The transition year students of Ardscoil Mhuire, ably assisted by some of their talented neighbours from Garbally College, wowed audiences in the Town Hall last week with a great run of the Lionel Bart- penned classic Oliver. Directed by local man, Eoin Croffy , the accomplished and mature performances of this young cast belied their youth and expertly captured the light and dark shades in this Dickensian inspired drama.
Jane Corbett brought a wide-eyed innocence to the titular role. Her sweetness as Oliver was a perfect foil for the more cynical Artful Dodger, played by the charming Aisling Murphy. Laura Finn was a revelation as the ill-fated Nancy. Her plaintive rendition of “As Long as He Needs Me.” proved to be one of the more poignant highlights in this highly entertaining show. The Ardscoil Mhuire cast were equally gifted in capturing the more comedic moments in this musical standard. Kate Kelly played Mr. Bumble with bombastic pomposity and her scenes with Sarah Fletcher’s Widow Corney were a comic delight. Lauren Miller and Róisín McCollum were hilarious as Mr and Mrs Sowerberry , the mean-spirited undertakers who bought young Oliver.
Christopher Feeney played Bill Sykes with a menacing physicality and his threatening presence provided some of the show’s most dramatic moments. Matthew Comerford invested Fagin’s sly shenanigans with an energetic mix of humour and pathos. His gravel-voiced cockney was another of the show’s highlights.
The musicality of the cast was evident throughout this fine production. The cast shone from the memorable opening strains of “Food, Glorious Food” to the hypnotic harmonies of “Who Will Buy” and were a credit to their hardworking and equally talented musical directors, Caroline Jackson and Maeve Higgins.
Overall this was a confident and hugely entertaining production. Well done to all involved.
The National Even Age Cross Country Championships was held in very muddy grounds which made for tough conditions in Santry on Sunday Nov 22nd. Ballinasloe & District Club members performed strongly amongst extremely stiff competition on the day.
Ava McKeon who is U11 ran up an age to compete in the U12 girls 2000m. Ava put in a fantastic performance finishing in 27th position out of the 149 race participants. She was the 1st U11 girl to cross the finishing line on the day. Ava received a National Bronze Provincial medal as she was amongst the first six home from Connacht. The Connacht girls finished behind Munster & Leinster but ahead of Ulster & Dublin City. Ava was the 4th runner home from the Connacht team and the 2nd from the Galway team. This was a marvellous result for someone out of age at National level.
Next up were the U12 boys Ballinasloe & District Athletic Club team in the 2000m. Conor Harley & Shane Fitzpatrick both ran a great race finishing 39th & 50th respectively out of the 161 in the race. They were the 2nd & 3rd home from the Galway team and the 7th & 8th home from the Connacht team. They were followed over the finishing line by their teammates Adam McGreal, Joseph Tierney & Adam Coyne. Well done to the team who have all performed superbly throughout this Cross Country Season.
Brian Burke ran up an age to compete in the U18 boys 6000m. Brian put in another strong performance on the day. He was the 3rd home from the Connacht team & the 2nd from the Galway team.
Ballinasloe & District Athletic Club would like to congratulate all of these runners for doing their club proud once again on the National stage. A special thank you to their coaches Anne Burke, Enda Jennings, Anne Fitzpatrick and Paula Harley for all their time and dedication.
Gerry Conneely – ‘The Great Push’
Patrick Magill, a tatty picker from Glenties in Donegal achieved fame after the publication of his novel The Children of the Dead End in 1913. When the Great War broke out in 1914 he decided to join the army and to cover the war from the point of view of the ordinary soldier. His subsequent work, The Great Push became the original and possibly the greatest antiwar story ever told.
In this adaptation, veteran Galway actor Gerry Conneely focuses on the part of the story which was written just before and immediately after the Battle of Loos 1915, one of the first of the great heaves on the Western Front. The power of the piece lies in its immediacy. It was written by Magill while facing into the abyss. The piece contains a truth and an honesty that only the prospect of imminent death can induce.
Conneely’s rendition captures brilliantly the pathos, sensibility and humanity of a group that history tends to render as mere casualty statistics, a group of young men about to go out and die.
The Moore History Group present the Premiere of Mathers of Falty By Ballinasoe born Author /Producer Xandra Kilduff in Moore Hall on Friday the 27th of November,also 28th and 29th at 8.pm.
The play based on the saga of the Mather's family of Falty House and covers the years 1852 to 1920 ,and features the famous cattle drives of Clonburren of 1916 .
With.a cast of over over 30 from a cross community company drawn from the History group,the Moore Drama group ,The Red Salamander Theatre Company ,the I.C.A ,Vintage group with local choirs and musicians and several of the cast playing the parts of their ancestors who lived through this era,the project is now in full rehearsal .
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