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Get ready to swing on a 1940s Voyage of Love

13 July 2018

GET out your dancing shoes and get ready to swing because the quay in Derry-Londonderry will be jumping with jive and bursting with boogie woogie during Foyle Maritime Festival’s showstopping showcase ‘Voyages’ on July 20.

The clock will turn back to the 1940s when US sailors attempt to capture the hearts of some Derry girls and the audience as well as the cast will be taken on a voyage of love – will the local young ladies stay or will they go off with the navy to Americkay?

Written by Mary Pat Kelly, an expert on Derry during the Second World War, Pauline Ross from the Playhouse decided she was the perfect choice to take a light-hearted look at that era of the city’s rich maritime history in this fun-filled vignette which has been choreographed by the renowned Sarah Collyer with music provided by the Palais Swing Band.

The Playhouse’s Creative Director, Kieran Griffiths, is relishing the opportunity to stage such an invigorating, energetic show.

Kieran said: “There will be three high octane dances which will be completely contagious. We have great dancers from across Northern Ireland – including world champion line dancer Shane McKeever and award-winning hip-hop and jazz dancer Ally Walker – and there’s a really celebratory feel. The idea is to get the audience to dance along and to have as much fun as they can.

“Any choreographed dance is difficult to stage but Sarah’s work is of the highest level. We have worked together a number of times at the Grand Opera House and she is exceptional.

“We have 14 people involved, including cast, crew and choreographer, and they have never worked together before but they are having the time of their lives, they love the era, they love getting into costume.

“We are really hoping that the audience will be jumping up and down joining in. Palais Swing Band are the finest in the business and they have had a massive following for years. Among the numbers they’ll be playing will be Benny Goodman’s ‘Sing, Sing, Sing’ and The Andrews Sisters ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’.

“In a short space of time we have put together the best troupe possible and our motivation is to focus on the audience having fun and celebrating the wonderful job the council has done in organising Foyle Maritime Festival.”

Helena Hasson, Event Organiser, said: “Local artists have put together a fantastic showcase event for this year’s Foyle Maritime Festival around the theme of Voyages. This voyage of the heart will strike a chord with many people in the city – the light-hearted, high energy performance will bring a smile to the face of all who see it. It is one of many wonderful riverside performances which will entertain audiences along the Quay.”

You can join in the fun at the Festival Village on Friday, July 20 at 8 pm, 9 pm and 10 pm or for a sneak peak, check out the rehearsal video at: https://www.facebook.com/playhousederry There will be many other activities, events and productions all along the riverfront throughout the evening before the visiting boats including Clipper Race yachts, Tall Ships and private boats take part in a Parade of Light followed by a Peace Bridge pyrotechnic display and finally the evening ends with a synchronised fireworks display at 11 pm.

Foyle Maritime Festival runs from July 14 – 22 with a Seafood Kitchen and Trail, Foyle Merchant and Maritime Markets, On the Water activities, Clipper Round the World Yacht Race stopover, Science of Water marquee, Foyle Voyages heritage marquee, amusements and a host of music events. For a full programme, visit: www.foylemaritime.com