Getting back to the good ol' days

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Published on Wednesday 17 August 2011 11:10

The Good Old Days are back. The BBC music hall variety show will be coming to Kilkenny for one night only on September 25 as part of Positive Ageing Week.

To re-create this show that recalled the atmosphere of the Victorian/ Edwardian music hall with songs and sketches, musical director Fr Willie Purcell is encouraging all interested older singers and performers to take part, and musical workshops began yesterday (Tuesday) evening in the Ormonde Hotel in preparation for the event.

As with the original show, the audience will also be asked to dress in period costume and join in the singing on the evening – especially for Down at the Old Bull and Bush, which always closed the show. The show was compered from 1953-1983 by Leonard Sachs, who will be ably replaced by the spectacular and splendorous George Candler on September 25 from 7.30pm in Langton’s Set Theatre.

“The event is not for profit and those involved have been really positive with their support,” says Fr Purcell. “Kilkenny has a wealth of performance and musical talent. It’s about being positive, active and engaged. Older people need more social outlets, and this could become an annual event.”

Speaking in advance of the event launch on Wednesday evening of last week, Debra O’Neill, regional manager with the Kilkenny Age-Friendly County Programme, said it was a great opportunity to get involved, both for groups and individuals.

“It will be a fun evening out, whether it’s in the performance side or simply dressing up on the night,” she said. “It will be a wonderful sight if everyone gets into their bonnets. We have lots of Active Retirement and ICA groups out there so I hope they all get sewing – they have lots of time before September 25, so no excuses”.

At the launch, organiser Marianne Kelly was all set to go, complete with bonnet. “I’ve had a little head start,” she said, “but still have to complete my outfit. I hope all older people’s groups and day care centres will get involved in the preparation and come along on the night.”

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