wayne Handy won an AIMS award for best stage management for his home society of Clara. Their production of Chicago was very well received at AIMS too, with Jay Origan winning best-supporting actress on the night.

Jay has formerly played Mrs. Lovett with TMS’ production of Sweeney Todd and Felicia Gabriel in The Witches of Eastwick.

Tullamore’s musical director Shane Farrell won an AIMS award in the Sullivan section for best musical director for Castlerea Musical Society's production of Jesus Christ Superstar. 

The AIMS awards weekend takes place every year in June in the INEC in Killarney. Over 100 musical societies celebrate their shows, nominations and musical theatre in Ireland. Overall, it was a very successful night for Tullamore and their neighbouring societies.