Although Tops has continued in the Wexford and Carlow area, the last official and televised Tops of the Town final was in 1996, when both Greenhills and Moate Variety Groups valiantly battled it out on the Gaiety stage for that much coveted Tops of the Town title.
It's been a long 17 years since that final. Is the interest still out there for a Tops revival? Is it even possible in this current economic climate?
Well, Mr Variety Ireland himself, Gerry Quinn, certainly thinks so! The seed of a revival was planted in his brain about 9 months ago, he says. He shared that thought with others and the interest levels just went from strength to strength. As for our current economic woes? Sure didn't the years from 1962 to 1996 contain many, many deep recessionary ones? A Tops revival is precisely what this country needs, he reckons. I'm inclined to agree with him. Something for communities and groups from all around the country, to actively immerse themselves in, involving many people with many talents both on and off the stage. A Tops revival is also a not-to-be-under-estimated spring board for talent in this country and will help provide continued employment in the entertainment industry.
Gerry Quinn has 30 years theatre experience under his belt and was also the producer of a show in the last John Player Tops in 1996. So who better to spearhead a Tops revival then?
Gerry has worked tremendously hard thus far in selecting and securing multiple venues around the country, in order for the first Tops of the Town amateur variety competition, in 17 years to take place in 2013. He has also managed to locate the original Tops of the Town clocks and is working on a version of the original theme music. I have goosebumps just typing this! Gerry tells me that new groups are entering every week and that he is being offered unbelievable support from many people in the industry, many with links to Tops in it's previous incarnation.This competition is still open to groups from all across Ireland so please enter your group now, while there's still time, and help make this a hugely successful first year!
The details of the venues and dates are as follows:
TOPS OF THE TOWN 2013 NATIONAL VARIETY COMPETITION.
VENUES AND DATES:
The Helix, Dublin - Friday 11th and Saturday 12th of January 2013
The University Concert Hall Limerick - Friday 15th and Saurday
16th of February 2013
The Wexford Opera House -Friday 22th and Saturday 23th of
The T.L.T Theatre Drogheda - Friday 19th and Saturday 20th of
The 4 Top Marked Shows and the top 2 runners up in each region Go Forward To The Royal Theatre Castlebar on Friday the 17th and Saturday the 18th of May 2013.
The National Final will be held over the June Bank Holiday Weekend Venue to be announced at a later date.
If we have interest in other areas of the country we will look at running further heats.
Please call Gerry on 0871928177 or email email@example.com with any queries.
With this exciting venture Gerry is endeavouring to keep the successful Tops of the Town concept alive whilst bringing it back to it's original roots - the communities of Ireland. He tells me that each group will use the same lighting and sound companies, stage crew and the same basic set in every venue, thereby making it affordable for all. There will also be a projector available for any group who wishes to use it.
Gerry deserves our support with this wonderful venture.
Please come join him on facebook by clicking here and you can keep up with all his exciting updates. Including a very exciting and imminent announcement, when the names of new sponsors for this Tops of the Town revival and the all important adjudicators will be revealed. Stay tuned!
There are those of us who wanted this Tops Revival to happen and then there's Gerry who's making it happen.
Well done Gerry, I wish you every success in bringing Tops of the Town back home. May cherished memories be created anew for a whole other generation.