WOWSVILLE IN ABBAVILLE

There was such a buzz in the Hall at Ursuline Primary School for their inventive show Cinderabba. Staged by classes 5th and 6th (10 to 12 years old), the classic Cinderella tale was told in rhyming couplets with a clever use of Abba songs delivered by a full cast, a dancing troupe and a costumed choir. The script by teacher Aoife Howard was so impressive, and the teaching staff provided fine costumes, a detailed set with rotating panels, functioning doors, great props, a delightful and difficult Shadowplay sequence that had clarity and poignant images.

Gracie Sweeney as Cinderella Zoe Walsh as Fairygodmother  Pic 41: Zoe O'Gorman, Mara Matiut as the Stepsisters and Emily Hennessy as the Stepmother

Gracie Sweeney as Cinderella Zoe Walsh as Fairygodmother Pic 41: Zoe O'Gorman, Mara Matiut as the Stepsisters and Emily Hennessy as the Stepmother


Sheila McGrath choreographed the musical elements to great effect.
When the lights dimmed, a follow spot lit a four-legged pink stool and two Narrators (Aoife Hearne and Tara Mulcahy) set the once-upon-a-time story of Abbaville in motion. Emily Hennessy was a commanding Stepmother who established the ‘wicked’ tone of the need for “a wealthy man” for her two daughters with ‘Money, Money’, and the choir tossed banknotes into the air. The Stepdaughters provided great comedy antics and cruelty toward Cinders, and Zoe O’Gorman and Mara Matiut excelled as the outrageous pair.

The King (Charlotte Dwan) established his royal presence, and Stephanie Barry as the Queen unfolded a poignant story in a Shadowplay sequence.
Gracie Sweeney was a beautiful Cinderella, and her costume transformation was a joy as was the elaborate wedding dress later in the show. She sang with style, and her ‘Winner Takes It All’ was heartfelt and suitably ironic.The Mice who sang ‘I Have A Dream’ were Kerry O’Brien Reilly, Caitlyn Bailey, Erica Bailey and Mia Casey. Andrea Muldovan was an attractive Prince Fernando and her ‘I Do, I Do, I Do’ was special as was her ‘Mamma Mia with the choir.

I loved the ‘Gimme, Gimme Gimme (a chance with Fernando) and Zoe Walsh had a ‘wow’ of an entrance as Fairy Godmother singing ‘Chiquitita’.
Her Fairies were Emily Keating, Holly Power, Hera Rashid, Jaimie O’Loughlin, Millie Power and Letitia Tamen.Act 1 ended with the appearance of the Coach from the back of the hall to carry Cinderella off through the audience to the Ball. The ‘Super Trouper’ with hand-held lights was exciting and colourful.After the interval, ‘Dancing Queen’ continued the costumed spectacle, and then the Shoe Scene when a Stepsister cracked up the audience with “Did ya hear the cheek of dat wan”. The arrival of the Prince for the Shoe Scene on a comedy horse through the audience was such fun. The trying on of the Shoe was a comedy treat, and all too soon it was ‘I Do, I Do, I Do’, and a splendid ‘Waterloo’ with choir and dancers going down the centre aisle.

Chloe Howard and Sophie Shanahan were beautiful Flower Girls, and Aoife Connolly and Jana Moull were Footmen. Sara Whelan was ace on percussion, and the Band were Ellen Jane O’Brien, Mia Teeling, and Hannah Fitzpatrick.The rousing closing medley was a Wowsville in Abbaville, and the standing ovation was glorious.

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