Show Stopping Pantomime for Oaklands Community College Students

Oaklands Community College has received rave reviews following it’s sell out production of the pantomime “Beauty and the Beast” which took to the stage on January 16th, 17th and 18th.
The stunning production was fronted by an exceptional cast and chorus of students from all year groups and was supported by a staff orchestra. Audience members were entertained through popular well known numbers such as “This is me,” “I need a Hero,” “Best day of my Life,” “Beauty and the Beast” and a show-stopping number “Somebody to Love” amongst others.
Linda Moore was a convincing Belle with her sweet voice and note perfect vocals, while Craig Hanlon was an impressive Beast, with an equally impressive transformation into the prince following a laugh out loud comedy chase scene.
Second year student Megan Murrin excelled in the role of Billy, and despite her youth she held the stage and audience with real authority, bringing the character to life and enhancing the role with fantastic singing.
The panto “baddies” and comedy duo of Niamh Lawlor and Matthew Farrell brought the Baron and Baroness to life and added no end of hilarity to the proceedings. Matthew’s performance was commendable all round, however his take on the Panto dame and “Fairy Godmother” Griselda, had the audience in tears of laughter. Equally, the strong acting and superb singing of Niamh made this couple a joy to watch on the stage.
Professor Bertram, the aged father of Belle, was played with appropriate shuffling and comedy by Gerard Eady, while real life sisters, Molly and Elise Kane, were super as his over-the-top superficial daughters. They bounced well off each other and the other characters on the stage, adding gusto to their performances.
Our first glimpse into the Beast’s castle came through the fantastic Sadhna Sambandam who played Butler Marcel with largesse and finesse. She was accompanied by fellow castle workers Jock the Gardner, played by Aaron Masterson Weir and Jessie the Maid played by Shauna Farrell. Again, this duo brought comedy to the stage with their wise cracks and political quips.
A special mention must be made for Rebecca Kerrigan who played Sherbet the Horse, the lovable, loyal and entertaining horse with a fondness for the “black stuff”. Although no words were spoken, Rebecca managed to entertain the audience and perform the comic elements of the role, no mean feat.
Last but not least the mayor was played convincingly by Sophie Moore, creating in all a well-cast production for this show.
Complementing the superb acting and laugh-out-loud staging were a very strong chorus line of dancers and solo singers. Displaying accomplished vocals were Caoimhe Martin, Jack Wilkinson, Ellen O’Connell, Zoe Lynch and Zahara White. They performed songs and beat perfect dances with their chorus mates Grainne Smith, Ava Molloy, Ciara Stynes, Saoirse Dunne, Emma Maloney, Stephen Hurst, Emma Coyne, Amy Kerrigan and Robyn Meehan, none of whom were a step out of place.
Supporting the cast were an accomplished orchestra composed principally of teachers from the school. Show directors Jack Colgan and Rory Maher played bass and acoustic guitars respectively, musical directors Mairead Mc Kenna and Claire Donohoe played piano and trad whistles, and saxophone was played by Kenneth Crann. The staff orchestra were joined by Stephen Colfer from Maynooth who played drums. Choreography for the show was arranged by Ms. Jennifer Colgan and Ms. Niamh Fitzpatrick.
Again, what was striking about this production was the amount of in-school talent on show. All backdrops and art work were produced by students under the careful guidance of Art teacher, Ms. Claire Johnston, and the stage was managed efficiently and superbly by students Allannah Kavanagh and Amber Murphy, assisted by Liam O’Connell, Sean McMahon, Dara Lenihan, Darragh Dunne and teachers Mr. Fergal Leonard and Mr. Gary Kiernan with Ms. Annette Parks as script support.
Make-up was professionally covered by Ms. Ruth Monahan (MUA) and Ms Claire Conrory, both teachers in the school. Notable was the artistry of third year Reece O’Neill who provided the special effects make-up for the “Beast”. Costumes were efficiently and effectively looked after by Ms. Andrea Condron and Ms. Elizabeth Devine. The show was produced by Ms. Hazel Weir. Again, students took on the role of master of ceremonies and this was confidently handled by Student Council members, Leanne Mallen and Abdullah Butt.
Following the show stopping success the cast and crew are now in recovery mode but audiences are already wondering when the next production will be on the way.