IT WOULD HAVE taken a particularly hard-bittten, world-weary soul visiting St Comhghall’s College last week not to have been caught up in the buzz created by the staging of Beauty and the Beast at the Lisnaskea School.
Of course shows like this take a huge amount of effort and it was apparent from the very moment you set foot in St Comhghall’s and were taken through the enchanted forest – the main entrance transformed into a creepy, dimly lit tunnel of trees – that this was an all-school effort.
Beauty and the Beast is a real crowd-pleasing story of true love and happy endings and the entire cast really rose to the occasion with energetic and hugely entertaining performances all round.
With a relatively small pool of talent to choose from, those responsible for casting chose well.
Rose Connolly, a familiar name in traditional music circles was a charming, sweetly singing Belle while Shakeel Adams was the perfect foil as the angst-ridden but ultimately good-hearted beast.
Caitlin Curran was absolutely outstanding as Clogsworth – making you wonder how on earth this part in the original is actually played by a man, while Sinead McAloon as Miss Potts and James Murphy as Belle’s father, Maurice, put in the kind of performances that would not have looked out of place on a professional stage.
While the music and singing was of a very high standard, this show was all about entertainment and there was certainly plenty of craic, with the wonderfully talented AdamTierney really getting into the part of the heavily French accented talking candelestick Lumiere. There were also plenty of laughs for Gaston (Jason Reilly) and his hapless sidekick Lefou (Sean McCaffrey) while there no shortage of audience engagement with some familiar faces from around the school taking to wandering up and down the aisles, keeping everyone on their toes.
St Comhghall’s is fast developing a reputation for top class musical productions and full credit must go to the staff and students involved in all aspects of the show, including the stage sets and the wonderful costumes that added to the whole occasion.
While the drive for perfection with school musicals and Christmas shows continue, St Comhghall’s clearly haven’t lost sight of what’s really important – promoting teamwork, involving as many people as possible and celebrating the talent and energy of our young people
Pity the poor staff and students in years to come, for this will be a very hard act to follow.