IT’S NOT ONLY ROCK’N’ROLL (BUT I LIKE IT)

Bringing vaudeville back with a vengeance – and a rockin’ band

As with any true circus, there’s a travelling family element to an all-star, excess-all-areas, no-holds-barred show hitting Greystones for Halloween.

Of the 11 acts all coming together for The Water Gypsies’ Rock’n’Roll Vaudeville Circus, each is either friend or family to someone else in the gang.

Which means this night of music, magic, mischief, mayhem and general monkeying around is a direct echo of vaudeville’s long, long history, from its 18th century beginnings in France through its American heyday in the late 19th and early 20th century, and the simultaneous wave of music and variety halls closer to home.

Ushered out by the arrival of cinema – with the Marx Brothers and Buster Keaton among the few making the successful leap from stage to screen – the idea of the travelling troupe of entertainers enjoyed a rebirth in the 1960s and ’70s, with the likes of The Rolling Stones’ Rock’n’Roll Circus and Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue. The idea being, come one, come all, no matter what your talent, and just join the show, the resultant ever-changing line-up and setlist keeping the shows fresh and frisky.

It’s that playful spirit that sparked eternal rockers Stuart and Ali to put together a vaudeville show around the core of their band, The Water Gypsies  – a band which, unsurprisingly, has Stuart’s ridiculously-talented sons, Dylan and Elliot, in the mix. Putting out the siren call, The Water Gypsies were soon joined by a wide assortment of freaks and geeks, including musicians Jack Joyce and Ross Breen, snake charmer Kitty Le Roux, nail biter The Grim Squeaker, Bluebird Absurd, Dead Elvis, The Russian Bear, Wee Ken, The George’s ringmaster of choice, Phil T Gorgeous, The Sideshow Sweethearts, award-winning burlesque babes Oh Golly! Miss Dolly! and Santina Spitfire, plus, the coolest of them all, Biddy from Glenroe.

Or, to give the lady her proper name, Mary McEvoy, the noted Irish actor who has been owning stages all across the land, and beyond, in the likes of The Matchmaker and Big Maggie. And now she’s coming to Greystones to take over The Whale stage with two solo pieces that might just bring the house down.

So, as you may have gathered, there’s plenty of eating and drinking – and carousing – going on with The Water Gypsies’ Rock’n’Roll Vaudeville Circus, hitting The Whale on Saturday, October 26th at 8pm.

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