Tell us a little bit about yourself:
In a previous incarnation, I was a book publicist (I had my own publicity company New Leaf Publicity) and promoted some incredible works by the likes of Roddy Doyle, Joseph O’Connor, Alice Taylor, Dermot Bolger, Maeve Binchy, Colm Toibin, Anne Enright, Niall Quinn, chefs Conrad Gallagher, Domini Kemp, political heads David Irvine, Gerry Adams, and Fergus Finlay and many many more. I loved the nine years I spent as a publicist.
But when kids came along, I went back to the singing. I started working alongside Cathal MacCabe in the National Concert Hall in Dublin producing popular music concerts but with our twist: the break down of the 4th wall between us and the audience by asking them to sing along. The concerts were a huge success. We piloted them in Cork’s Everyman Theatre, under the title Sunday Night at the Palace, gave the audience word sheets and the rest, as they say, is history. Now in our 17th year together, working as the Everyman Sunday Songbook in Cork (the Great Singalong Songbook around the country) we have had added to our band of merry men: first was the addition of our fantastically versatile MD, Alan Carney, who not only sings and plays but sets the hearts of the ladies a-flutter! We get regular correspondence asking who the ‘hottie’ is! No kidding! And, after the passing of our beloved Michael Twomey, Alf McCarthy joined us. He is a massive addition to the family. There are nine of us now, including our band members (John McGrath on guitar, Jimmy Hynes on percussion and Brian Hyland on bass), Yvonne Cronin our stage manager and Cathal MacCabe our writer and director.
We have finessed our product now: We celebrate in song and story the lives of major movie and musical icons. Using a giant screen to project the lyrics for the audience, we also sometimes use video and photos. 2018, after 15 years of doing them in Cork, three to four times a year, we decided it was time to dip our toes in the waters elsewhere and we have been overwhelmed by the audiences’ reactions all over the country. We have about 30 dates already in the diary up to the end of the year and continue to seek other venues for our unique brand of entertainment. We are currently touring with. Audience reactions in Birr Theatre and Theatre Royal Waterford has been ecstatic so we can’t wait to bring it to Cork’s Everyman Theatre on Sunday, February 23. After that it’s on to the NCH where there are only a few tickets left, and the Civic in Tallaght (March 22, which is sold out already!).
When I’m not singing, I’m on the laptop and phone working ahead with theatres on all the shows we have running with them. I write press releases and articles for the print media, set up radio interviews, hire any personnel or equipment we need for our concerts, work on marketing materials with the designer, and manage the day to day running of our little musical family.
Linda Kenny will be appearing at the Everyman in Who’s Sorry Now: The Story of Connie Francis (& Bobby Darin) written and directed by Cathal McCabe and also starring Damien Smith & Alf McCarthy on Sunday, February 23rd at 7.30pm.
Booking on (021) 4501 673 or www.everymancork.com.