Mark Irwin is hosting the event in November, and proceeds will go to TEAM.

Mark promises something for everyone with ‘Welcome Back Theatre’

Sarah Slevin

Mullingar singer Mark Irwin has gathered a wide variety of artists together to welcome people back to a show where there is something for everyone.

Covid-19 has meant that many of us have not been out for an evening of music in almost two years, but Mark Irwin has organised a ‘Welcome Back Theatre’ night at Mullingar Arts Centre in November.

Mark had been hosting an annual music and entertainment show in Mullingar for several years but has missed the past two due to the pandemic.

However, the evening of music “with Mark and friends” is returning on November 5, and once again proceeds are going to TEAM (Temporary Emergency Accommodation Midlands), which provides safe and secure housing for homeless women and children in the region.

Mark said he has a great line-up of acts from a variety of music styles so there is something for everyone to enjoy.

“I’ll be performing primarily and then I have guests, two from the UK and one from home, and it’s a varied genre of music – anything from rock to musical theatre, classical, pop and everything else in between,” Mark told the Westmeath Examiner at the weekend.

“There’ll be songs that people know, there’ll be songs that people have never heard – the idea is to open people up to a mixture of genres.”

Mark has performed in the West End and said he was lucky to have been able to get back performing since Covid-19 at Sydney Opera House recently as part of Choir of Men.

He said the title of the show, Welcome Back Theatre, was inspired by how long it has been since performers and the public have been away from such events.

“Theatre in Ireland has been crushed and it’s welcoming back people to it, as well as welcoming back the performers who have been out of work for a while,” Mark said.

Mark has been hosting a similar event annually for several years and has always enjoyed the opportunity to support local charities.

“I’ve always done it for charity, I like to give back, especially to a local charity. The last couple of years, charities have been hit hard, like everyone else including the music and arts industry, so it is nice to help out,” Mark said.

So far, the guests lined up to perform include Joshua Lloyd, Lauren Allen, and Mark’s sister, Laura Irwin.

Tickets are on sale now for Welcome Back Theatre – an evening of music with Mark and friends on the Mullingar Arts Centre website. The event is on Friday November 5 at 8pm.