A politically driven, Cold War-era chess tournament between two men – an American grandmaster and a Soviet grandmaster – and their fight over a woman who manages one and falls in love with the other.

On 30th March – 1st April 2017, Limerick Musical Society staged the classic musical Chess!

With lyrics by Tim Rice and original music by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, Chess has one of the greatest musical theatre scores of all time, including One Night in Bangkok, Anthem, and, of course, I Know Him So Well, which became a number one hit in 1985 for Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson.

Limerick singer Nile St James of The Voice of Ireland played chess master Anatoly; newcomer Claire Heffernan was Florence; James Malone played the role of Freddie; Aidan O’Connell, Molokov; Ciaran Collins took on Arbiter; society chairperson Laura Henebry was Svetlana; and Jason Ronan played Walter.

The story – two of the world’s greatest chess masters battle it out at the world chess championships, but their greatest contest is really for the love of one woman.

Amidst political intrigue and international conspiracies, the American and the Russian fight to win the heart of Florence Vassy in a romantic triangle that mirrors the heightened passions of the Cold War, all set to an explosive musical score noted by Time Magazine as “one of the best scores ever produced”.

Strong leads, an energetic and exciting cast, and a superbly talented orchestra were assembled. A new and impressive set was designed and constructed. This show promised and delivered a visually and musically spectacular performance from this award winning musical society!

LMS’ Chess won the Spirit of Aims award 2017 for Barbara Meaney’s choreography of The Arbiter.

Directed by Des Henn, Musical Direction by Máire Keary-Scanlon, Choreography by Barbara Meany.