he great thing about Greystonians is, bejiggers, you could set your watch by ’em.
If you say you’re going to have a party at six on the dot, you can always be sure that the good people of this town will be there, grinning widely, right on the stroke of 6.20pm.
Or 6.30pm, depending on traffic. And whether or not there’s any of that pizza left in the fridge from last night.
And so it was for Theatre Lane’s big Culture Night special – Going Up To Mooney’s: A Birthday Bash For Ronnie was due to launch ship at 6pm, with the cutting of the cake. And the whole three floors were ready to roll.
Outside, Andrew Holmes‘ spit-roast was just reaching peak deliciousness, the Crampton clan – Elliot, Dylan, Claudia and mater Val – were in full song, gathering quite the crowd around them. Down on the basement floor, Lisa was handing out free popcorn for that night’s Jaws screening at The Cove, whilst Lucey Dental were nearby, going near-mental with free goody bags and her kids dressed as teeth, toothpaste and, yep, a dirty big shark.
Up on the 1st floor, the contemporary dance trio of Emma Fitzgerald, Karen Gleeson and Tara Nixon-O’Neill offered up some heartfelt high art to counter the jukebox singalong downstairs, whilst across the hall, piano teacher Elaine Lloyd serenaded visitors, and the Greystones School of Music & Drama geared up their Gershwin Gold.
Up on the top floor, we had Meet The Artists in The Tangerine Studio, whilst Mrs Mooney and her clan, as well as Ronnie’s son, Phelim, and a whole truckload of Drew grandchildren, joined the night’s revellers in slurping back Happy Pear mocktails and chomping on Dubliners-themed cupcakes. Add to that the Greystones Players setting up their stall for the very first time (huge sign-up; so, it’s true, we’re a town full of fakers), and interior designer Sharon Ryle on hand to tease out some details about the refurbishment of the long-dormant theatre three stories below, and the place was firing on all cylinders.
So, as you can see, plenty to do, plenty to eat, to drink and to enjoy.
SO, WHERE THE HELL WAS EVERYONE? WE SAID 6PM!!
Luckily, the mysterious delay turned out to be a simple combination of Friday rush hour traffic and that natural human inclination to stay near the free hot food and the Crampstock mini-festival (mum joined in the singing too) down on the ground floor. By 6.30pm though, the place was heaving. And after Mrs Mooney cut the incredible, highly-highly-edible Treats To You cake, and we all sang along to The Wild Rover in honour of Ronnie’s 82nd birthday, we got an eyeful of the raunchy and ravishing burlesque beauty that is Santina Spitfire.
Yowsa, it’s got to be jelly, because jam don’t quiver like that. All of a sudden, the joint was rockin’. Like a bug-eyed 10-year-old boy who’d just seen his first moneymaker shaker.
As all three floors began to heave, and, late on, people starting making moves to leave, so they could get a good seat for the Jaws after-party – in the end, there were approximately 7.8m people down at The Cove – we finished the night with another bang, as the East Coast Irish Dancing duo Gemma and Megan took to the floor to send us all off with a ceili in our heads and joy in our hearts…
Jaws on The Cove 16SEPT16
Big thanks to everyone who came down, both to the Ronnie birthday bash and to the Culture Night-funded Jaws screening afterwards.
And one very special BIG THANKS has to go to Ross McParland, of Theatre Lane, who really, really knows how to throw a party…
Oh, and check out more memories of Ronniehere, and the full gallery of the night right here.
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