This very professional performance of OLIVER! was produced by Mr. Seamus Sullivan and Clara Donohoe. Clara was also musical director assisted by Zarina Desmond and choreography was by Naomi Lee, all teachers at Scoil an Chroí Ró Naofa Íosa. In fact, all of the school staff of over sixty teachers, special needs assistants and school caretaker was involved in this extraordinarily successful production. The stage management was slick and effective and the children moved seamlessly from one scene to the next like true professionals.
There were many outstanding individual performances and the choruses were musically flawless. Amber Brady and Sarah Diggin alternated as Oliver throughout the week long show and both were superb in their role as the vulnerable orphan, Oliver. Their rendition of “Where is Love” was melodical and sad and had the desired sympathetic affect on the audience. The casting Ross Devine and Tara Finnegan as The Artful Dodgers was pure genius as both sang acted and danced like true naturals. Nancy was played by Melanie Lucescu and Vanessa Papa who showed maturity way beyond their ages of 11 and 10 respectively and brought the house down with their passionate rendition of “As Long as He Needs Me”. Mr Bumble’s (played by Daniel Byrne) and the Widow Corney’s (played by Lauren Jones Brennan) timing and delivery were first-rate and the audience warmed to the roguish male macho character of Mr. Bumble, who was soon put in his place by the Widow Corney. Lauren also played the Rose Seller during which she sang beautifully. Cian Farrelly as Bill Sykes put in a strong performance terrorising the villains in the den. Remarkably, Cian performed each night and for the dress rehearsal. There were excellent performances by Aine Bowles, Pierce Byrne (Mr and Mrs Sowerberry), James Callaghan and Shauna Harris played the roles of Oliver’s grandfather and housekeeper and Daragh Cullivan as the doctor. Aaron Hollywood and Ciara Gallagher portrayed the excitable and unsympathetic Noah Claypole and Charlotte very well. Ella Foley was Beth, Nancy’s friend and sang “It’s a Fine Life” with Nancy. Mike Andoh played one of Fagin’s villans, Charley. Mike Andoh was one of the street sellers with Favour Offama, Sam Kangayani and Lauen Jones Brennan and their harmony was pitch perfect.
The loudest cheers of the nights came for the two Fagins and their wonderful performances of “You’ve got to pick a pocket or two” and I’m Reviewing the Situation.” Played on alternate nights by Zak Sherwin and Liam Scanlon, these performances were truly amazing for two boys aged 12 and 11 respectively. In fact Liam turned 11 on Saturday night and was presented with a birthday cake to mark the occasion. The singing and dancing of the ensemble was lively and full of colour and movement and complemented by the wonderful make up and costuming. Overall this was a wonderful nights entertainment which according to school principal, Sean Ó Diomasaigh was “the culmination of hard work, commitment and team-work by the school community including teachers, special needs assistants, ancillary staff, parents and the board of management.”