The Riverdance tour begins in snowy Richmond - Riverdance

The Riverdance tour begins in snowy Richmond

Marcus Maloney, Dancer, Boyne Company

After a nice 8 week break for Christmas, the Boyne Company descended upon Richmond, Virginia in late January to commence the 2007 tour of Riverdance in North America. It was great to catch up with all our fellow company members, on all our different holiday stories and it was nice too to see some old familiar faces return to the show again as well as some new members joining the company for the first time.

Some old and new Boyne faces enjoying dinner and drinks - Anthony, George, Claire Semple, Claire Doyle and Craig

We had the pleasure of the company of our senior management team with us in Richmond, overseeing the start of the tour. And we also welcomed back Richard O’Neill, a former Assistant Director of the show, for the week to help out with rehearsals and staging for this leg of the Boyne Company. Richmond was a busy week for the Boyne Company, with plenty of rehearsals before opening night. However, we still found some time to explore Richmond, the state capital of Virginia.

The colourful streets of Richmond near the college campus

Richmond is very much a college town, home to VCU (Virginia Commonwealth University). The campus is located downtown and caters for over 30,000 students. Our venue for the week, The Landmark Theatre, was located next door to the campus. We all made use of the college catering facilities during rehearsals and the show. It brought a few of us back to the days of college life! The theatre is a lavish replica of a Muslim Temple formerly known as the Mosque. The architecture both inside and outside of the theatre was exquisite.

The Landmark Theatre in the snow

Surprisingly, Richmond was a lot colder than any of us had expected. While rehearsing during the first half of the week, we left the theatre on a dinner break and were surprised to find snow falling all around us. Although it was lovely to see, it was just as nice to get back indoors! Opening night Thursday was met with rapturous applause and audience favourites bringing the house to its feet. To celebrate, our hotel hosted a dinner and drinks reception for us all. It was just what we needed to unwind and relax after the busy week and opening night show.

Braving the conditions - Mairead, Lisa, Mark, Maria, Craig, Alana and Claire

The weekend was taken up with matinee and evening performances, but in between I managed to visit the Cathedral and the beautiful Jefferson Hotel. The Cathedral is considered to be Virginia’s finest ecclesiastical example of the Italian Renaissance Revival style. Framed by Richmond’s Monroe Park, the Monroe Park campus of Virginia Commonwealth University, and the residential Fan District, the Cathedral serves as the Mother Church of the Diocese of Richmond and as the local parish for its Richmond congregation. The Cathedral is a Virginia Historic Landmark, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Cathedral in Richmond

Opened in 1895, The Jefferson Hotel is one of only a handful of hotels worldwide to carry both the Mobil Five Star and the AAA Five Diamond ratings. The Jefferson boasts rich tapestries, antique replica furniture, a 70-foot high ceiling with a stained-glass skylight and a magnificent sweeping staircase hauntingly similar to the one in Gone with the Wind. A national historic landmark and a member of Historic Hotels of America, The Jefferson has been completely renovated to enhance the original beauty of its distinct architecture. The lavish design both indoors and outdoors adds a certain ambience to the Richmond streets.

The famous Jefferson Hotel

After just one week on tour, we said temporary goodbyes to Carolyn Goodwin (Saxophone), Scott Lamb (Physio) and Allison Hill (Female Lead Singer), but we look forward to welcoming them back later in the tour. If only we had more time to explore more of Richmond but time wasn’t on our side this time around; we didn’t even make it out to explore the nightlife!! But with week one of the tour behind us now, we have a month in Florida to look forward to, and here’s hoping it’ll be a little warmer also! Until next time from sunny Florida……!

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