Friends in need…

The 20th Teenage Theme Nights take place this weekend. Friday and Saturday night in The Hawk’s Well Theatre. The first theme night of any sort to take place live since February.

It will be different. Strictly in accordance with government guidelines. Max 12 people on stage at any one time. A vastly reduced capacity in the theatre. Everyone with their own microphone. The performers sitting in the audience during the show because there’s not enough room to socially distance safely backstage.

But it will be great. And since a lot of thought has gone into how to put these shows on in a safe yet hopefully entertaining way, I’d like to acknowledge some special friendships we in the show have, all of whom have been involved for a few years now, but who have gone the extra mile this time to ensure that the shows can happen this time.

Firstly, EJ Menswear have been the main sponsors of the Teenage Theme Nights for 4 years now. In 2017 (when below pic was taken) I wanted to expand the nights. Bigger stage, bigger band, more rehearsal time, a more professional show. We needed extra financial assistance to do that and Eamonn and the lads came on board and have looked after us really well each year since.

What’s more, the theme this year is The Grammy’s and so some of the lads involved will be looking extra sharp in sponsored tuxes.

Also a big thankyou to Sligo Credit Union, who have also been a great friend to the Teenage Theme Nights over the last 4 years, kindly sponsoring in particular the videos of the show – a great memento to have for each participant.

The Hawk’s Well Theatre aren’t open long, and I believe this is the biggest show (in terms of numbers involved) since they have reopened. The help I have got from everyone in there in terms of seating plans, rehearsal time, and overall assistance in planning how to put these shows on safely has been second to none and I really hope that this can be the start of theme nights being back on stage again. Likewise with sound engineer Vinnie Higgins who has been a great sounding board on what will work and what won’t.

The professional musicians involved are hugely important also. The same band has played down the years on pretty much every Teenage Theme Night. Limited audience numbers means the pot isn’t as big as usual and I’d like to pay tribute to the lads who have been hugely generous this time and agreed to do the shows simply because they are good people and want to see the class of 2020 get a good sendoff.

And the final piece of the jigsaw in this situation is the audience. Many family members and friends have seen these musicians develop as performers over the last few years, and this is their big finale. I know many people are nervous, trying to figure out what the correct, safe and responsible thing to do is. And what that is for one person might not be the case for the next.

So it’s difficult. We have put a lot of time into this show, and we are trying to encourage people to come to the theatre to see it, but at the same time we appreciate that some people may not be ready to do so.

However, if you are, the last few tickets are waiting to be snapped up. Have a look here and if there’s anything that suits you we’d love for you to come along and support the re-emergence of the live music industry and especially the class of 2020.

I'm Kieran and I play piano. Actually I do a bit more than just playing - I teach others how to play, and I write music, arrange it and host/produce shows.