The Everyman Celebrates 120 Years of Entertainment
The Everyman celebrates its 120th anniversary this week in true theatrical style. This beautiful 650-seat theatre is a jewel of late Victorian architecture: a listed building, the theatre is steeped in history and is a favourite with audiences and performers alike for its intimacy and atmosphere.
"The Everyman is a standing monument to the great cultural heritage in Cork City, as well as a beacon for contemporary performing arts culture in all its shapes and forms. We count ourselves extremely lucky to be the custodians of its past, and the stewards of its future, and we take tremendous heart in knowing that the people of Cork have supported the building for 120 years." Julie Kelleher, Artistic Director at the Everyman
Let's take a trip down memory lane...
In April, 1897, Dan Lowrey opened the doors of his Cork Palace of Varieties. Henry Brunton's superbly designed Music Hall had a stained glass street canopy and several licensed bars, enrapturing the public with its ornate ceiling and elaborate gilt boxes on either side of the gently raked stalls and the curved and raked balcony. On the opening night the Chairman, Mr John O'Connell, said it was "without question the prettiest, most commodious, and best equipped place of entertainment in Ireland".
From 1897 until the 1920's, variety programmes were the dominant attraction and later there was pantomime, opera and drama with touring repertory companies visiting weekly from the UK and further afield. Artists who performed at the theatre in this period include Charlie Chaplin, Marie Lloyd, Vesta Tilley, Sandow the strong man (famously featured on a Murphy's Stout advert of the time), Old Mother Riley (Lucan & McShane), Seymore Hicks, George Formby, Charles Coborn and Jimmy O'Dea.
Into the 1930's, music hall and live performances gave way to the new excitement of the time - cinema. The theatre became known as Cork's Super Cinema: The Palace. 'The House with the Perfect Sound' and for almost 50 years The Everyman served as the city's major cinema. Then came the 1980's, like many cinemas, the advent of video forced The Palace cinema to close its doors.
In 1988, The Everyman Theatre Company, who had been presenting top-quality drama in Cork at a variety of venues since 1963, took on the challenge of saving the listed building for its original theatrical purpose and the theatre re-opened as The Everyman Palace.
From its origin as a music hall, through its cinema years, The Everyman is now one of the leading presenting and producing theatres in Ireland, serving as a vibrant cultural hub for the people of Cork. The Everyman aspires to be a beacon of inspirational storytelling and performance, to provide experiences which have the power to alter perspectives, and make the heart beat a little bit faster. The Everyman is a "not for profit" organization.
For more details on the Everyman 2017 programme visit www.everymancork.com.