Concert offers plenty of variety

Dancers perform at a previous Irish Society Variety Concert. Photo: Southland Express file

THERE will be a diverse range of entertainment at the Invercargill Irish Society’s Variety Concert on Sunday.

Into its fourth year, the concert will feature dancers, fiddlers, singers and humorous prose.

Secretary treasurer Mary Rae said although the target audience would be older people, everyone was welcome.

“They don’t [normally] go out during the winter time, so we hold it on a Sunday afternoon.”

It was also a way of raising funds to help cover the cost of costumes and custom-made dresses the dancers wore, and towards the cost of a tutor who commuted from Dunedin, she said.

Among the entertainers would be former Rose of Tralee and entertainer Bindy Anderson, various Irish dancers, folk entertainer Brad McClure, thespian Jonathan Tucker who would be discoursing humorous prose, the South City Community Choir, former Gold Guitar winner (in the 40s-plus category) Maureen Calvert and FokinFusion.

Bluegrass fiddler Steven Hayes would perform with his wife Marilyn, as well as the Jacques family who had emigrated to Southland from Liverpool in the United Kingdom.

Going by past concerts and with plenty of entertainment planned, the society was expecting a good turnout, Mrs Rae said.

“In the first year we had about 100 seats and ended up having to bring out more and more chairs. The last time we held it, in 2019, about 250 came along.

“We couldn’t hold the concert last year due to Covid-19.”

Into its 54th year, the society was formed in Invercargill in May 1967 to promote the customs and culture of Ireland and its heritage.

Its members hold traditional Irish music sessions, organise traditional dancing events and select the Rose of Tralee.

Recently they hosted a Blackboard concert at the Invercargill Musician’s Club, raising more than $300 for the Southland Charity Hospital, Mrs Rae said.

  • Invercargill Irish Society Variety Concert, Ascot Park Hotel, Sunday, August 8, 2pm-4pm. Tickets: Adults $10, children free, from the Ascot Park Hotel or at the door.