'Phenomenal' excitement for return of Riverdance to Cork

'Phenomenal' excitement for return of Riverdance to Cork

John Lonergan, centre, from Ballyphehane, Cork City is joined by his fellow Riverdance cast members, left, Brian Shinners, Ellen Bonner, Keeva Corry, Ruth Charles and Jason O’Neill today in Cork, as it was announced that Riverdance will once again take the stage in Ireland when they play Live at the Marquee Cork in June. PHOTO: Mark Stedman.

Riverdance’s John McColgan has described the level of excitement involved in bringing the renowned show to Leeside next summer as “phenomenal”.

Details of performances of Riverdance in Cork in June 2022 were announced at a reception at The River Lee Hotel in the city on Tuesday afternoon.

Riverdance: The New 25th Anniversary Show has seen composer Bill Whelan rerecord his mesmerising soundtrack while producer Moya Doherty and director John McColgan have completely reimagined the ground-breaking show with innovative and spectacular lighting, projection, stage and costume designs.

Speaking in Cork on Tuesday, Mr McColgan said the difficult time experienced by the industry during the pandemic had him wondering whether they would ever get back in front of an audience.

Gerry Lundberg holds the coats for members of the cast of Riverdance, from left, Ruth Charles, Ellen Bonner, Jason O’Neill, Keeva Corry and John Lonergan pictured today in Cork, as it was announced that Riverdance will once again take the stage in Ireland when they play Live at the Marquee. PHOTO: Mark Stedman
Gerry Lundberg holds the coats for members of the cast of Riverdance, from left, Ruth Charles, Ellen Bonner, Jason O’Neill, Keeva Corry and John Lonergan pictured today in Cork, as it was announced that Riverdance will once again take the stage in Ireland when they play Live at the Marquee. PHOTO: Mark Stedman

“Now, here we are coming back for the first time in Ireland since the lockdown at Live at the Marquee in June so that’s very very special and all of the dancers are wired about it and I am and everybody is so it’s hard to believe that we are back doing what we love,” he said.

Mr McColgan said that the special 25th-anniversary show has been reimagined to breathe new life into it.

Working with the dancers and performers, he told them to forget that they know the show backward and to instead imagine they’re starting again for the first time.

They entered into it in a wholehearted way with their commitment to making this bigger, better and different and they did.

He described the first 25th-anniversary show, which took place pre-pandemic in 2020 at the 3Arena, the original venue where Riverdance appeared 25 years previously at The Point, as “very emotional” and that the show received “the longest standing ovation ever”.

Members of the cast of Riverdance, from left, Ruth Charles Brian Shinners, Ellen Bonner, Jason O’Neill, John Lonergan and Keeva Corry pictured today in Cork, as it was announced that Riverdance will once again take the stage in Ireland when they play Live at the Marquee. PHOTO: Mark Stedman
Members of the cast of Riverdance, from left, Ruth Charles Brian Shinners, Ellen Bonner, Jason O’Neill, John Lonergan and Keeva Corry pictured today in Cork, as it was announced that Riverdance will once again take the stage in Ireland when they play Live at the Marquee. PHOTO: Mark Stedman

He told The Echo that seeing the audience’s emotional reaction to the show makes him “very proud”.

I’ve stood in the back of darkened theatres in Mexico and in Germany, in China, in Japan, all over the US and when the audience jump to their feet at the end I still get a lump in my throat and think I can’t believe I’m here in Osaka or Tokyo and whatever the show has, it strikes a chord.

“You don’t have to be Irish, there’s no language barrier and the emotion and I say to the kids if you all have the same thought in your head and you look at these audiences you don’t need to speak they can read your mind they know what you’re thinking, they know what you’re feeling and that actually works and people pick up on what the cast are trying to communicate,” he said.

Tickets for Riverdance Live at the Marquee - which takes place from June 2 to 5, 2022 - go on sale Friday, October 29 at 9am from Ticketmaster.

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