Between the Lines

The ’smiling sun’ beamed down on the stage at Garter Lane as Eoin Sheridan’s fine lighting design delighted with scenes of shimmering water, kingdoms and castles, and glorious storms, and a sparkling place beneath the waves. This was the David Hennessy Stage School production of, The Little Mermaid, with lots of happy children and adoring parents and grandparents like Mr and Mrs. Richard Daly who basked in the excellent performance of their grandchildren, Bronwyn and Claudine Daly. Directed and choreographed by David Hennessy this was a treat, a visual treat with imaginative props (Andrew Cusack), and a sea of costumes from Avril Musgrave and Elaine Tighe. The capacity audience was enthralled with the magic of it all as Ariel the Mermaid sought out her Prince Eric. That young and versatile performer, Ciara Giles opened the show as Pilot with, Fathoms Below (I’ll Tell You a Tale). Later in Act Two she again excelled as French Chef Louis, with an exciting routine, Les Poissons. She has such confidence and stage personality. Hayley O’Brien was Ariel (as well as assisting the director), and she was a star, she sang, she mimed, she danced, and she radiated into the hearts of a receptive audience. Her solo song, Part of Your World, was a treat. Jack Casey was a wonderful Prince Eric and his big love songs, Her Voice and One Step Closer, were a joy. But it was the waves of young performers who entranced me like, Lucy Mulhall, Libby O’Connor, Rebecca Duggan, Josh Flynn, Ava Guiden, Eve Mulhall, Jenna Dunphy, Tracey Barron, Shauna Hennessy, Sarah Reidy, Kara Reynolds, Billy Shanahan, Carrie Mullane and Rebecca Shanahan. Aidan Corrigan was a proud Grimsby, and Eoghan Flynn was a commanding King Triton. Jordan Flanagan was impressive as Scuttle and his, Positoovity, was a highlight in Act Two, as was his ability with tongue twisting words. Kayleigh Grant was a treat as Carlotta. Stephen Cody was quality as Flotsam as was Adam O’Neill as Jetsam. Katie King, dressed all in red was the liveliest crab in show business for her role as Sebastian and her two big scenes, Under the Sea, and Kiss the Girl were top class. Holly Ryan was splendid as the Baddie, the sinister Ursula. She is a complete and consummate performer. She rocked in, I Want the Good Times Back, and Poor Unfortunate Souls was amazing for one so young. The stage at Garter Lane gives these large cast musicals the space to be expansive and spectacular, as this show was. Next year the David Hennessy Stage School will present, The Addams Family, which should be another treat.

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