Students of the Abbey Vocational School in Donegal Town are preparing to tread the boards next week in the school’s production of Hairspray.
Hairspray is an American musical based on the 1988 movie of the same name. Set in Baltimore in 1962 it follows the story of Tracy who becomes an overnight celebrity.
The AVS productions are renowned locally and the school has built up a strong tradition for producing top class productions over the years.
In recent years demand for tickets has exceeded capacity and many were left without tickets as the show sold out well in advance of opening night.
In response to this, the production team have relocated this year’s musical from the school to the St. John Bosco Centre in the town. The move to the Bosco will allow a much bigger production and a larger audience to enjoy what will surely be a fantastic musical. The bigger venue also allowed the cast to be expanded.
The musical is anchored by the Transition Year students, with students from other years filling also filing many of the roles.
The production team had the unenviable task of whittling down the dozens of hopefuls who auditioned for parts to choose the select few who will take to the stage next week. Many of those students not involved in rehearsals have been hard at work to ensure this year’s musical is a success! Students have been involved in set construction, set design, PR and ticket selling. Many more will help out backstage during the show’s three night run at the Bosco assisting with stage management, props, costumes, hair and makeup. Students have worked under the direction and in collaboration with staff at the AVS, making this a truly whole school production.
At the helm of the production is well known director Ailis Mc Intyre, who is convinced this modern musical will hit all the right notes. “This high octane, toe tapping, sing out loud musical will leave the audience dancing in the aisles of the John Bosco Centre,” she said this week.
The director also paid a special tribute to the students who have been busy in rehearsal for the past few months in preparation. “The students have worked and rehearsed this musical with love, dedication and commitment and I am sure the audience will be wowed by the students of the AVS”.
School principal Geraldine Diver was also full of praise for all those involved in the musical. “It is wonderful to see so many of our students involved in the show! I commend the energy, enthusiasm and stamina of all those involved in this production”.
Ms Diver also mentioned the wider school community who have all pulled together to ensure the success of this production. “This show is a community effort and I am extremely grateful to them all”.
Aine McGroary is relishing the opportunity to play the lead role of Tracy Turnbald “Tracy is such an enjoyable character to play. I’ve never had a lead role in a musical before, but I’ve loved every minute of it”.
Aaron Friel takes on the role of Edna played by John Travolta in the 2007 film. “It is very enjoyable to play a major role such as Edna. My favourite song is ‘Welcome to the 60’s”.
Oisin Joyce stars as Tracy’s love interest Link and is enjoying the challenge. “I have done a lot of musicals and plays before, but I have never played an instrument mid-show. The dances were also hard to learn, but I enjoyed it all!”
Abbey Vocational School’s production of Hairspray takes place in the St. John Bosco Centre, Donegal Town, Tuesday 22nd, Wednesday 23rd and Friday 25th November at 7.30 PM each night.
Tickets are €10 Adult, €7 Student/Child and are on sale in the School Office, tel. 0749721105