The City Of Cork has a small collection of theatres and production houses, however, to compensate for this shortfall, Cork offers a rich and diverse plethora of stage performances, pantomimes, musicals and comedy that would rival any other major Irish city, such as Dublin and Belfast.
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The Everyman Palace Theatre in Cork is housed in a stunning listed Victorian styled building with a lavish interior adding charm and character. Featuring a large proscenium arch, four ornately decorated boxes, two large bars, sweet and coffee shop, The Everyman Palace caters for everyones needs when attending the host of productions staged at this magnificent venue in Cork City.
Its eclectic programme includes a series of plays, operas, musicals, comedy and music concerts performed by indigenous production companies and international performers alike. Every winter during Yuletide, The Everyman Palace sells out its five-week pantomime programme, which has showcased great classics such as Cinderella, Babes in the Wood amongst others over its long-standing history. The theatre also specialises in homegrown productions by some of Irelands leading playwrights, past and present, some of which tour throughout Ireland and each receiving excellent reviews from critics. Cork Citys largest theatre venue is The Cork Opera House, which began life as the Athenaeum. Designed by architect Sir John Benson, the theatre was built to promote and science, literature and fine arts and its original purpose was to stage annual meetings, lectures, however, its repertoire was extended to include theatre productions and concerts, having the capacity and facilities to do so.
Built in 1855, this remarkable theatre venue has undergone extensive refurbishment in the mid 1990s, bringing the Cork Opera House in line with the 21st Century. Being the only purpose built Opera House in Ireland, it has played an integral part of the citys culture and entertainment scene for 150 years, today standing majestically in the wake of a vibrant past. Theatregoers can expect an eclectic mix of productions including leading operas such as Puccinis La Boheme, comedy from both national and international comedians, from Kevin Bloody Wilson to Jason Byrne and like its counterpart, it plays host to Corks pantomime season, showcasing Babes in the Wood in Winter 2005.
The Firkin Crane in Cork is one of the nations leading production houses of classic dance and choreography. Housed in Corks former butter market, the building is a prominent feature in the historic Shandon area of Cork City dating back to the 1840s. In the 1980s follwing the closure of the market, this rotunda was transformed into the permanent home for Irish National Ballet and latterly becoming a major centre of performance, research and education, providing classical dancers with a unique platform to examine and present their creativity.
Corks vibrant theatre scene presents a fusion of both indigenous talent and international touring production companies who have appeared in Londons West End and Broadway. A visit to one of the citys many productions or concerts will captivate you in all senses.