Meet The Team

The Creatives

Bill Whelan

Composer

As a composer, Bill Whelan has written extensively for theatre, dance, film and the concert stage. His film work includes “Dancing at Lughnasa” starring Meryl Streep, “Some Mother’s Son” featuring Helen Mirren and “Lamb” with Liam Neeson. Music for television includes The Seven Ages, Sean Ó Mordha’s history of the Irish State. He was appointed composer to the W.B. Yeats International Theatre Festival at Dublin’s Abbey Theatre in 1989, writing original music for 15 Yeats plays. His adaptation of HMS Pinafore received a Laurence Olivier Award nomination.
The Seville Suite was commissioned for Ireland’s National Day at Expo ’92 and was performed at the Maestranza in Seville. It has since received performances around the world including La Coruna, Shanghai, Caracas and New York. The Spirit Of Mayo followed in 1993 and was performed by an 85-piece orchestra and chorus in Dublin’s National Concert Hall. He was honoured with the 1997 Grammy Award for ‘Best Musical Show Album’ for the lyrics and music of Riverdance. The album is a certified Platinum record in the US, Ireland and Australia. The Connemara Suite, a trilogy of pieces written for chamber orchestra, premiered in Carnegie Hall in March 2005.
Bill Whelan’s Symphonic Suite from Riverdance has received its first performance in 2013. Linen & Lace, a flute concerto for Sir James Galway, was commissioned by Lyric FM to mark the Limerick City of Culture in 2014. A new musical, The Train, with lyrics by Arthur Riordan and music by Bill Whelan was performed in Limerick and Dublin in October 2015.
Bill’s production and arranging credits include U2, Van Morrison, Kate Bush, Richard Harris, Planxty, The Dubliners and many traditional world musicians and performers.

John McColgan

Director

John McColgan’s career as a multi-award-winning producer and director began in the mid-seventies at RTÉ Television where he went on to become Head of Entertainment. While in RTÉ he produced and directed a wide range of programming from light entertainment to drama to documentary. He was awarded a Jacob’s Television Award in 1980 for ‘the consistently high quality of his entertainment programming’. He was also Head of Weekend Entertainment at TVAM – ITV’s breakfast television service.

He played a key role in the evolution of Riverdance from the original seven minute dance number and went on to direct the full stage-show spectacular.

John has been closely involved with the Abbey Theatre – he was on the Board of the theatre for five years, served as Chairman of the Abbey Centenary Committee and directed a critically-acclaimed production of Dion Boucicault’s 19th century melodrama The Shaughraun. In May 2011 he produced a major theatrical event marking the historic State visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Ireland. John is the director of the new music and dance stage spectacular Heartbeat of Home which had its world premiere in Dublin in October 2013 and has toured extensively to universal acclaim in North America and China.

John has received many awards during his career, including an Honorary Doctorate of Law from the National University of Ireland, in recognition of his services to the arts and entertainment industry.

He is also an accomplished photographer and is Ambassador for Trócaire, one of Ireland’s largest development agencies . The documentary This Is Palestine follows John on his journey through Gaza and the West Bank. His recent book of photographs Looking at the Same Moon, in aid of Trocaire documents the lives of people in Palestine and Guatemala.

Creative Team

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