Someone in the entertainment industry once famously remarked how “one should never work with animals or children”. I wonder how this person would have felt about working with children dressed as animals?
Pictured are some of the many students who participated in ““Walking On Sunshine” in aid of Scoil Chrónáin Naofa, Dromakeenan
Jared Madden, for the second year in a row, proved that not only can you work with children but that you can allow them the freedom to express themselves in a way that they wouldn’t normally and to do it with style, talent, flair and ability.
Jared’s School of Speech and Drama in association with Scoil Chronain Naofa, Dromakeenan put on a show involving the students of that school with help from the staff and parents plus a few other volunteers on the evenings of March 8th and 9th in the Abbey Hall, Roscrea. And what a show!
The show was called “Walking on Sunshine” and involved the students from Infants to Seniors. Rehearsals have been going on for weeks after school with harried parents running relays for children to different sessions and no matter how tiring or difficult it was at the time all would surely say, given the end result, that it was worth every demanding minute.
After a welcome speech by principal Brendan Hanamy the show commenced at 7.30PM with a guest percussion group from Fourth/Sixth Class girls and boys ably assisted by Eddie O’Neill from Errill.
This was followed by a Traditional Irish Music session by Sinead Delaney, Diarmuid Egan, Diarmuid Ryan, Edel O’Meara, Maeve Murray, Jamie Carroll and Sinead Flanagan.
The final part of this first section of the show involved Niamh Talbot, Ciara Lupton, Katie Doherty, Alanna Rigney, Norah Cashin, Clodagh Lalor in an Irish Dancing Group which had them dancing in pairs in the beginning and then, in a beautifully choreographed finale, dancing together.
After that it was the turn of the Junior and Senior Infants Group to entertain the packed house with various rhymes, poems and songs finishing to huge applause with the children’s classic Nellie the Elephant.
Far Left: Kalim Cooke, Thomas McCarthy and William Cummins who took part in “Walking On Sunshine” in aid of Scoil Chrónáin Naofa, Dromakeenan
After a short break to give the backstage crew time to assemble themselves and the audience time to buy a few raffle tickets the students of Jared’s Speech and Drama Group began the second half of the show. First up was an All-Girl Ensemble dancing and singing the theme tune of the show “Walking on Sunshine” and they were quickly followed by a humorous sketch called “Chinese Lesson” which brought the house down.
Then 2nd Class gave the story of the Three Little Pigs a makeover and with the help of a ‘celeb’- style Big Bad Wolf and some guest appearances from the likes of Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White - not to mention the Gardai - those self same Little Pigs managed to live happily ever after in their three homes in Glanbia Grove. And not a Building Regulation Inspector in sight…
Given the closeness of the show dates to St Patrick’s Day it was appropriate that the next segment called “Irelands Call” allowed the children to show what being Irish meant to them.
After that we were transported to the Wild West for a sequence of songs from the 4th Class Boys and Girls, all evoking that romantic period in a section called “Legendary Cowboy”. Songs as diverse as “Don’t Fence Me In”, Ring of Fire”, “The Farmer and The Cowman” and “Red River Valley” were so well delivered I almost expected Clint Eastwood and John Wayne to appear on stage!
Then it was the turn of the 5th and 6th Class Boys and Girls to take us across the Irish Sea to our nearest neighbour with songs like “London Bridge”, “Leaning on a Lamppost”, “My Old Man” and a superbly spooky production of “Anne Boleyn” complete with a headless corpse! This section was then finished by a rousing version of “Henry VIII”.
There was then just room for a couple of final sketches, one called “But You Love Me Daddy” which had just the right balance of humour with pathos and then those stalwarts of Irish Comedy, the County Council Workers - well, a few undersized ones anyway, complete with shovels and High Visibility Jackets- gave us the last sketch called “I See The Light”.
After that it was a Grand Finale of all the children on stage for a roof-lifting rendition of the classic “Amarillo” to bring things to conclusion.
Far Left: Four little pigs, Aoife Booth, Ali Hobbs, Sarah Jane Carroll and Niamh Larkin who took part in Walking On Sunshine” held in the Abbey Hall
After a brief ‘thank you’ speech from Brendan Hanamy, it was the turn of Jared Madden himself to make a short address to thank all the students, parents and the school staff for all their indispensable help over the weeks in the run up to the show before asking all to take care on their way home, with all no doubt truly “Walking on Sunshine”.