Holy Family schoolkids in Portlaoise bring Annie Jnr to the Dunamaise stage

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

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lynda.kiernan@leinsterexpress.ie

Holy Family schoolkids in Portlaoise bring Annie Jnr to the Dunamaise stage

Holy Family Senior School in Portlaoise to perform children's musical Annie jr in the Dunamaise Theatre next week.

The halls of the new Holy Family Senior School in Portlaoise are ringing with music this week, in rehearsal for their first full length musical.

The school is preparing to bring Annie Jr to the Dunamaise Theatre stage, featuring family favourites like ‘Tomorrow’, and ‘You’re never fully dressed without a Smile’.

The show involves 64 children from 4th and 5th classes, but the whole school, parents and community have got behind them in support of what is possibly Laois’ first ever full length children’s musical.

Teachers Louise Brennan, Aoife Kinsella, Orla Kirwan and Eimear O’Hara are co-ordinators.
“We have been working at it since October, we have been rehearsing every week, it is a huge undertaking, but it is very exciting now, there are lots of nerves, but they are good nerves,” said Louise.

Fundraisers like a cake sale, a race night and a table quiz have helped them to cover costs of professional equipment like individual microphones and lighting.

“We have had sponsorship from local businesses too, and Portlaoise Panto have given us amazing support. We have been inundated with offers of help backstage from the school staff, and our principal Des Sutton and vice principal Meree O’Sullivan have been a huge help.

“Putting on a show this size is a first for all of us, it will be good to put the Holy Family school on the map, and shows how the school really does pull together,” she said.

They have the help of local musicians Sharon and Paula Grant, Ann Pike on flute, and Deano on violin, as well as Maeve Quinlan from the National Children’s Choir on piano.
Costumes were not too difficult Louise said, as most of the children play orphans and sourced simple clothes helped by their parents, with other costumes made or provided by the panto group.

The full cast list is as follows:

Vicky Lee
Ailbhe Carroll
Aaron Langford
Kara Thorton
Lily May Whelan
Nathan Dominic
Shauna Lalor
Jack Blendell
Tom Delaney
Kieran O Reilly
Eimear O Boyle
Rachel O Callaghan
Winner Alozie
Ruby Doyle
Emilia Fearon
Abbie Brennan
Cara Coleman
Lena Trebacka
Jack O Sullivan
Gordan Delaney
Conor Stack
David Keogh
Mia Dunne
Ellen Peacock
Abbie B Dunne
Alla Iacubet
Rhianna Keogh
Demi Lade
Love Omoijade
Roisin Murphy
Helen Oshin
Stephaine Obrama
Ciara Maher
Abigail Lewis
Abbie Dolan
Emily Conroy
Emma Beatty
Uchechi Nzekudu
Fareen Saud
Victoria Ryan
Treasure
Matthew O Rourke
Jason Delaney
Cian Butler
Eoin Galvin Farrell
Ryan Lambe
Lola Marum

Felicia Ikpomwen
Esther Olaniji
Shakira McInerney
Carla Phelan
Andrea Gartee
Mai Dowling
Robyn O Connor
Eva Roe
Eve Bracken
Calum Carroll
Abbie Louise Byrne
Ella Hannon Moss
Conor McCausland
Dylan McCarthy

Below: rehearsing hard at Holy Family Senior school.

In starring roles are Eva Roe as little orphan Annie, Eve Bracken as the dreaded orphanage owner Miss Hannigan, and Tom Delaney as Daddy Warbucks.

“Everybody can expect a wonderful classic, interpreted by amazing children. Everyone has a soft spot for Annie, and the children have really brought it to life,” Louise said.

One special little actor is Kiki the dog, loaned by a school SNA to play ‘Sandy’, the stray mutt adopted by Annie.
“So far so good, we are hoping all goes well on stage but if it doesn’t that’s part of the fun,” Louise said.

The show runs from Wednesday to Friday, May 9 to 11, at 10.30am and 7.30pm daily.
Friday is already sold out. Tickets available from the Dunamaise box office, priced €10 / €8.