The first Irish superstar, whose offstage antics created a legend around him, Josef Locke was a legendary showman who lived life one way, to the full. But all was forgiven because of the voice.
A new piece of music theatre exploring that legend- his life, music and legacy - ‘Josef Locke: A Grand Adventure’, come to The Millennium Forum next weekend.
Audiences can expect a musical treat, they can enjoy singing along to well known familiar Locke favourites- including ‘Hear My Song’, Danny Boy’, Kathleen’, and Galway Bay. All performed by graduate of the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and is a former All Ireland Feis Ceol Winner for Best Baritone Voice, Karl McGuickan. Karl has sung with Opera Ireland, Lyric Opera, Welsh National Youth Opera and Ulster Operatic Company.
Commissioned by The Playhouse in 2014 in the legacy of UK City of Culture, this stunning play by journalist and playwright Felicity McCall has been brought back due to popular demand for an extensive tour.
Known as The Singing Bobby, Josef’s voice was celebrated worldwide, establishing him as a star of Britain and Ireland’s variety halls, and making him one of the highest paid and most popular singers of the 1940’s and 50’s.
The Locke was flamboyant and mischievous, a much loved world famous tenor with a sense of humour. His wayward behaviour and vast earnings created a celebrity story like no other in its time.
“Even after 1958, when he fled back to Ireland with the Inland Revenue hot on his heels, his booming velvet voice, which could deliver traditional Irish pieces and operatic arias like no other, kept his fans enthralled” director Kieran Griffiths said.
“Everything was forgiven, because of that voice. We found this a fascinating way to look at this locally born world famous tenor.
“This beautiful piece by Felicity McCall is a warm and very affectionate exploration of Locke’s antics- everything from his life, his music, to his tax affairs!”
Josef Locke: A Grand Adventure’ will be presented by The Playhouse at The Millennium Forum on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 October at 8pm.. Contact The Millennium Forum on (0)28 7126 4455 or www.millenniumforum.co.uk