The Summer Revels – A Beloved Cork Classic ReturnsBlank mobile The Summer Revels – A Beloved Cork Classic ReturnsBlank
The Summer Revels – A Beloved Cork Classic Returns

The Summer Revels – A Beloved Cork Classic Returns

The Summer Revels – A Beloved Cork Classic Returns

As Cork Opera House prepares for its brand new summer spectacular show, we take a look back at the beloved show enjoyed by generations of Corkonians, and what audiences today can expect from an all-new, all-singing, all-dancing Summer Revels!

What was the Summer Revels?

In the late 1960s it was felt that a revue-type variety show would make a valuable contribution to Cork Opera House’s summer season programme.

Michael Twomey, one half of the iconic Cork comedy duo Cha and Miah, was approached to write and direct this project. The first Summer Revels was staged in 1971 with an amateur company, with hopes that it might run for a week or two.

In the end it ran for seven weeks – and then every summer for 21 years thereafter.

Over those 21 years’ audiences came time and again to see a host of beloved characters and performers live at Cork Opera House: Billa O’Connell, Paddy Comerford, Cha (Frank Duggan), Miah (Michael Twomey), Marie Twomey, Dave McInerney, Hugh Moynihan, Deirdre White, Pat Sullivan and Noel Barrett; the list goes on.

Key figures behind the scenes ensured the Summer Revels ran flawlessly year after year: stage manager Dick Healy and his wife, wardrobe mistress Sheila, set designer Pat Murray, musical arranger Ronnie O’Shaughnessy, Director of The Montfort Singers Eileen Nolan and many, many other tireless workers made sure the show went on night after night.

Now in 2024 after a 29 year absence, the Summer Revels! is about to make its comeback as an all-singing, all-dancing summer musical spectacular…

To give audiences a sense of what to expect from the Summer Revels!, we spoke to some of those involved in the production, past and present, to get an idea of what the Summer Revels was, and what audiences in 2024 can expect from this brand new show!

What can I expect at the Summer Revels!?


This show within a show will follow the hilarious and haphazard cast of the “SUMMER REVELS” as they perform their show against all the odds!

The star Diva, the accident prone Clown, the Magician with the big idea, the vocal audience members, the talent, the egos, and the hilarity and magic that goes into putting on a show is all difficult enough to manage without an over-enthusiastic Health and Safety Officer trying to shut the whole thing down! Only one thing’s for certain – THE SHOW MUST GO ON!

With a nod to the legendary Summer Revels that lit up Cork Opera House during the 70’s and 80’s, this new show is a Revels for 2024! It’s The Muppet Show meets The Play that Goes Wrong, its Saturday Night Live meets Kiss Me, Kate. It’s PANTO meets SUMMER MUSICALS!

Don’t miss this moment to be part of Cork Opera House’s new Summer Offering. Get your tickets now!


The 100% Cork company is led by one of Cork’s brightest lights on London’s West End – Claire O’Leary, fresh from her recent run at The London Palladium in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new Wizard of Oz and following her West End debut in Les Misérables. Claire is joined by Cork theatre icons Declan Wolfe (RTE’s The DenThe Improv Panto), Michael Sands (The Sound of MusicAnnieThe Young Offenders) and Trevor Ryan (The Sound of Music).

The 17-strong professional ensemble also includes several Cork musical theatre performers who have been entertaining audiences nationally and internationally for years. Marie O’Donovan (Cork Adult Panto, Hysterical Histories), Thérèse O’Sullivan (Elf: The Musical), Alex Glennon (DisenchantedWest Side Story) and Fiona Kennedy (Sleeping Beauty) are all joined by Bandon’s Alison Arnopp of The Royal Shakespeare Company, who makes a welcome return to the Cork Opera House stage following her acclaimed appearance in The Cork Proms 2023: Broadway. Emerging Cork artist Precious Abimbola makes her professional debut surrounded by this stellar company.

This multi-disciplinary, eclectic cast also features characters from the worlds of circus – with Cormac Mohally (Lords of Strut, Body Brothers), magic – with local psychological magician Daniel Cremin, and music – with musical director Cathal Synnott (Riverdance, Gate Theatre’s Sweeney ToddOnce) leading a versatile band of Dylan Howe (Rowan), Patrick Lynch, Anastacia Beary and Aisling Dunne in the jukebox musical score of pop hits and musical theatre favourites.


John O’Brien Creative Director
Killian Collins Creative Director
Cathal Synnott Musical Director
Ciarán Connolly Choreographer
Maree Kearns Set Designer
Muireann Doyle Costume Designer
Maeve Readman Hair & Make Up Designer
Edan Ray Sound Designer
Mick Hurley Lighting Designer
Katie Holly Writing Team
John McCarthy Writing Team
Sally O’Leary Writing Team
Kevin Twomey Writing Team