Ireland: Niamh Kavanagh makes her musical theatre debut

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Niamh Kavanagh, who represented Ireland twice at the Eurovision Song Contest, winning the event in 1993, will make her musical theatre debut in the musical Menopause-The Musical.

Niamh Kavanagh, now age forty-seven, joins the cast of the musical Menopause – The Musical, also featuring Mary Byrne, Sue Collins and Linda Nolan. The musical centres around the subject menopause, approaching it in a comical yet accessible manner. The Irish News talked to the two-time Eurovision participant, who says she “can’t wait” to experience the menopause herself:

It can be traumatic when it comes, but not everyone gets all the symptoms, so we shouldn’t worry too much about it. Some say it’s like going through puberty backwards, only the erratic behaviour is expected of you as a teenager – not when you’re 50.

Menopause – The Musical features Niamh and the other actresses playing archetypal figures: Earth Mother, Professional Woman, Soap Star and House Wife. Niamh Kavanagh plays the role of Professional Woman:

She’s normally boss of everything, but her hormones have got the better of her. Through the journey she discovers that being in control isn’t always necessary or possible.

Niamh Kavanagh is very exited about her full musical theatre debut:

I’m either going to fall in love with it or die a death. It’s a new departure for me as I’m used to doing my own thing and performing on my own. So it’s good to have a bit of discipline and do some new things and I’ve always wanted to do a musical. It’s been so much fun and may open other theatrical doors for me here in the north.

Mary Byrne, Sue Collins, Niamh Kavanagh and Linda Nolan.
Mary Byrne, Sue Collins, Niamh Kavanagh and Linda Nolan.

Niamh Kavanagh is also rekindling her knowledge of the Irish language, Gaeilge (Gaelic), as she will judge the potential candidates to represent Ireland at its debut at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2015 in Sofia, Bulgaria. The candidates have to present an Irish-language song, and Niamh will judge, together with the 2006 Irish representative at Eurovision, Brian Kennedy, and Stiofán Ó’Fearail, frontman of the band Seo Linn. Niamh says:

It’s very exciting because you’re getting young people involved in songwriting and performing at a very early age. There are some magnificent songs – real heartfelt talent and modern music that you might not expect from Eurovision. It’s also giving a platform for Gaeilge.

Niamh Kavanagh is of course no stranger to the Eurovision-stage, partaking in the contest twice: in 1993 she won on home soil with In your eyes, being victorious with 187 points.

In 2010 she returned to the Eurovision-stage, reaching the grand final with It’s for you, and eventually placing 23rd in a field of 25 competitors, earning 25 points. Niamh Kavanagh believes that the idea behind Junior Eurovision may also be good a example for the Irish approach to Eurovision itself, and says about her Eurovision experience:

Ireland were the cheeky chappies in the early 90s on the world stage and very popular. Personally, both my experiences were amazing, singing to such a huge crowd internationally. One was victorious and the other less so, but I wouldn’t change a thing.

Would she compete again herself?:

I never say never about anything.

Menopause – The Musical will play at Derry’s Millennium Forum, October 20 and 21. For info, prices and tickets, go to millenniumforum.co.uk.

Niamh Kavanagh (Dublin, 1968), lives in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, with her husband musician Paul Megahey and two sons of 12 and 14, Jack and Tom.

Watch and enjoy Niamh Kavanagh’s 1993 winning Eurovision performance with In your eyes, and her 2010 performance of It’s for you:

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