It’s a critically acclaimed avant-garde theatre production group. And now, following a flurry of tweets, it has been confirmed that ThisIsPopBaby will be responsible for staging Ireland’s Eurovision 2020 entry.
Meanwhile, station heads promise that details of the artist and song will come soon.
ThisIsPopBaby at Eurovision 2020
The news broke late on Wednesday 29 January when the group’s director Philly McMahon tweeted:
Friends: I have answered Ireland’s call. Happy to share that I will be Creative Director on Ireland’s #Eurovision2020 entry, choreographed by @CompanyPhilipCo and brought to life by the @thisispopbaby family. Can’t wait to share Ireland’s kick ass act! @RTE are *ON IT*!
Friends: I have answered Ireland's call. Happy to share that I will be Creative Director on Ireland's #Eurovision2020 entry, choreographed by @CompanyPhilipCo and brought to life by the @thisispopbaby family. Can't wait to share Ireland's kick ass act! @RTE are *ON IT*!
— Philly McMahon (@McMahonPhilly) January 29, 2020
This was immediately followed by a tweet from the official ThisIsPopBaby account:
@RTE called. They played us the song and we said yes on the spot. THISISPOPBABY will create the show for Ireland’s #Eurovision2020 act. Stay tuned for more details, but we’re all about to have an Italia ’90 moment together. X
For those who may not get the reference, “Italia ’90” refers to Ireland’s historic run of success at the FIFA World Cup in 1990.
.@RTE called. They played us the song and we said yes on the spot. THISISPOPBABY will create the show for Ireland's #Eurovision2020 act. Stay tuned for more details, but we're all about to have an Italia '90 moment together. X https://t.co/F1wC9y8vs4
— thisispopbaby (@thisispopbaby) January 29, 2020
The news has since been confirmed by RTÉ sources, including the Head of Content and Music at RTÉ 2FM — Alan Swan. The radio exec adds that news on the artist and song will follow very soon.
— Alan Swan (@alanswan) January 29, 2020
Who are ThisIsPopBaby?
Self-professed “theatre makers, club creatives, good time gurls”, ThisIsPopBaby are behind some of Dublin’s most outlandish stage productions of recent times.
Their shows include Alice In Funderland — “a colourful tale of camp magic, mischief and machinations in an acid-trip Dublin” and the award-winning Riot. The latter starred Ireland’s most famous drag queen Panti Bliss and Britain’s Got Talent 2017 semi-finalists Lords Of Strut.
Ireland at Eurovision 2020
Upon opening the window for song submissions last autumn, RTÉ said that it “wants to put in place a three-year strategy aimed at identifying and encouraging contemporary Irish artists and songwriters with the talent and ambition to compete and succeed in this highly competitive environment. This is a rare and valuable opportunity for artists and songwriters to gain exposure on a global scale. Although we wish to encourage and identify promising new talent for the future, we do require artists to have prior experience of performing in public in front of large crowds. Confidence and attitude are definite advantages.”
The process is being organised in conjunction with RTÉ 2FM and the 2FM Rising programme.
To date, three known names have come out and expressed an interest in representing Ireland in Rotterdam.
The first is Alessia Macari, an Irish born star of Italian reality TV. She’s appeared on Your Face Sounds Familiar and won Celebrity Big Brother. Outside of television, Macari has released a handful of singles independently. Speaking to The Sunday World, she said: “A lot of people are linking me to [Eurovision] and it’s something I’d love to do”. We don’t know if she made good on her words and submitted an entry.
One person who’s definitely sent in some songs is Aly Ryan. The German singer tried to sing for her own country in 2019, but “Wear My Love” only came fourth in the national final. Dissatisfied with the experience, she vowed not to go for Germany again. However, Ryan is keen to perform for the Emerald Isle… and Switzerland, San Marino, Austria and Estonia.
Finally, Anglo-Irish trio The Rua are also allegedly in the mix. Apparently, they submitted an entry to RTÉ and left TV bosses impressed. And it’s not just their musical prowess that’s generating buzz. Their lineage seems to be leaving the delegation starry-eyed. While they grew up in the English town of Windsor, their aunt is Dana Rosemary Scallon — Ireland’s first-ever Eurovision winner. She won in 1970 with “All Kinds Of Everything”.
Are you excited to see what ThisIsPopBaby will bring to the stage? Can they help Ireland get back to the final? Let us know in the comments.