It is entirely appropriate that Riverdance, having conquered the world, will arrive in Mayo in early September to delight audiences in the West of Ireland for the very first time.
It is not news that Riverdance burst onto the scene as an interval act at Eurovision 1994. What may not be as well known, however, is that the roots of what was to become the Riverdance phenomenon can be found in the Mayo 5000 celebrations of the previous year.
An initiative from Mayo County Council to celebrate the opening of the visitors' centre at the Ceide Fields archaeological site in 1993,the Mayo 5000 concert took place in the National Concert Hall, Dublin. The performance resonates to this day and clips from the concert posted on the internet remain hugely popular.
Mayo 5000 was produced by Moya Doherty and John McColgan and included a new musical work by composer Bill Whelan called ‘The Spirit of Mayo’. The show included choral pieces by the choir Anuna and starred Irish dancers Jean Butler, Colin Dunne and Michael Flatley. This team was reunited a few short months later and the rest, as they say, is history.
Riverdance is coming home and an expectant audience eagerly awaits.
This homecoming has been made possible due to the imminent launch in Castlebar, County Mayo of what is expected to become Ireland’s premier multi-purpose auditorium. The breathtaking size of this most impressive development has not gone unnoticed by the local population and excitement has steadily grown over the last few months. There is no doubt that the new Royal Theatre is a venue to rival any on the island. Due to this fantastic new facility, the West of Ireland in general, and Castlebar in particular, will be attracting first-rate acts and events for many years to come.
Hoteliers Pat and Mary Jennings are extremely proud of their new venue which will be shortly unveiled to the Irish public. “We have worked particularly hard for many years to bring this project to fruition. The opening of this new venue will be a very exciting day” says Pat. “At every stage, we have been most aware that the consumer experience is paramount. We firmly believe that the acoustic and visual performance of our new arena, along with the exceptional on-site facilities, will guarantee complete customer satisfaction.”
Work on building Connaught’s new world-class venue continues apace. There is certainly no sign of any builder’s holidays in the vast space between the TF Royal Hotel and Days Hotel, Castlebar.
Pat adds “Having held comprehensive and lengthy discussions with the Riverdance production company, I know that the originators of Riverdance; Bill Whelan, Moya Doherty and John McColgan; are thrilled that their creation will be shown to its fullest potential here in Castlebar. We also acknowledge the key roles that our partners Mayo County Council and The Connaught Telegraph newspaper have played in allowing this wonderful event to happen. We look forward to the magic of Riverdance coming to life in what will be the most impressive and enchanting of large venues. Our message to our audience will be ‘prepare to be captivated!’.”
Brisk ticket sales have ensured smiles all round and patrons are advised to book early to ensure that this unique opportunity does not pass them by. Riverdance will run for ten performances in Castlebar from September 3rd to September 9th.
Tickets are priced at € 28 for children, € 44 - € 50 for adults and a family ticket for two adults and two children is available for € 125. Bookings can be made through www.royaltheatre.ie, www.ticketmaster.ieor by phoning the Box Office in Castlebar for the price of a local call at 0818 300 000; this number is operational 24/7.
Excellent “Stay & Show” package deals have been put in place to ensure that clients can take up special offers from the two sister hotels adjacent to the venue. These are available through The TF Royal Hotel (www.tfroyalhotel.com- 094 9023111) and Days Hotel, Castlebar (www.dayshotelcastlebar.com– 094 9286200).