On this stage I have carried bales of hay, sung and played Scenes from an Italian Restaurant (with full band and orchestra!), soloed a size 5 and performed push-ups dressed as a gorilla, launched 2 albums and an EP…and played bodhrán and sang mildly insulting songs in a Kerry accent.
In this building I have been in shows with my wife and dad, watched my brother and sister perform, made and cemented countless friendships, introduced my children to the concept of a theatre, and I will never forget the feeling of being clapped off stage once by my peers.
In the last month alone I have been part of three different shows here, two of of which featured over 200 performers, the other more than 70. It is the ultimate community theatre, offering opportunities to lapsed artists to renew their interest in singing/playing/acting/writing, and opportunities to more experienced artists to further their career in various ways.
But it hasn’t always been like this. When we brought our Sgt. Pepper show to the theatre in late 2010 and sold a modest 180 tickets (out of a capacity of 340), I can remember Francie Heraughty – one of the theatre stalwarts – complimenting us on bringing a bit of life back to the theatre for the first time in months.
Any company or organisation is only as good as the people who work there, the leadership provided, the support networks around it and the culture that lives there.
The team of people in the picture above (and others who work there and aren’t pictured) have done amazing work to bring the theatre back to the centre of matters artistic in the town. They actively encourage collaboration among the town’s artists while also inspiring them by attracting world-class talent and shows to the theatre.
Long may this theatre open it’s doors to so many people, and long may this incredible team of people continue their meaningful and important work.
Many people, including yours truly, have a lot to thank them for, and so in this season of goodwill, the message from today’s blog will simply be one of thanks.