Saturday, 11 September 2010


TP's antidote to the dreary clerical duties of the Ulster Bank on Lower Camden Street was his active involvement in the city's amateur dramatic companies including the Dublin Shakespeare Society and The Rathmines & Rathgar Musical Society.
Rehearsal Hall of the
Rathmines & Rathgar
Musical Society

Young, handsome men were in short supply in the Dublin of those days so TP was much sought after and appreciated for the addition of his fine singing voice.  In the programme below we see TP cast as a regency fop by the name of Sir Amyas Wendell in the Ivor Novello musical, Perchance To Dream in 1954.

Note that he appears under the name of Ralph McKenna (his father's name) rather than his own name.  This was to ensure that his extra-curricular activities did not bring him into any dispute with his employers.

And two years before we see TP at The Olympia Theatre appearing in a production of new musical composed by his friend, Michael Coffey, The Green Valley.

Although shows like this and Perchance To Dream were performed by amateur companies they were staged to the highest professional standards in Dublin's largest theatres and often with professionals taking some of the principal roles.

In the case of The Green Valley the lead was taken by Cherry Lind, a noted singer and variety artist of the time.

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