Musicals return to school after a 20 year absence

Musicals return to school after a 20 year absence

14 November 2012 - by BY JOANNE FLEMING

AS its first musical production for nearly 20 years, and with a state of the art new building to celebrate the occasion, St. Patrick’s Grammar School has chosen an Andrew Lloyd Webber classic.

Finishing touches are being put to the The Phantom of the Opera ahead of its anticipated opening next week.

Although the school has put on a number of plays in recent years, it is its first musical production for some time, and will have the benefit of the school’s newly equipped drama facilities.

Rehearsals over just 10 weeks have been headed up by producer and director, Siobhan McCoy, and Mark Hughes, who in charge of all technical aspects of the show. Mrs. Celeste McEvoy, Head of Music, is the show’s musical director, assisted by Ms. Ciara Coleman.

The principal cast are all veterans of the stage. The Phantom is being played by Mark McMullan (year 14) and Raoul by Matthew Campbell (year 13). Both are members of St. Patrick’s Choral Society.

Matthew, who has just finished a successful run as Joseph in Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, released a CD last year for the Northern Ireland Hospice, which has raised over £9,000.

Mark played the lead role of Jean Valijean in the society’s production of Les Misérables last year, participated in Music Theatre 4 Youth’s West Side Story and represented Ireland at the O2 London Arena as part of the World Skills Competition in 2011.

Christine is being played by Ms. Ciara Mahon, a classroom assistant at the school, who is also an accomplished singer, actor and performer with numerous credits in the Greater Belfast area.

Other members of the talented cast include James Walsh as Firmin, Brendan Mageean as Andre, Keeva Naughton as Meg, Sorcha Donnelly as Madame Giry, Christopher Poland as Reyer, Fionntan Carson as Piangi and Daniel Edwards as the Auctioneer.

The female roles are being played by the school’s Sixth Form girls who joined the school in September to begin A Level studies from a number of local schools.

The set has been designed and built by Mr. Gerard Tumelty and Garett Cullen, of the Technology and Design Department and Mr. Charles Fitzsimons of the Art department, who is responsible for the infamous central prop — the chandelier.

Over 30 members of staff have been involved in some way and nearly 150 pupils have been involved on stage, in the orchestra and behind the scenes.

Performances start at 7.30pm on November 22, 23 and 24. Tickets are available from the school reception, Decorum, Minders’ Menswear, Spar Saul Road, Rhoda Stewart, Ballynahinch, Blue Bay Cafe, Dundrum and Smyth’s of Newcastle.