The Miami Showband Story to grace Gaiety stage this September

by Padraig Conlon

The amazing story of The Miami Showband, one of the Ireland’s greatest showbands in the 1960’s and 70’s, is set to hit theatres across Ireland.

The Miami Showband Story, written by Marie Jones (Stones in His Pockets) and Martin Lynch (Dancing Shoes – The George Best Story) could be the must-see musical of the year.

Taking audiences on an amazing roller-coaster ride from the glory days of the band in the 1960’s right through to the tragedy of 1975, the show will feature a full-live band of young actors and musicians.

Told through the eyes of best friends and song writing duo, Fran O’Toole and Des Lee, we witness their rise from Dublin and Belfast beat groups to the kind of fame and fortune any young musician could only dream of.

But less than ten years later, the dream comes to a tragic end.

When Fran is murdered at a bogus British Army road-check outside Newry (along with Brian McCoy and Tony Geraghty), Des’ life is thrown into meltdown.

Beset with survivor’s guilt, Des turns to alcohol and eventually leaves the country for South Africa.

However, this doesn’t stop Fran’s ‘presence’ continuing to haunt Des and it isn’t until 25 years later when a phone call from Ireland proposes a Miami reunion that the chance of redemption is offered to Des.

Speaking at the recent launch of the musical, Des Lee said audiences can expect a very special, unique show and an amazing night out.

“I’ve read the script and it’s going to be a great show, but I’ve no doubt it will be a truly emotional night for me,” he said.

“We didn’t want the play to be leaning heavily on the massacre.

“Instead, we wanted it to explore what the Miami Showband was all about, how successful they were and what they meant to their fans.

“They were heroes of the time. This is a show that will bring smiles, laughter, tears and joy.

“It’s got everything, I can envisage people hearing ‘Clap Your Hands, Stamp Your Feet’ and dancing in the isles.”

Playwright, Marie Jones said: “As a young slip of a girl in Belfast, I danced to Dickie Rock and the Miami so it has been a real labour of love to work on this show.

“I know the people of Ireland are going to love it.”

The actor Chris Mohan who will be playing the iconic Dickie Rock said: “While it’s a great honour to play someone as legendary as Dickie Rock, it is also very intimidating but a challenge I look forward to very much!”

The Miami Showband Story, which opens next month in Belfast, places the dizzy heights of pop stardom alongside human tragedy in this unique story of Ireland in the 1960’s and 70’s.

Dubliners will get a chance to see it when it hits the Gaiety Theatre from 16 – 21 September.

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