Following a post-pantomime party in Michael Kelly’s bar (now Kelly’s on the Corner) in 1993, director Alan Corcoran recognised an air of sadness amongst the revellers. They were left with the sad reality that many of the group would not set foot on stage again until the following year. In what has become known as an inspired moment, Alan suggested that Wexford needed a new musical theatre group to cater for the vast array of talents that exist in our locality. Oyster Lane Theatre Group was formed in January 1994 when a group of volunteers came forward to form a committee and began the process of turning the dream into a reality…
The Wexford Opera Festival was identified as a time when there was a great buzz in Wexford, but with a gap in the festivities for local people, a family market that was not catered for with the singing pubs or lunchtime recitals. It was decided to put on a show that would not only cater for the entire family, but would include and nurture the talent of Wexford’s youth.
Wexford has always been known as a musical town, not least because of the world renowned International Opera Festival. For those interested in dancing, set design, drama or broadcasting – their untapped talent was about to be unleashed on Wexford! Oyster Lane set about harnessing not only this untapped talent, but recognised that to achieve it’s vision, meant successfully blending emerging talent with more mature, experienced veterans with a wealth of skills drawn from Wexford Pantomime Society and Wexford Drama Group to name but two. The “ethos” of Oyster Lane Theatre Group was born!
We embarked on probably the best show any new group with our ethos could hope for – Grease. With a lot of hard work, excellent PR and a few master strokes (like Boyzone coming to the gala night), Grease sold out not just the originally planned six nights but a seventh night just two hours after being announced on 2FM.
The intervening years have seen the group build on Grease’s initial success, staging ambitious shows such as Jesus Christ Superstar, the Irish Premiere of All 4 One and Michael Collins – a Musical Drama which won Best Overall Show as part of the Association of Irish Musical Societies (AIMS) Awards. They’ve also produced family favourites such as Oliver!, Beauty and the Beast and Hairspray all whilst staying true to the group’s ethos of mixing youth with experience. Performing with OLTG has inspired members to study theatre and the arts, work in the media as well as giving confidence and ambition to perform with other local and national groups.