To launch Declan Hassett’s fine new book, Make “Em Laugh! – A golden Age Of Cork Theatre, the Everyman Palace mounted a night of nostalgia, or rather ten nights of good houses, as Cork audiences came out in droves to remember, salute and celebrate a wealth of comedy memories and talented people, still alive and performing.
I met the legendary Theatre Royal Stage Manager, Gerry Lowry and his charming wife, at the show and you couldn’t help but wonder why Waterford hasn’t produced such a book or celebratory show. In a two-hour show there wasn’t a dodgy line, a hint of blue but the political satire was as sharp as ever. Michael Twomey and Frank Duggan just swept me away with the revival of Miah and Cha as they sat at a bar and savaged the times we live in, Boy! There are those who will tell you humour doesn’t travel, but these two legendary heroes of an almost vanished era had the tears of laughter streaming down my face. I hegged and gurgled at spot-on delivery and wicked satire.
Jim Queally from Killinascully introduced the items and we got, memories of Summer Revels, The Swans and Paddy Joe Canavan from Toreendohenybeg with Michael Twomey in memorable Frank Hall form.
Pat Sullivan and Noel Barrett recalled the heyday of mime acts and it was still uproarious stuff. Tom Hegarty was a great drag or dame act from an era when Cork had at least seven pantos at Christmas.
Mon (Monica) Murphy, a true thespian, whom I have enjoyed in straight plays and cameo comedy recreated a frail memory of Nobody Loves A Fairy When She’s 40. She shone out like a nostalgic beacon, a trouper with a heart of gold and a mansion of memories.
Paddy Comerford closed the evening with a recreation of his master work Uncle Peter and to watch this grumpy old character capture an era and then get younger before your eyes was a beautiful moment in a wonderful evening.
There were tears when the full cast came out for a glorious standing ovation and I found myself singing The Banks like I knew it, the way I almost cry for Denny Corcoran’s anthemic My City Of Music.