Family Choices For August

For all the family, there is much to look forward to at the Theatre Royal this August. Here is a brief outline of what we have on offer this month.

To celebrate their 25th birthday, LITTLE RED KETTLE presents The Demon Plays. This production is a revamped     version of ‘Katalistic Lokio and the Demon Plays’, a play that was written, workshopped and performed by members of Little Red Kettle back in 1997. Little Red Kettle was founded in 1991 to educate, foster and encourage creativity in the youth of Waterford city and county. It was not just about performing, but also developing and workshopping an idea into a full play to be performed by a cast of up to 50 children. Under the guidance of Ben Hennessy & Liam Meagher, Little Red Kettle have produced many memorable plays since that period up to the present day, including ‘The Grainne Stone’, ‘Time Quest’ and ‘Pearls Colour Dream’ to name but a few. Directed by Ben Hennessy & Ben Quinlan with original music scored by Jamie Beamish, The Demon Plays preview on Wednesday 10th August –     Tickets €10 and runs Thursday 11th – Saturday 13th August – Tickets €16/€14 conc.

The Theatre Royal is delighted to welcome the legendary, innovative English singer LLOYD COLE, who will perform his ‘Best Of’ tour on Tuesday 23rd August at 8pm. Known as lead singer with the Scottish formed group Lloyd Cole and the Commotions who released a number of Top 20 albums in the 80s including ‘Rattlesnakes’, ‘Easy Pieces’ and ‘Mainstream’, Cole then embarked upon a highly successful solo career that included albums such as ‘Don’t Get Weird On Me, Babe’ , ‘Bad Vibes’ and ‘Love Story’. This concert is entitled ‘The Lloyd Cole Songbook 1983 – 1996’ and Cole himself has promised that the set will “comprise of material from that era, before I return to my work as a contemporary artist”. Now residing in the US, this is a rare and great opportunity to witness one of the UKs foremost talents of the 80s/90s here in Waterford. Tickets - €26

Were you fortunate enough to witness the recent hilarious showing of Roast at the Theatre Royal? Or maybe        perhaps you were at Sister Act 1 & 2? Then if so, you already know what a treat is in store for you with the upcoming IGNITE PRODUCTIONS show ‘Best of Broadway’. Combining the old and the new of what is currently on view in Broadway while bringing a little of New York to Waterford, this night is guaranteed to cater for all family entertainment. The show itself entails segments of the classic ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, the risqué (but not too risqué) productions of ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ & ‘Chicago’, the more contemporary, child friendly Matilda, and the recent, multi award winning ‘Hamilton’. Add to the mix two of Waterford’s most ardent curators of musical theatre, Vickie Graham and Ray Collins as co-directors, who between them have a wealth of acting and directorial experience, and you have a great night’s entertainment to look forward to. ‘Best of Broadway' runs 25th – 26th August, Tickets - €18.

Formed out of the much lamented early 90s award winning Waterford band, The Madrigal, THE BUTTERFLY BAND blazed a trail through the South East folk/rock scene of the mid 90s/early 2000s. Much remembered for their own unique take on folk classics, many a tale could be told about playing till closing time in Tramore only to pack up, rush to the van and set up for a late night gig upstairs in the Roxy back in the early days, to headlining at Spraoi amongst many other venues. Backboned by the Keating brothers and Micko Roche, the Butterfly Band in their latter days became something of a Waterford Supergroup, adding musicians of distinction such as Dylan Bible and Phil Collins (no, not that one, the innovative one) amongst others. However, this performance, Friday 5th August, is a bittersweet affair as it’s a tribute to the late band drummer and brother, Mark Keating. The concert will entail The Butterfly Band playing their folk/rock set for the 1st part of the gig, the 2nd act will see The Butterfly Big Band perform Pink Floyds Dark Side Of The Moon where they will be joined by renowned local actor Joe Meagher. Featuring over 20 singers, musicians and dancers on stage, this concert will most likely feature as one of the highlights of the year in Waterford. Not surprisingly, this concert was sold out within days of the booking opening, testimony if needed to what Mark Keating and the band meant to the people of Waterford and the South East.

There was a time not so long ago when the mere mention of Country & Irish music would produce memories of Big Tom & the Mainliners, or Philomena Begley, or the much maligned (but still successful) Daniel O’Donnell. All             talented and accomplished singers/musicians in their own right, but seen as belonging to a brand of music that didn’t sit well with the trad revival of the 70s, yet paradoxically, wasn’t exactly a brother to the American Country &     Western music scene either, probably more akin to the embarrassing cousin. Country & Irish music was seen by many as the heir to the Showband era of the 60s and 70s yet, for a city that produced The Royal Showband, it never seemed to take off in Waterford or, indeed, the southern and eastern parts of the country. Instead, Country & Irish took root and thrived from the midlands up towards the north and north western parts of the island, seen as a type of music to be enjoyed by those north of 45 years old. That entire preconception was thrown on its head in recent years with an influx of younger Country & Irish music stars managing to make this particular brand of music      popular to the masses. Principal amongst this new breed is Merseyside native NATHAN CARTER. The Liverpudlian’s 2012 version of the song ‘Wagon Wheel’ was an instant hit, while his album of the same name went to #3 in the Irish Music Charts. The Theatre Royal is delighted to welcome Nathan for what will hopefully be the first of many sold out performances in the years to come. On 18 th August, Nathan Carter brings his “Staying’ Up All Night”    Summer Tour to the Theatre Royal. Not surprisingly, this concert sold out within weeks of the booking opening, in fact, such was the demand since sell out, the concert probably could have sold out three nights. And I mentioned earlier that Country & Irish music had never taken root in Waterford and the South East? More fool I.

So that’s a brief outline of what’s on offer at the Theatre Royal for the month ahead, do keep an eye out for our       Autumn Brochure that will be launched in mid-August. I know that there are many exciting productions to look       forward to, including a play that has mesmerized audiences throughout the UK from the Edinburgh Fringe to Off West End that is co-written by a Congress Place native and a Cockney son of Cheekpoint. But more about that next month.