Theme Night #25 – reflections

So! Another Theme Night consigned to history.

We had a lot of firsts this time – a Maori blessing, an unknowing participant, a troupe of dancers, flourescent violinists. It was also the first time I attempted to tell the story of the subjects of this particular theme through the structure of the show.

And some lasts – Chris Baillie’s last theme night in Sligo, possibly the last time we’ll see our original horn section (Tom, Tom, Fraser and Eddie) on the Hawk’s Well stage together, and the last instalment of our first quarter-century of Theme Nights – a wonderful milestone to reach. Indeed I’d like to take this opportunity to say thanks to the more than 300 participants who have taken part in a theme night so far – for helping create these unique shows with me.

There was huge variety in the music this time – from the BeeGees early material, to their disco phase, to the songs they wrote for others, and then to the other disco hits from the likes of Gloria Gaynor, Barry White and Kool and the Gang that we included.

We had four amazing duets, eight brand new arrangements, fourteen first time performers (Denys, Sophie, Mabel, Nils, Shona, Paddy, Mark, Sarah, Orla, Senna, Alex, Holly, Cliodhna and Grace), and one hell of a time.

Our Golden Jacket winner this time was Maev Gallagher – for the energy and expertise she brought to our very first rehearsal (when it’s easy not to have either), for the way she infected everyone with her enthusiasm for the genre, for the way she led out on one of my favourite BV lines of the show (go to 3:26 here), and for what has now been (along with her sister Jane) backing vocal excellence on (I think) 15 theme nights.

Will we do 25 more??? We can’t know.

I’d love to think we will, but all we have for sure is the next one – and that’s in Vicar St on April 23rd. Hope to see you all there!