IF THERE is one name that has been synonymous with theatre in Limerick, it’s that of John Finn.
John was a theatrical aficionado, immersing himself wholly on-stage, backstage, writing scripts, the list goes on.
As his daughter, Caitriona Finn, told the Limerick Post, “he was involved in whatever way he was needed in every Limerick theatre group. He loved theatre – that was his passion”.
To mark the fifth anniversary of his passing, the Belltable stage, often graced by John, will be the setting for a special evening at the theatre to remember, to entertain and to fundraise on Friday, September 9.
Many of the Limerick groups and individual artists that John tread the boards with will be commemorating the Limerick theatrical giant in ‘On With The Show’.
John’s family has long been deeply involved in Limerick Theatre, including his younger brother – the celebrated performer and writer Mike Finn – and daughter Caitriona, who is currently in the box-office at the Belltable.
“He was a founding member of the Limerick Panto and he played with every amateur group. He was involved in the Tops of the Town competition,” said Catriona.
“It’s fantastic to see how many people who knew him are getting involved with the show or coming to see it.”
Among his notable roles with various legendary Limerick groups, John played Fagin in ‘Oliver Twist’, Scrooge, and Chief Bromden in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’.
Also on the bill, a range of singers including Jessica Bray, Nigel Dugdale, Sheenagh Murphy, Emma O’Driscoll, Eve Stafford, and Mícheál Ó Dubhghaill will bring a range of different styles and songs to the stage for Friday’s performance.
James Corr, Noreen Cusack, Tim Cusack, Virgo Moon, Myles Breen, and Mike Finn will be joined by the College Players and the Torch Players, both groups that John was a cast member with, along with the Limerick Panto Society, who John was synonymous with for over 30 years.
The miscellany of acts will not only serve to remember John, but help to raise important donations for the Oesophageal Cancer Fund (OCF).
The OCF is the national charity for oesophageal cancer in Ireland, all funds raised from the commemorative event will go to support the vital work that they do. They offer one-to-one support to patients, and help fund national programmes, research, and innovative treatment initiatives.
“They are a small, independent charity, wholly dependent on contributions to continue,” said Caitriona.