'incredible'  | 

Late Late Toy Show The Musical auditions for main role kick-off

‘Talent we saw over the tapes is incredible’

Shannon Copeland (14) from Down, Alyssa Iqbal Flynn from Dublin, Doireann McNally (11) from Dundalk and Eva Norton (12) from Lucan pictured at Toy Show The Musical auditions for the lead character Nell. TSTM opens in December 2022 at The Convention Centre Dublin for more see RTÉ.ie/toyshowthemusical. Picture Andres Poveda

Ciara O'Loughlin

The most important part of RTÉ’s The Late Late Toy is its connectivity and how it brings people together, and the director of Toy Show The Musical aims to portray just that.

Toy Show The Musical was created and developed by RTÉ and it will tell the story of The Mooney family, who watch and celebrate the magic of the annual show on their couch at home.

Elsie Akinduko (11) from Swords, Ceola Dunne, (10) from Dunsany Co Meath and Lily Cullen (14) from Cavan pictured at Toy Show The Musical auditions for the lead character Nell. TSTM opens in December 2022 at The Convention Centre Dublin for more see RTÉ.ie/toyshowthemusical. Picture Andres Poveda

The director of the new play, Séimí Campbell, is at The Convention Centre in Dublin today, trying to whittle down the final 24 lucky children auditioning for the main role of Nell.

“The talent that we saw over the tapes is incredible,” he said.

Alannah Prendergast (15) from City West, Holly Dunphy (15) from Ennis Co Clare, and Clodagh Ramsey (14) from Westmeath pictured at Toy Show The Musical auditions for the lead character Nell. TSTM opens in December 2022 at The Convention Centre Dublin for more see RTÉ.ie/toyshowthemusical. Picture Andres Poveda

“We know the talent is there but it's so encouraging when they come through the door.”

Mr Campbell decided to get involved with the project because The Late Late Toy Show has always been a tradition in his house, and he’s excited to be a part of RTÉ’s first play.

“It’s brilliant that it’s RTÉ’s first piece of stagery and it’s exciting to create something authentic.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to create a new Irish musical.”

Elsie Akinduko (11) from Swords pictured at Toy Show The Musical auditions for the lead character Nell. TSTM opens in December 2022 at The Convention Centre Dublin for more see RTÉ.ie/toyshowthemusical. Picture Andres Poveda

The director said while musical and acting ability is important in the children auditioning, what they are really looking for is those that are authentic characters themselves.

“I think an authentic voice [is what we are looking for],” he said.

Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy confirmed he will not be part of the new musical. Photo: Andres Poveda

“It’s so important to keep it very real and honest and its kids that have ordinary but extraoirdinary little characters and be that their musical ability or just their wit or humour.

“It’s real, honest kids and kids that can do a big thing in a world where screens are turning kids into adults.

“[We want to] show this piece through the eyes of the child, it feels important that we protect that innocence.”

The Donegal man, who is making waves in the Westend as a musical director, said there is something special about The Late Late Toy Show because it brings people together, and that’s the most important thing that he wants to portray in the musical.

“It's a celebration of tradition, dreams and possibility on this one night of the year’” he said.

“All we can really do is pay homage to it as an incredible tradition and what its become in the past few years is that of possibility, kids overcoming and family overcoming.

“There is one thing we are interested in exploring and that is the connectivity, it brings communities and the country together, that's what theatre is it's a shared experience, its coming together not like the cinema, so it feels really fitting that its being told through theatre.”

Mr Campbell is currently living in London, but he flies back to Ireland every year to watch The Late Late Toy Show with his younger siblings.

“The Toy Show is a big big part [of my family] I’m based in London and there is a massive age gap between me and my siblings so i would fly home to everyone at Christmas to watch tit, it's a big tradition for us.”

Toy Show The Musical will run in The Convention Centre from December 10 2022.


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