Louise Colohan a native of Harbour Road Ballinasloe native has been making waves across the Irish Sea in the Musical Theatre and Performance Scene when she scooped” Best Youth Director” in the North of England for her role in directing the Congleton Amateur Youth Theatre’s production of The Wizard of Oz.
The North is made up of 12 districts and there are approximately 150 youth groups adjudicated in the Awards. This is her second time to win this prestigious gong with her production “All Shook” up in 2016. She also picked up the award for Best Musical for Evita at the ACT awards recently.
From the Harbour Heart, Louise the daughter of David and Martina Colohan is now based in Knutsford, Cheshire but her love for performing came from an early age. She attended Ardscoil Mhuire where she found a passion for singing under the care of the late Kay Purcell. Louise commented: “The main encouragers of my love of performance in my formative years were my family, members of BMS, and a number of people I’ve worked with including Peter Kennedy, Paul Norton, Kay Purcell R.I.P. and Marie Power.”
Her first musical role came at the age of 19, under the direction of Paul Hughes, who would later become an inspiration for her when she began directing. Louise played a various roles over the years with societies in Ballinasloe and across Galway where she gained a lot of recognition for her performances.
Louise went on to move to the UK , hitting the ground running when she landed her first role and Noda Award within her first few months of being there. She travelled with different groups to take on roles which allowed her to make friends and theatre connections that would lead to other great opportunities further on down the line in her career.
“I’ve taken part in some great productions down through the years. The Little Mermaid, Elf the musical, Oliver, Evita, Steel Magnolias, Sunshine on Leith, American Idiot have been some of my favourites. The thrill of live performing is like no other. You get one chance to live the moment! It's electric and there is nothing like the feeling when the curtain comes down,” she added.
Louise currently balances her day job in the property sector, working closely alongside a team of architects and surveyors. By night she continues her work directing theatre productions for several groups. She still performs regularly and will embark on a UK tour in June as a lead vocalist. Her busy schedule also includes directing four shows a year, two adult musicals, a youth musical, and a play.
The performance sector was one of many that was impacted massively by COVID 19 with shows, musicals, and concerts non-existent for the past two years. “The pandemic’s effect on the industry was terrifying. So many groups, amateur and professional have suffered losses both financially and low return of audience at the start of the reopening. A lot of groups have folded and it's extremely sad,” she stated.
Louise is a positive inspiration for the young aspiring performers in the area and she offered them some advice on how to achieve their dream: “Learn everything you can from those around you, there is a wealth of knowledge in the Town Hall, use it, take all the opportunities you get, work hard and remain humble.”
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