Music and Reviews from Clare, Limerick, Waterford and sometimes further afield

Friday, July 11, 2014

Seó Time in Waterford

I went along to see Seó this evening, a song and dance show,  produced by Lismore Music Festival  in an Irish traditional vein,  staged at the Theatre Royal and incorporating a guided promenade from the nearby Reg Bar. Although aimed primarily at the tourist market, there was much to enjoy for both natives and migrants over the hour long set. The musicians were excellent, all highly skilled and they played with relish and enthusiasm. Tony Dunne of the Butterfly Band on accordion was the lynch pin leading  Anthony Roche on flute, Amanda on vocals and piano and Andy on guitar. Best of all, four exuberant dancers gave life to the dance sets and you couldn't but be cheered by the vigour of their leaping and clattering feet. The showy solo turns were impressive while in contrast, a set dance was done as simply as it be might be in the local hall. At one point a small raised platform offered a variation in pitch in the foot  percussion to  one of the male dancers. simple but effective.  I gather that the performers were all  drawn from the West Waterford pool of Booley House entertainers which I hope to get to soon. 
Victorian Gem Theatre Royal on the Mall

 Tony Dunne Mighty Boxer
I have seen and been involved myself as a musician in several of this type of entertainment. Seó was very good indeed in the musical and dance aspects and had none of the cheese factor you might expect from a production of this nature. It had quite a fresh contemporary approach with other world music styles referenced in the tune selection. However, the music of the South East or the maritime theme didn't seem to the feature to the extent promised in the publicity material. It would have liked  a little more emphatic MC'ing. A  tad more of the spoken word, announcing the tune titles , dance type, provenance of the songs  etc would have added some context.  What set it apart also was the use of authentic historic building for performing space  as opposed to ersatz village halls and bland ball rooms. 
New roof top garden on The Reg with a close up view of the Reg and the Suir
 It was good too to see a synergy between the theatre and a  nearby  bar. Many of the attendees stayed adjourned to the bar after the show where the same musicians played a more relaxed unplugged session. The preamble was a beer in The Reg located next to the city's signature Reginald's  Tower. Local historian Demot Power greeted the group and escorted them to the Theatre Royal adding nuggets of local history along the route. It was nice touch to invite guests to stand on the stage and look out at the horseshoe space. One guest home from abroad for the holidays was quite emotional recalling her schoolday appearances in Feile na Scoile. 
 Such a lot of excellent work has been done on this Viking Triangle and it is heartening  to see  the elegant streets incorporated into a tourist initiative and great to see the Reg Bar complex rejuvenated and back in business after a dormant phase

If you want to see this show, you better get your skates on as July 17th is scheduled to be the final date for this season. It is keenly priced at €14 with kids free. The programme of entertainment at The Reg continues with some activity and some novel additions every night. More details here 

Related posts My night at the Corn Barn

Booking in The Reg on performance nights from 5.30pm

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