Mayo Dancer gets his Christmas wish to appear in World Premiere with Riverdance stars

Posted in Connect on December 14, 2015.

It looks like dreams can really come true this Christmas in Mayo. Twelve year old Stephen Gallagher who lives at the foothills of the majestic Ox Mountains in the parish of Attymass in North Mayo is quickly scaling the heights in his lead role in a brand new musical called ‘Asa, A Christmas Story’. The three times world Irish dancing champion plays the role of Asa in the Musical which co-stars former Riverdance stars, Breandán de Gallaí and Siobhan Manson.

When asked about how he felt about staring in the brand new musical Stephen replied “Rehearsing for the show has been a wonderful and very exiting experience for me, to work with such a very talented cast and directors is a real privilege. It is such an honour to be working with such a world famous dancer and choreographer such as Breandán de Gallaí. This is certainly the best Christmas present I could have hoped for.”

The show which is set in 1916, has already been featured on a number of premier TV shows which include the Christmas edition of the Ray Darcy show on RTE 1. It will pre-launch Ireland’s 2016 centenary celebrations with a world premiere in Mullingar on Wednesday 16 December before going on a short tour of Ireland before Christmas.

The award -winning Irish dancer, Singer and budding actor is a member of the Crossmolina based Moffatt School of Irish Dancing and an integral member of the Atlantic Rhythm Production company who recently staged a number of sell out shows in the summer as part of the 6 day Mayo Manchester Tradfest.

Tony Hennigan from Mayo Manchester added “It is great to see Stephen doing so well, we loved working with him and the rest of the performers from the Moffatt School of Irish Dancing and performers from the Atlantic Rhythm Production company at the Mayo Manchester Tradfest. We cannot wait to join forces with them again in 2016 for our summer tradfest. He reminds me a lot of the new Lord of the Dance – James Keegan at the same age. James is currently playing to sell out crowds on Broadway in New York and I’m sure it will not be too long before we see Stephen’s name on Broadway.”
Stephen won the role after a world-wide search by the company involving hundreds of online auditions. He is described as “the next Billy Elliot meets Michael Flately”.

Breandán de Gallaí who replaced Michael Flately in Riverdance and is now the artistic director of his own Dance company Ériu plays Stephen’s Father in the musical and has been working very closely with him to choreograph his moves.
The new musical has been compossed by the golden globe nominee Brian Byrne and written by Kasey Jones and is produced by Globe productions. It began life as a Story for Brian and Kasey’s son ‘Asa’ and it has now slowly blossomed into a full scale musical dance show with sweeping music, beautiful animation and top-notch choreography. Brian and Kasey are currently working on a series of books that inspired the theatrical play.

The musical has a star studded cast with Irish actor, director, television presenter and co -host of Saturday AM on TV3, Simon Delaney who narrates the show. The lead vocalist is one the most highly regarded vocalists in the UK, Jacqui Dankworth (daughter of music royalty, composer Sir John Dankworth and singer Dame Cleo Laine). Other award winning dancers featured in the show include Olivia Byrne and Anna Kearney plus the voices of The world renowned American Boy Choir from Princeton, New Jersey, which Brian Byrne recently worked with in the film ‘Boy Choir’ ( starring Dustin Hoffman and Kathy Bates).

For tour dates and more information about the show visit

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