The Dubliners began life in 1962 in the back room of Paddy O’Donoghue’s pub in Dublin and were then called the slightly less catchy Ronnie Drew Ballad Group, the soonish name change possibly inspired by James Joyce’s book.

Mainstays Ronnie Drew, Ciarán Bourke, Luke Kelly, Barney McKenna and John Sheahan were augmented by a roster of Irish musicians over the years, notably, later, Seán Cannon and Eamonn Campbell.

In a 50-year career they became Ireland’s most successful, popular, cherished – and not uncontroversial at times – Irish music group, travelling the world and selling more than 30 million records before the passing years caught up with them and the band finally ceased to exist in 2012.

Seven Drunken Nights, the band’s best-selling single, brings to life the music of these pioneering favourite sons of Ireland – whose legacy lives on despite the originals being no longer with us.

Bournemouth Echo: Seven Drunken NightsSeven Drunken Nights (Image: PR)

It’s a jukebox musical with a difference, a West End production with bells and whistles added to the fiddles, banjos and melodeons. And the audience is positively encouraged to sing, tap or hum along to wonderfully well-known songs.

What this show does is bring to life the story of the hugely influential Dubliners using flashbacks to previous dates, times and occasions on a big screen behind the veteran band performing the songs live.

Thus there were scenes from O’Donoghue’s, shots of the band in action, Dublin life in the 1960s and a whole lot more besides – almost made me nostalgic for the city in the sixties, and I wasn’t ever there.

The simple set featured a recreation of O’Donoghue’s – complete with pints of Guinness that never went down – far left, with a recording studio far right. The action moved between them with the central space reserved for the big show numbers.

And if you think of any traditional Irish song it was probably in this production – The Wild Rover, The Black Velvet Band, Dirty Old Town, Molly Malone, Finnegan’s Walk, McAlpine’s Fusiliers, Raglan Road, The Town I Know So Well, Seven Drunken Nights and even Whiskey In The Jar.

A cast of six is involved, five of who are musicians and singers. Mainstay is very much actor, musician producer Ged Graham, who not only wrote and directed it but also mostly narrates the story. He completely looks the part with a big bushy beard and cap, but also has the most amazing deep voice – not bad for a man a day short of his 76th birthday.

Talking of voices, the richness of magnificently maned Danny Muldoon’s creamy vocals simply wrapped themselves around any listening ears. Third of the main players was guitarist and singer Adam Evans, grandson of Ged.

The show’s first half, chronicles the Dubliners’ early years and rise to prominence, culminating in a Top Of The Pops performance of Seven Drunken Nights, which had been banned by Irish broadcaster RTE because of its raunchiness.

After the interval it inevitably became a bit more morose as the heyday of the band was ending – the loss of Ciaran Bourke to illness after 1974 an the tragically early death of Luke Kelly at 43 in 1984 notable among them. But there were also the Phil Coulter years as the producer encouraged the band in a more modern direction.

But it couldn’t end on a downer – and we finished where we started, a recreation of the 25th anniversary tribute performance on The Late Late show 1987, with the audience up, cheering and enjoying the craic.

As feelgood Irish shows go, it probably can’t be beaten.