SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS

Acclaimed singer Róisín Sullivan on bringing Broadway back to her hometown.

For Róisín Sullivan, right from the very start, it’s always been about the song.

Whether it’s Streisand or Cassidy, Rodgers & Hammerstein or Lennon & McCartney, a great song transcends genre, time and tastes.

A point the former St David’s pupil- and Glady Sheehan favourite – is keen to prove with her new show, Broadway & Other Stories, highlighting those classics that have lit up New York along with those songs that lit up the entire world.

As the lady herself explains…

“I was raised on songs and show tunes. One of my earliest memories is of me sitting on the carpet as a very small child and listening to Barbara Streisand and Elaine Paige records. Mom  always had these playing in the background, as well as the cast recording of The Phantom of the Opera which was my absolute favourite.

“I remember looking at the record sleeve so closely, seeing the pictures of Sarah Brightman in the show and wanting to be just like her when I grew up. It was those early influences, coupled with endless MGM and Rodgers & Hammerstein movie musicals on the television that sealed my fate as a performer.

“Mom and Dad sent me to the local drama teacher in Greystones, Gladys Sheehan, and it was there every Friday after school that I built up my confidence on stage and got all the encouragement that I needed from Gladys to go further. The school shows in St. David’s Secondary School in Greystones also played a huge part in my early years as a performer when Mrs Chambers cast me as Louise in Carousel, and I also played Sandy in the school production of Grease. I will never forget that gym hall scent that I have come to associate with the magic of showtime in the St David’s school hall!

“After leaving school, I started performing in various  shows in The Gaiety Theatre and NCH. I toured with Riverdance as a singer for a few years, and then made the move to London to get formal musical theatre training. This led to a series of wonderful jobs for me in London, both in West End and off-West End productions, as well as UK and international tours. It also led to me performing in The London Palladium with Tommy Steele, a man who I had grown up watching on video in Finnian’s Rainbow alongside Fred Astaire all those years ago.

“As well as performing on stage in full scale productions, I absolutely adore performing in intimate cabaret club settings, similar to the New York cabaret scene. There is a certain magic created in these settings that is hard to replicate in bigger scale productions.

“Singing songs that mean something to me personally and sharing them with an intimate audience is an absolute joy, and I am thrilled to be performing in The Whale in my home town of Greystones, back where it all began.”

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