West End date for promising Portrush director Bronagh

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Meet the Portrush director who is currently preparing to put on a show at the Lyric Theatre in London’s West End.

Bronagh Lagan (29) is a former pupil of St Patrick’s Primary School and Domincan College.

Later this month, Bronagh will direct the first ever UK performance of ‘Rags’ a musical written by Charles Strouse, who also wrote the hit musical ‘Annie’.

Telling the tale of a group of Jewish immigrants as they arrive to start a new life in America, ‘Rags’ first opened in Broadway in 1986 and received a string of Tony nominations. The Lyric theatre performance will be the show’s one and only West End performance. The special performance is also a breakthrough for Bronagh, who has longed to direct a show on the West End - the home of theatre.

Speaking to The Times this week, Bronagh, who has been a director for seven years explained: “I have directed a few shows in fringe theatres, but I am really excited to have made it to the West End stage.”

Bronagh’s interest in theatre began when she was a pupil at Domincan College. After that she went on to study at John Moore’s University in Liverpool, and picked up her first Assistant Directors post at the tender age of 21.

“There’s not too many female directors around, in fact there are not too many younger directors about either,” joked Bronagh. “Most people take up directing after they have finished their acting careers.”

Explaining more about the show, Bronagh added: “ Rags is like a sequel to ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and on April 28 audiences will get to see this beautiful and powerful musical for the very first time.

“It’s actually a one night only charity performance, so everyone is giving up their time for free. We have a superb West End cast, including Caroline Sheen, who played Mary Poppins and Matt Zimmerman, who is best known as the voice of Alan Tracy in Thunderbirds.”

In the audience for the special performance will be Bronagh’s mother and sister: “We only have two weeks to go through the whole rehearsal process, so it’ll be tough going, but I am really looking forward to it.”

So what’s next for Bronagh: “I have made a lot of contacts here in London, but I would really love to spend some time in New York. My first love is Irish plays, so far I’ve been involved in musicals, so who knows what’s next.”