January 20, 2014
Composer Bill Whelan’s fulfilled his Riverdance dream. The 20th Anniversary show sold out 17,000 seats over four days at Limerick City of Culture. Whelan said he has been humbled by the response to the Riverdance ‘homecoming’ in his native Limerick this weekend. The show opened on Thursday night with the first of seven sell out performances that concludes tomorrow night, Sunday, at the 2,400 seat UL Sports Arena. It was initially intended as a six show run to launch the 20th Anniversary World Tour this year, which moves onto Belfast this coming week, but such was the demand for tickets at the specially adapted Limerick venue that a seventh show was added two weeks ago and this also quickly sold-out.
Whelan, who is a member of the board of Limerick National City of Culture 2014, was presented with a Family History by producer of Riverdance Moya Doherty, University of Limerick President Don Barry and its Foundation Chairperson and former Chair of the Worldwide Ireland Funds Loretta Glucksman at the commencement of last night’s (Friday) show to mark his contribution to the arts in Limerick.
The composer, who was moved by the gesture, declared his pride for Limerick and beyond said he has been stunned by the warmth of his home town towards him and the show.
“I am humbled to be here this evening for the Riverdance show because I’m really so proud that we have been able to sell out seven shows in my home tome.
“It has taken a long time to get Riverdance to Limerick, and so much has happened in those 20 years. But clearly the years have not diluted the thirst for Riverdance.
“Come Sunday night 17,000 people will have seen the show over four days in Limerick. I certainly could never have dreamed 20 years ago when we set out on this magical journey that this would happen. Having this type of interest in the show in my home town is a fantastic moment for me personally, and it’s something I’ll never forget Limerick for.
“Thankfully we are only at the start of what will be a fantastic year of cultural celebration and expression in Limerick. There are so many shows, performances and exhibitions for the Irish and international audiences to enjoy in Limerick this year.
“If what has been happening at a performance level in Limerick over the past two weeks or more is anything to go by, this is going to be a year to be remembered like no other in this great, great city.”
— J Erskine Riverdance (@JulianErskineRD) January 18, 2014
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