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TY students own the stage in Beauty and the Beast show

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Kevin Weldon and Zoe Myles in the title roles. Photo Credit: Adrian Crawley.
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This article originally appeared on ThisIsArdee.ie

The Transition Year students from Ardee Community School ended their three night run of Beauty and the Beast in Ardee Parish Centre on Sunday evening – receiving rapturous applause from the audience after wowing with a show of the highest quality.

The cast – which featured 19 main cast members and a further 56 students in supporting roles – excelled whether they were acting, singing or dancing. A fast paced, jaunty and colourful take on the Disney classic, the audience were kept thoroughly entertained thoughout the show by a young cast who put out a seamless performance on the final night of the production.

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Taking on the roles of Belle and The Beast, Zoe Myles and Kevin Weldon (pictured above) took centre stage and they in particular shone throughout as the titular characters in the production. Throughout, the duo were given ample opportunity to put their singing voices to the test and they did so with real aplomb as did Trevor Matthews as Gaston, Daragh Carroll as LeFou, Eileen Clarke as Mrs Potts and Tara McGuinness as Madame de Garderobe – with each having singing solos to take the spotlight.

Trevor Matthews as Gaston (centre) surrounded by The Silly Girls and Daragh Carroll as LeFou (right).

There were laughs aplenty throughout too – with Nathan Leavy as Cogsworth (“If it ain’t Baroque, don’t fix it”), Michaela McKenna as Babette and an especially memorable performance from Conor McMahon as the fruity candelabra Lumiere all giving wondrous performances as the Prince/Beast’s house servants turned household objects.

Special mention too should be given to Benjamin Carrie who played the part of Chip, Mrs Potts son who had been transformed into a teacup by enchantress Johanna Spieth. One of the loudest cheers of the night was when – spoiler alert – after the Beast became a Prince once more, Chip got a chance to stretch his legs after breaking free from his teacup costume.

Produced by Amanda Lane, the show benefitted from very high production value and stage co-ordination by teachers and the back stage team of Stephen McShane, Adam Murphy, Darragh Myers, Delltin McCague and David Carry. Combined with the confident and versatile performance from all of the cast, Beauty and the Beast was a riproaring success and something all involved should be very proud of.

Nathan Leavy as Cogsworth and Conor McMahon as Lumiere.

As ever, all posters, programmes, props and costumes have been produced and designed by the students and staff in the various departments at the school and it was so pleasing to see all of the students involved approach the performance with a level of professionalism usually reserved for much bigger theatrical shows.

Speaking at the end of the night, Ardee Community School principal Mary praised all of those involved. “We certainly discovered some hidden talent here this week,” she said. “Some of the girls might have done something like this before but some of the boys have never sung in their lives, never been exposed to the subject music – all credit to them for their performance.

“It’s great for our students to experience something new in Transition Year, something they have never experienced before. Hopefully as they go on to college and working life afterwards, they will take the step to join a musical society or a choir. There are many of you who would really be a great addition to any choir or group you could join,” she continued.

Jackson paid tribute to producer Amanda Lane, saying “It takes a huge effort to pull all of this together, particularly with actors and acttresses who done very little or nothing like this before so all credit is due to Amanda for that. There were ups and downs along the way but at the end of the day, she made this show what is is buy producing the best from the students.”

The principal also thanked TY co-ordinator Paula Conlon for her work over the last number of months and teachers Louise Corrigan and Lynn Scott who helped out on the night and also took time to thank the other teachers for helped and faciliated rehearsals, props and costumes. Ms Jackson ended her thanks by informing all involved that today (Monday) was a day off school – which went down well.

Each year, the students from the school put on a musical performance as part of their TY programme. Last year, pupils starred in a production of High School Musical and in 2014 they performed Hairspray. Previous years have also produced shows based on Grease and The Sound of Music.

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