Ready to rock at St Ursula’s

If last week’s dress rehearsals are anything to go by, CinderAbba at St Ursula’s primary school this week is a production not to be missed.
The show, which tells the story of Cinderella in a clever rhyming script intermingled with many well known and loved Abba songs is the brain child of teachers Aoife Howard and Sheila McGrath. Aoife Howard explained to the Munster Express how it all came together.
“A few of us went to see Mama Mia and on the way back in the car we were just talking about how brilliant the songs are and we trying to figure out how we could incorporate them into a school show. Obviously it wouldn’t be age appropriate to put on Mama Mia so we tried to figure out a story we could use with the songs. We came up with the idea of Cinderalla which soon became CinderAbba and then the work really began.
The cast of CinderAbba in rehearsal at St Ursula’s last week.  The show runs at the school until tomorrow evening. Photo by Noel Browne
“The songs came first. To produce a really good school show parents have to know the songs. The children need to engage with their audience and we knew all the parents would know the Abba songs and so we sat down to figure out what songs we would use and where they might fit in.
“We tried not to change too many words in the songs but there were some places we had to. The prince became ‘Fernando’ of course which really helped and some words were changed to suit what we were doing with the script. A decision was made to write the script in rhyme and according to Aoife it really worked.
“We did Joseph a few years ago and this was only our second production with the whole school and the first with a script so we knew if it was in rhyme it would be some much easier for the girls to remember and that’s how it turned out.”The teachers paid tribute to everyone who help get this massive production on the stage. “This has been an unbelievable team effort with family and friends called into make the props and everyone helping out. Other teachers, who were not directly involved, covered our lunch duties for us and there was never a problem getting the girls for rehearsal.
Everybody helped in any way they could, from set design to costumes, make-up and dances. We’ve been working on this now since last September and it has been a huge drain on the school in one way but it’s lovely to see it coming together and I think it’s going to be a great show.
We have to pay tribute to Mae McGrath as there wouldn’t be a show without her. She’s been fantastic and we couldn’t have done it without her, we have Kevin Daly on keyboards and then our drummer is Sara Whelan one of our sixth class pupils and she has been outstanding. She’s not drumming very long but she really adds great ‘oomph’ to the music.”