The closing scene from the hugely-successful run of 'Calendar Girls The Musical' which was staged by the Fun House Theatre Company in Esker Arts Centre, Tullamore in May.

AIMS Award for co-founder of Fun House Theatre Company

Offaly's newest theatre company, Fun House, scored a major coup over the weekend by winning a prestigious award at the Association of Irish Musical Societies (AIMS) National Awards night in Killarney, and just being pipped at the post for a second award.

Sacred Heart school teacher and one of the founders of the Fun House Theatre Company, Jay Origan, won the award for Best Comedienne for her hilarious portrayal of Chris in the recent Fun House production of 'Calendar Girls The Musical' while the entire cast of the same musical were runners-up for the prestigious 'Spirit of AIMS' award for the raw emotion portrayed in the death scene of John.

Jay Origan, who co-founded Fun House Theatre Company with Sinéad Handy

The AIMS adjudicator described Jay Origan's portrayal of Chris as “a masterclass in comedic delivery, effortlessly drawing out laughter from the audience with her quick wit and infectious humour".

It was the second major AIMS award of the night for Jay Origan, as she also won the 'Best Actress in a Supporting Role' for her portrayal of Chris in the Galway-based Bravo Theatre Group's production of 'Calendar Girls, The Musical.'

The hugely-talented local teacher is no stranger to AIMS awards, having previously won Best Supporting Actress for Clara Musical Society and being nominated for Best Comedienne with Tullamore Musical Society.

Fun House Theatre Company, which was founded by Jay Origan and Sinéad Handy, initiially started out as Fun House Youth Theatre, a non-profit club for teens affiliated to Youth Theatre Ireland. It has since been developed as a community-based amateur dramatic and musical theatre society, aiming to provide access to regular theatrical experiences for the community of Tullamore and the surrounding regions.

Other talented members of local musical societies also picked up AIMS awards at the national awards night at the INEC in Killarney over the weekend, including Tullamore Musical Society member, Jordan Bass, who won the 'Best Actor' award in the Gilbert Section for his portrayal of Michael Collins in 'Michael Collins - A Musical Drama' with Gorey Musical Society, a role he originally played in Tullamore.

Also celebrating success at the 2024 AIMS Awards was Clara Musical Society stalwart, Stephen Rabbitte, who picked up the award for 'Best Programme' in the Gilbert Section of the awards for designing the programme for the Bravo Theatre Group's production of 'Calendar Girls, The Musical' in the Town Hall Theatre, Galway.

Claire Tighe, who directed Rock of Ages for Tullamore, was nominated for Best Choreographer and Best Overall Show with Leixlip Musical Variety Group, while multi-award winning Tullamore producer, Paul 'Nippy' Norton, was nominated for Best Director for the Galway Musical Society production of 'Oliver' which was the runner-up for Best Overall Show.

The Galway show was nominated for five awards in total, including Best Director; Best Overall Show; Best Visuals; Best Youth Performance and Best Comedian, winning two out of the five.