The Everyman's Sunday Songbook Series Celebrates 20 Years

The 650-seat theatre is a jewel of late Victorian architecture and a listed building which marked 125 years as Cork's Cultural Home in 2022.   

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The Everyman Sunday Songbook team gathered at The Metropole to celebrate their 20th year and announce a cracking line-up for 2023.

The shows, which have become a firm-favourite with audiences down through the years for their mixture of music, story, memory, and singalong, have another great line-up in store for 2023.

Kicking things off is The Swinging Sixties on Sunday 16th of April. This was the first show the team brought to The Everyman stage when it re-opened to restricted capacity audiences in October 2021 and returns due to popular demand. Think girls in miniskirts with long boots, boys in bell-bottoms with long hair, super-models and photographers, Mods and Rockers, Mary Quant and Twiggy, Carnaby Street and the Kings Road. Featuring music from Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield, Mary Hopkin, Cliff Richard, Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck and, of course, The Beatles.

Jumping back a decade, the summer show will be Boppin' at the Drive-In: The Fabulous 50s on Sunday 9th of July. This will be followed by Sweet Caroline: The Neil Diamond Story on October 8th and The Greatest Christmas Songs Ever on December 3rd.

The team which has changed down through the years is currently Linda Kenny, Damian Smith, Alf McCarthy, and Alan Carney, with Alf also taking on MC and narrator duties. The band are Jimmy Hynes, John McGrath, and Brian Hyland. Stalwart of the Cork stage, Michael Twomey was the MC of The Everyman Sunday Songbook from its inception until his death in August 2017. Alf joined the team in October 2017 and newest performer Alan Carney, joined the team in 2014.

Linda Kenny, the driving force who has been with the team since its inception said, "I could never have envisaged all those years ago that not only would we still be going strong 20 years on but that so many stalwarts would have accompanied us on this journey too. We have made so many friends, been touched by the love and kindness and unstinting support not only of those who come to the shows but of the truly remarkable team at The Everyman, our spiritual home. I am so very grateful."

Asked about the most memorable shows on The Everyman stage, two stood out for Linda, "the first was our showband tribute featuring the late great Declan Ryan and the wonderful Michael Twomey as our MC. It was a few months prior to his death and Michael had been very unwell. In the days leading up to the show, he wasn't sure if he would be able to do it. That evening, towards the end of the show, as Declan belted out the Huckelbuck to the delight of the capacity audience, Michael turned around to me on stage, caught my hands, and said "I made it!" It was a very special moment for him and I was utterly thrilled for him and so in awe of his fortitude and determination."

"The second was the first show after Michael had passed on. It was so difficult to make that transition without him. Alf McCarthy was joining our team and it was important to be so respectful to both Alf, and to Michael. The show was We'll Meet Again: The Story of Vera Lynn set against the backdrop of the second World War, her songs were so emotional anyway and the story itself tugs at the heartstrings but, performing this, with all that extra layer of heartache for us personally was probably one of the most difficult shows I have had to do."

The shows have also created wonderful memories for audiences down through the years. Linda commented, "the biggest standout are those comments that we get from people who have stopped engaging with the world after the passing of a loved one, or after some fracture/trauma in their lives, and who have found massive solace and rejuvenation in the sense of engagement that is generated at our shows, singing, clapping, laughing together. One woman described our shows as her 'lifeline' particularly after the isolation of Covid. Coming together with the performers and being an integral part of the show, as audience participation is the bedrock of our shows, keeps people feeling connected."

Executive Director of The Everyman, Seán Kelly, said "Sunday Songbook's incredible twenty year run at The Everyman is testament to the show's quality and the Songbook team's dedication and commitment to their audiences. We have a terrific series of shows lined up and we can't wait to welcome audiences for these special Sundays in 2023."

The Everyman is a registered charity (No. 20150952). It is one of Ireland's leading presenting and producing theatres. It hosts touring productions from both national and international companies and artists. In 2023, The Everyman will produce Reggie's Guide to Social Climbing in the Spring and Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie directed by Emma Jordan in the Summer. The Everyman's Christmas Panto, in association with CADA Performing Arts, will be Beauty and the Beast.  

The 650-seat theatre is a jewel of late Victorian architecture and a listed building which marked 125 years as Cork's Cultural Home in 2022.  

The historic venue has had many names down through the years. In 2012 it re-branded as, The Everyman.


Visit Click Here for full programme details. Tickets for shows are available now from the website, or from the box office, telephone 021 4501 673.  Each in the series of The Everyman Sunday Songbook shows this year will go on sale on the day of the previous concert in the series.


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