Monday 20 November 2017

Setting the stage for musical youth as TY students hit the high notes

The spotlight falls on transition year pupils as they tread the boards across the country, writes Joyce Fegan

Joyce Fegan

Joyce Fegan

IF George Bernard Shaw had met the transition year students of 2013 he would probably revise his famous assertion that youth was wasted on the young, after fourth-year students lit up stages with their transition year musicals.

Oliver! was performed to rapturous applause – and as gaeilge – by the students of Colaiste Eoin and Colaiste Iosagain in Stillorgan, Co Dublin; while it was Anything Goes for the pupils of CBC Monkstown and Loreto Foxrock.

Over 160 students from the two Irish language schools Eoin and Iosagain mesmerised over 2,000 people with their rendition of the musical classic Oliver! and the musical's director Ailin Ni Bhodhnaill emphasised the importance of taking part in major projects such as the school productions, which helped teenagers develop.

"I've seen students who have been either struggling academically, or having a hard time in general – and they are transformed during transition year," she said.

The Colaiste Eoin and Colaiste Iosagain production came about when a parent and former teacher in the school translated Lionel Bart's words and musical lyrics into Irish.

But the students were responsible for every other element of the show, from set to costume design, the orchestra and organising publicity.

Jade Garcia Weber played the cunning Artful Dodger and brought the stage alive with her lively and engaging performance.

Enda O'Lorcain, who performed the role of Fagin, held the audience in the palm of his hand throughout all three shows; while Donal O Liongsiagh gave a "heart-wrenching" performance as Oliver and Holly Ni Riain blossomed in the role of Nancy.

Loreto Foxrock and CBC Monkstown's collaboration wooed audiences over the course of five nights.

Their performance of the 1934 hit Anything Goes was led by Edward O'Mahony, who played Billy Crocker, and Aoife McLoughlin as Reno Sweeney.

McLoughlin's performance was so strong that members of the audience said she wouldn't be out of place on a West End stage.

Irish Independent

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