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Musical Theatre in Cork

Summer Revels 1979‌‌‌
Billa O'Connell and Paddy Comerford in a scene from Summer Revels at Cork Opera House in 1979 (Image: Paul O'Flynn)

Musical theatre has a special place in the hearts of many Cork theatre goers. Over the years musical theatre has produced many well known local performers. These people were regulars features in grand musicals, Christmas pantomines and variety shows staged at Cork Opera House and the Everyman during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Well known local performers over the years include the Michael Twomey and Frank Duggan of ‘Cha and Miah’ fame, Billa O’Connell, Paddy Comerford, Dick Healy, David McInerney, Ronnie O’Shaughnessy and many more. One of the best known Cork theatrical performers over many decades was the late James N. Healy. Local groups such as the McTeggart Dancers and the Monfort Singers have also been ever present in Cork theatrical productions.

From the 1970s and into the 1990s Cork venues hosted the performances of groups such as the Irish Operatic Repertory Company and visiting international successful companies have included the Royal National Theatre of London. Local theatrical groups such as the Theatre of the South were to the forefront of the Cork theatrical scene, bringing the works of John B. Keane to Cork audiences and the music and laughter associated with its annual Summer Revels Shows which ran for twenty-one consecutive years. In the 1970s Cork Opera House hosted many large scale musical productions including H.M.S. Pinafore (1972), Fiddler on the Roof (1972) and the Mikado (1976).

Cork has a rich theatrical history and this section will look at some of the local performers and groups over the years which have been to the forefront of musical theatre in Cork.

Aspects of the history of theatre in Cork can also be explored in this section of the Cork Past and Present website.

For more information on individuals and groups associated with musical theatre in Cork, select from the menu options on the left of this page (This section is currently under construction)

H.M.S. Pinafore 1972 
James N. Healy with the cast of the Gilbert and Sullivan group's production of H.M.S. Pinafore at Cork Opera House in February 1972 (Image: Paul O'Flynn)