Showgirl Lola Montez returns to the stage in her native Limerick

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

THE theatrical Lola Montez Experience - based on the adventures of the risque 19th century chanteuse Eliza Rosanna Gilbert, who hailed from Limerick - returns to the stage with a flourish this December.

THE theatrical Lola Montez Experience - based on the adventures of the risque 19th century chanteuse Eliza Rosanna Gilbert, who hailed from Limerick - returns to the stage with a flourish this December.

Bringing together a superb cast of singers, actors, dancers and musicians, the show traces the extraordinary life of Montez, the dancer, chancer and courtesan whose fame in the nineteenth century was reputedly only rivalled by Queen Victoria.

First premiered in Dolan’s Warehouse in 2009, the show - the brainchild of Limerick based musicians Brian O’Grady and Boris Hunka - has since enjoyed sell-out shows at Dolan’s, the Sugar Club and the Pop-up Playhouse.

A devilish mix of music and dance, burlesque and theatrics, the music in the show mixes jazz, soul, cabaret, rock and punk and is an immersive experience. The show will be performed over three nights in St John’s Church, where the audience will be seated at tables and home-made pizza and anti-pasta will be available.

Montez travelled the world, capturing men under her spell, constantly reinventing herself, as courtesan, dancer, lecturer - provoking controversy wherever she went. She made her debut as Lola Montez, the Spanish dancer, in London in 1843. On her travels she ensnared composer Franz Liszt, Alexandre Dumas and King Ludwig I of Munich. She later travelled to America and Australia, eventually settling in America, where she held lectures on ‘gallantry’ and ‘strong minded women’.

“She was one of the most notorious women of the 19th century and depending on your viewpoint she was either notorious or famous, an adventuress or a harlot,” says Brian.

The show will run from December 8-10 in St John’s Church. See LolaMontez.