LONG established as one of Ireland’s top comic performers, June Rodgers, returns to Limerick for a second successive year, with a brand new show marking her 25th year in the entertainment industry.
The household name brings The Merry Month of June to the UCH this summer, marking a return to theatre, her first love - a veteran of six successive seasons in Ireland’s premier pantomime at the Gaiety Theatre, followed by the Olympia.
“I must say out of all the jobs I have done, it is the only one I love - I really do get a kick out of it,” she says.
“You have got such a captive audience, people are coming just to sit back and relax and you are not battling with glasses and people drinking - so it is relaxed and you have got their full attention.”
She has targeted the UCH and venues like the Cork and Wexford opera houses, plus the Olympia, “because we have got such a big production - we have gone bigger again this year,” she says of the show, which keeps about 16-18 on the road at any one time.
“It is a two hour, 15 minute, full variety family show. I think, looking at the way things go now and Sunday night at the Palladium is back now - where people are hungry for variety, they want something, I think people got turned off by these reality shows - they want to be entertained,” June says of the show, which features new material together with favourite characters such as Jacinta O’Brien, Swine Air and Oliver Bond.
“It is all in the writing. I don’t use language on stage - I have come through the Tops scene, then pantos - you get these people who have been following you since then, and they are bringing their little people to see you as well, which is fantastic. I am starting to feel very old, when the 25 year olds say they say me as kids,” she laughs.
“25 years - who would have thought it? I never would! But it really has flown. Because I think you just go from show to show, you finish one and the brain starts working on the next one, and before you know it, the years start rolling by,” she adds.