St Mary’s upheld its long tradition of producing fantastic school musicals with its performances last week of the much loved ‘Grease’. This was an amazing production. A magnificent set and elaborate costumes, make-up and hair brought the audiences back to 1950’s America. The quality of the singing and acting was extraordinary. Each solo performance was of the highest quality. It was The West End in Edenderry. Every single performer to the front and to the rear of the stage was on-task throughout the show. The choreography was flawless supported by expert lighting and sound.
Sixth Year students Eoin Farrell and Megan Hogan were excellent performing the lead roles of Danny and Sandy. Jenny Mangan and John Cooney were magnificent as Rizzo and Kenickie. So too were Muireann Lawton, Laura Guing and Laura Moore as the Pink Ladies as well as Ben Cully, Ian Cully and Jake Kenny as the T Birds. Other leading roles were superbly played by Aoife Jenkins, Hannah Quinlan, Amy Boyhan, Jack O’Reilly, David Kelly and Andrew Moloney. The show was also supported by the excellent harmony of stage singers Roisin Choudhury, Siabh Kelly, Majella Coyne, Alice Mann, Nicole Farrelly and Ellen McVeigh. Four brave teachers also took to the stage. Lorna Donlon was flawless as the Head teacher Miss McGee. Chris Hanley was energetic as ‘the coach’. Chris O’Connor was superb as ‘Vince Fontaine’ and David McEvoy sang magnificently as ‘Teen Angel’. They were all terrific.
More than 40 other students joined those mentioned to create very memorable singing and dancing routines. Aisling Romano spent many weeks training the students’ movement and dance. The result was stunning and flawless choreography. The very popular band Midnite Blue provided the live music supported by John Lawton and music teacher Collette Brady. The entire show was a great credit to the students, their families and the school as a whole. The overall planning as well as the impetus and expert direction were provided by Deputy Principal, Margaret O’Kelly and the hugely talented and experienced Tom Lawton, Collette Brady and John Lawton.
The whole experience for the audience was greatly helped by a stunning stage and set. Teachers Fiona Farrell, Liam McGrath and Enda Mitchell designed and constructed an elaborate stage with the help of a number of art students. More students assisted Mary Droogan, Rosemary Quilty and Mary McDonnell with costumes. Finally, another large team worked on hair and make-up lead by Grainne McDonnell, Lorraine Farrell and Joan O’Sullivan.
These memorable performances on stage relied heavily on a huge crew working behind the scenes. A large back stage crew of senior students were managed by Sarah Moloney, Gordon McDonnell and Enda Mitchell while front of house business was overseen by Brenda Lawton and Allison Lawton. Just about every teacher in the school played a vital role in some way. The school’s Prefects seemed to be everywhere assisting in lots of ways. Prefect Chairperson Avril Holton joined school Principal Rob Halford as co-hosts. It was truly a whole-school initiative.
St Mary’s Parents’ Association gave lots of practical and vital support throughout the week. A large number of parents were on hand each morning and each evening looking after the shop, selling programmes and organizing superb raffles. Everyone was busy in order to ensure the entertainment flowed. The result was a series of stunning shows, ones that will live long in the memory. Few schools if any in the country can boast such a superb achievement with every aspect of the show performed by its own students, teachers and parents. Mr Halford said ‘The standard of this production was incredible. We are delighted to say that like all of the best schools in the country St Mary’s are combining superb academic results with the highest standards in extra-curricular activities’.