My wife and I had the funniest and most entertaining Valentine’s Night at the Cork Opera House for Macbecks – a new musical comedy from the I Keano team of Garry Cooke and Malachy McKenna with additional music and lyrics from Jody Trehy. I’m not a football fan but this inventive rapid extravaganza about the fame and celebrity of the Beckhams was a howl. Posh and Becks pouted, minced, flounced and flared with rare style and comic bravado. Paul Reid caught the confused Becks so well and Kelly Gough as Poshoria was well up for it in a glorious pout and parade performance.
It was great to see two locals in fine form with Andrew Holden as Garycranz and Red Kettle’s Eoin Lynch as Ogre Schmeichael with giant hands. Andrew Holden was part of a twin role with Karl Harpur as Phildenstern (a fine piss-take on the Neville twins). They had a glorious duet in the style of Spamalot that had the audience in the spills of laughter.
Mostly the songs were a mix of Spamalot style and Spice Girls pop tunes. Gary Cooke as co-writer was a wow as Wayne, the famous Rooney, character and Mary Murray was a fun Coleen and riotous Scary as Cantona and Shakespeare.
The dialogue was vulgar, salty and disgustingly amusing and Ned Dennehy brought down the house in a nude-suit as Seven (a twin pastiche on Sven Goran Erickson). Dangling appendages were the order of the day but Sevens was a todger and a half like the Rapper who had a dangling hank of bananas – not just fourskins but many skins.
Star of the evening was Dessie Gallagher as S’Alex, a Red Devil with a hairdryer style of dialogue (Gallagher’s Macarticus was the star of I Keano).
David Bolger of Cois Ceim Dance was Director/Choreographer and the wizard football scenes were inventive and a howl. The pace never flagged, nobody went offside, only the language was foul, the craic was mighty and the laughter long and hearty, a show of two halves with people longing for extra-time.
Cork Opera House closed for just eight weeks in the summer as part of a major restoration project to repair a leaky roof, new ventilation systems, improved acoustics and replace lights. A lot was done behind the scenes in that eight weeks at a cost of about Û2 million as well as a new coat of paint and new carpets in some areas. This year a second phase will be carried out in a similar time frame, to install new seating, floors and a refinish to bars and foyer. Now, that’s planning; they treated the work as an eight week run. They also added a levy of Û1 on all ticket prices.
Once again you could bring a pint into the auditorium in a plastic glass and sweets and ice-cream were on sale in the auditorium as well. Come on Waterford get with the mood.