Arts

Peter Corry's Titanic Slipway live shows mean drive-ins the new going out

Belfast's Titanic Slipways provides the setting for Belfast's first series of drive-in concerts next month. We quizzed event organiser Peter Corry about them

Peter Corry and his wife Fleur Mellor at Belfast's Titanic Slipway where The Titanic Drive In Concerts take place from July 3-5

How has the pandemic affected you as a performer and producer?

Everything has changed. As a performer, I had a busy year lined up with some exciting projects but it has pretty much disappeared. As a producer, it seems like you're trying to reinvent the wheel finding ways to put together events that adhere to social distancing. We are also thinking ahead and imagining what the possibilities and guidelines may be in three to six months time.

You were very forward thinking in putting out your After The Interval survey to audiences during lockdown. What were the general outcomes of the survey?

The findings showed that people are really missing live events, but that they need to feel safe. We’ve taken this on board and it’s helped us shape our approach for the Titanic Drive In Concerts which we hope will bring our audience that all important buzz back.

Your first Drive In concerts take place at the Titanic Slipways this July. Do you have plans to arrange similar events elsewhere in the north in the future?

Things are changing so fast and who knows what lies ahead? Right now, this event is the safest way to enjoy live entertainment under the current circumstances, and this is a fun novel way of doing it. We hope it will be one of those unique experiences you'll remember for a long time.

Will there be live musicians involved in the Car Park in the Proms event?

Yes there will be musicians on stage for the Musicals show, and for both the Abba and Queen evenings too, and although it won't be possible to have a full orchestra on stage for our Proms in the Car Park concert, we will have as many as we can fit adhering to current distancing guidelines.

How many performers and technical staff will be involved in this three-day event?

Around 40 performers, and a small army of crew and stewards. It takes a lot of people to deliver this type of event and we are really proud to be an employer at the moment, particularly in the arts for those who have limited opportunities.

What is your favourite musical song to perform and why?

That depends what mood I'm in. At the minute I am loving a song called Go The Distance. It's uplifting and puts a smile on your face. That’s the thing that music does like nothing else.

How important do you feel live music is for the mental wellbeing of people at this time?

Very; it is one of the reasons these concerts are important. Music is magic, it touches the part of us that very little else can. Think about the Italian people singing on their balconies and the musicians playing at clap for carers – music is something that unites us all and reminds us of what’s important. For now, these concerts are a great opportunity for people to let their uncut hair down, sing along and get lost in the music.

The Titanic Drive In Concerts take place from July 3-5. Shows include: The Musicals with Peter Corry; The Magic of Queen with Flash Harry; Recreating Abba with Bjorn Identity; Proms in the Car Park with Noel Thompson and Once Upon a Time with the Real Princesses NI. Tickets from Petercorryproductions.com/titanic-drive-in-concerts

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