Opinion Columnists

Sunday 23 July 2017

My great uncle and dancing like there is no tomorrow

As Riverdance gets ready for a summer run in aid of cystic fibrosis, GAA pundit Joe Brolly recalls Bill Shawn Corey -who was Gene Kelly's dance double

Umbrellas and a Brolly: Our columnist Joe Brolly, who is also a CFI ambassador, joined the ‘Riverdance’ troupe on Grafton Street, Dublin, as the show announced a partnership with its chosen charity, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland. ‘Riverdance’ is returning to the Gaiety Theatre on Thursday for a summer run, which finishes on September 3
Umbrellas and a Brolly: Our columnist Joe Brolly, who is also a CFI ambassador, joined the ‘Riverdance’ troupe on Grafton Street, Dublin, as the show announced a partnership with its chosen charity, Cystic Fibrosis Ireland. ‘Riverdance’ is returning to the Gaiety Theatre on Thursday for a summer run, which finishes on September 3

Joe Brolly

I stood on the stage of the Gaiety a fortnight ago as the Riverdance cast were going through their warm-ups. Watching them bouncing into the air up to my ear, stretching as though their legs were rubber, faces shining with health, I felt like the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. Sadly, for me, it will take more than 3-in-One Oil.

Looking out at the mahogany boxes and stalls, I could feel the inimitable buzz that lures all actors and performers to the stage. I heard in my head the intro from The Muppet Show. "It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights..." Audience: "Why don't you get things started?" Muppets: "It's time to get things started on the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational Muppetational, this is what we call The Muppet Show."

It brought me back to the opening night of Oklahoma! in St Pat's, Armagh, when I was a boy, playing the part of Curly and singing "There's a bright golden haze on the meadow", as the curtain went up, feeling truly alive.

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