Mark Irwin signing the poster of himself, during the Silver jubilee celebration in Mullingar Arts Centre.

Silver jubilee concert at Arts Centre was evening to remember

There have been many memorable nights on the stage of Mullingar Arts Centre - but right up there among the best is the celebration concert held there on Sunday night last to mark the 25th anniversary of its foundation.

Remarkably, the celebration took place 25 years to the day after the opening night of its first production, Chess, and by the time the audience began filing out of the auditorium, all were on a high.

Besides the many memorable live performances - not least by West End performer Mark Irwin who flew home from London to entertain at the event - there were several touching video tributes.

“Conor Moore sent us a lovely one, walking down the strip in Las Vegas wishing us a happy birthday; Emmet Cahill did it from a theatre in America where he was getting ready for a show that night,” said Seán Lynch, Arts Centre director.

It didn’t end there: “Nathan Daly also sent us a virtual greeting: he’s starring as Rusty in a professional production of Starlight Express at the moment in Germany. And he sent us one in full costume and from the stage in his theatre in Germany so they were all very good,” says Seán.

"Emer Keating was here as well: she has just finished a six-week run as the leading lady in a play in the Abbey, 'Somewhere Out There You'.

“There were that many highlights that, I have to say, the audience were absolutely bowled over; the standards that we had last night were amazing - in every sphere.

“We in the centre, we're extremely proud of our performers, both young and old. They did us proud and the praise from the audience was amazing.”

Among the live performances that were a big hit was a “Riverdance” performance by the members of the centre’s “Across the Board” entertainment group; while the Mullingar Youth Theatre performed a piece that Sean described as “astonishing”.

“Our dance tutors did a piece based on the musical ‘Where Poppies Grow” and that too was astonishing,” says Sean.

“It was a night full of highlights from the very start. You had Colette Dunning, who was Florence on the opening night, and Maeve Ryan who was Florence in the 2018 production of Chess.

“The night opened with I Know Him So Well and it just went from strength to strength.The whole Student Players piece was stunning: they did songs from Miss Saigon, Cats, The Little Shop of Horrors, Into The Woods and Les Miserables.”