Aladdin 2019 + Photos!
In excess of 1300 people were entertained by the Transition Year students of St. Paul’s Secondary School on Thursday 7th and Friday 8th of February. The annual TY show is a momentous event for the students, staff involved and the whole school community. This year’s production was an intriguing adaptation of the panto classic Aladdin – there was no Jasmine, we had Martini, Abunaza was Jafar and it featured cameos from Ireland’s own Conor McGregor and Zac Efron of Baywatch and High School Musical fame!
Year on year the bar is raised as the quality of each production builds on the legacy of the previous plays. The expertise of the staff involved has been augmented incrementally with each production and students who have experienced the TY show from the inside act as mentors to the next batch of hopeful actors and actresses. It is a very organic operation that is truly representative of the ethos and vision of St. Paul’s Secondary School. Two senior prefects were the emcees for the production and they acquitted themselves brilliantly in front of large audiences. The real noticeable incremental change this year was the addition of superb live music performed by a fantastic mix of staff and students. An eclectic mix of music spanning the decades accompanied Aladdin and the rest of the cast as they performed in front of expectant crowds with a wonderful hand painted set bringing the Orient to life. Clever choreography created by students and staff was integral to the essence of this production. Dragons, washing lines, zombies, lamps and wheelbarrows all populated the stage at some point in the show. A series of local references involved the audience as they became an intrinsic part of the performance.
It opened with a live rendition of the ubiquitous ‘The Greatest Show’ where the unmistakable black and gold gowns of the Monasterevin Gospel Choir sashayed in unison to the lively beat. It was a bold opening statement that was backed up as the action of the panto got under way.
There were fantastic performances from the students in the lead roles as they belted out songs to move the plot forward and brought the house down with some notable hilarious moments – the hen pecked emperor dancing; the banter between Abunaza and Won Tun; the wacky Widow Twanky and the privileged Princess Martini and the comic turns from both genies. The comic timing was on point and Aladdin even dealt brilliantly with a miniature stage invader who was wholly immersed in the plot! Wishy Washy, Peng Ting, Inspector Chu, the guards, villagers, zombies and those previously mentioned all drew laughs from the crowd. The energy that the young cast took from the packed Friday night audience resulted in a magical evening’s entertainment for young and old alike. As Zac Efron pointed out as the Notorious was on the verge of some foul language, it was PG entertainment. That in essence was the show – it had something for everyone.
The staff and students involved in this production put their collective hearts and souls into this and anyone who was lucky enough to have been in attendance witnessed this and were touched by the performance. Congratulations to all involved, it truly was the greatest show of Transition Year 2018 – 2019.
The community of Monasterevin and surrounding area is a great support. Thank you to Monasterevin Community Centre for the loan of chairs. The local primary schools are traditionally great supporters and they attended matinee performances which offered the excited cast the opportunity to overcome their pre show jitters. Moore Abbey is always a great supporter too, notably Brian Bourke who looked after the sound. Thank you to the gospel choir for the gowns. Mel Doyle was on hand to take superb photographs which add to the legacy of the show. The local Order of Malta were in attendance to assist in case of emergency. Local businesses were great supporters as they sponsored the show and provided raffle prizes. School staff all volunteered in some capacity and some non transition year students were heavily involved in various aspects of the show. The show would not be the success that it has been and indeed will continue to be without our whole community. Finally, thank you to the paying public of Monasterevin and surrounding areas who came along to support their family, friends, neighbours and school. This is the major fundraiser for St. Paul’s Transition Year. Thank you all for your continued support.