‘Carrie – the Musical’

‘Carrie’ is Stephen King’s first novel published in the 1970s. It was also one of the first books of his that I read when I was aged fifteen. It tells the age old story of the ugly duckling misfit Carrie White who lives with her religious maniac mother in Maine who meets her handsome prince and gets taken to the prom. So far so ‘Heathers’. Carrie had special powers though. When angered she was capable of telekinesis – the ability to move physical objects with the power of her mind. Anyone who has seen the 1976 film adaptation knows that when Carrie (Sissy Spacek) has a bucket of pig’s blood thrown over her by her biggest bully Chris and her boyfriend Billy (John Travolta) at the prom, then vengeance would be hers.

This is a classic book and film so I was curious as to what the musical would be like.

Unabashedly, unashamedly, unreservedly, I loved it. The songs told the story wonderfully. The cast was a tight and strong unit. The horror of school bullying was brutally displayed (I laughed at how utterly vile Chris and Billy (Sally Fox and Marc Jones) were to poor Carrie – I knew what was coming in Act 2. The claustrophobia felt by Carrie (Caitlin McVicker) living with her deranged mother Margaret White (Katelyn Carson) and the unpopular kid at school who is picked on by everyone was starkly realised. The good girl Sue (Sarah Meaney) was an effective heroine – nobly urging her love Tommy (Mark Langtry) to take Carrie to the prom as a means of saying sorry for the cruelty she had shown her.

Carrie, Sue and Margaret had beautiful voices, ably leading the ensemble.

It may have been a university society production but I genuinely thought it was better than many shows I have seen in the Bord Gais Energy Theatre. That’s what a good book and music in the hands of a strong, enthusiastic and committed cast will deliver.

The final show is tonight in the Belltable. If you are in Limerick, don’t miss it. Highly recommended.

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