Tickets are selling fast for De La Salle College Musical Society’s 2015 production, Footloose, which runs at the college hall at 8pm nightly, 20th to 24th October.
A full professional team that includes Vikki Graham (director), Jenny White (choreographer), Richard Coady (musical director) and Laura Forsey-Caulfield (co-ordinator) have been working with the young cast of students from DLS, the Ursuline, Mercy, Newtown, Abbey, Tramore and Colaiste na nDeise secondary schools for this Waterford premiere. Audience members can expect an impressive show from this production team, which last year took first place out of 3,000 schools in the Bord Gais School Musical Awards 2014.
Sixteen-year-old Danica Gaffney, who plays Wendy Jo in Footloose, said it’s a pleasure to work with the team.
“This is the third DLS show I’ve done and the production team of Brother Ben, Richard, Jenny and Vicki are incredibly hard working and extremely kind to every single cast member. They are also very patient! It’s a big commitment to take part in the show, just like any sport or activity. There’s a lot of long days rehearsing but when you enjoy doing what you’re doing and being part of something so wonderful with such great people and especially having as much fun as we do, it is all worth every minute spent rehearsing.”
Seventeen-year-old Ben Nolan is a DLS veteran, having now performed in six of the college’s shows. They’re the highlight of the school year, he says.
“I’ve been performing since I was 9. I was a part of the Richie Hayes stage school for 7 years and I’m now in my 2nd year with Theatrebox stage school. I’ve been in the last 6 De la Salle shows and recently played the part of Action in Theatrebox’s production of West Side Story.
I was lucky enough to perform on the Bord Gais stage with the De la Salle show last year where we won Best Overall Musical and I was also a part of Br Ben’s opera Bust, which was on in Garter Lane in September 2013. I’m sad that this year will be my last DLS show.”
“It is a big commitment to take part in the show, it’s like when people play sport, you’ve got to be committed to get the best results and the show has to take first preference in some situations. Coming up to show week, it can completely take over your life. The rehearsals can sometimes be on a lot and for a good length of time so trying to fit homework and study in can be a challenge but that’s the sort of commitment it needs to be a success. It can be stressful but I thrive off being really busy and under pressure to get the best results for the show.”
Ben says he’d advise any young person interested in performing to get involved with the Society.
“I would 100% recommend doing the De la Salle shows. They are such good fun and you make lots of new friends and many memories. For a lot of people the De la Salle show is often their first show and it is fantastic to give confidence to people and get them to step outside their comfort zones. The show has done a lot for me over the years and it has helped to develop my skills as a performer and I’m genuinely going to miss it next year.”
Town bad boy Chuck Cranston is played by Alex Gough (16), who regularly clashes with Tadhg Brennan’s character Ren McCormack.
“Chuck will do almost anything for a fight and try his hardest to cause trouble, especially when the new kid Ren comes to town. Ren and his mother move to the town of Bomont, which is a small town in southern America and Ren soon finds it hard to fit in and realises how different Bomont is to his home in Chicago. The fact that dancing is illegal becomes his biggest problem.”
Dance plays a massive part in this show but Alex says the cast are taking the demanding choreography routines in their stride.
“In my opinion, the dance routines are the part of the show that can be the most enjoyable. I find it fun and easy to learn and perform these dances. Taking part in the show is nothing short of a big commitment, it requires a lot of concentration and co-operation. But nonetheless I enjoy every minute of it. It took me years of watching shows to finally get on the stage. It was the best decision I ever made.”
Playing the central role of Ren is hard work, says Tadhg Brennan, who also took part in last year’s production of Guys and Dolls.
“Trying to find the balance between school and rehearsals is very hard but hopefully it will all be worth it. Rehearsals, even though they can be tough at times, are always great fun. The buzz of being onstage is also a huge part of why I do it. I’ve also made a lot of new friends and I feel being onstage has improved my confidence greatly.”
This year’s production is dedicated to the memory of the late Fr Sean Melody, who began the DLS musicals in 1978 with a production of ‘Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.’
“It was Sean’s vision, hard-work and insistence on the highest standards which ensured that DLS College Musical Society not only endured, but continued to grow and develop”, commented Brother Ben Hanlon. “He believed if a show was worth doing it was worth doing it really well. That belief is still the underlying motivation for every DLS show. The team are fully confident that Sean will not be disappointed in this year’s production of Footloose.”
The premiere of Footloose will take place on Tuesday October 20th with the Deise TY Nite and a top-class evening of entertainment is already planned. Waterford hurling manager Derek McGrath and team members Austin Gleeson, Kevin Moran, Jake Dillon, Maurice and Dan Shanahan, Noel Connors and Paidi Mahoney will be on hand to meet audience members before the show and included in the price of the opening night ticket is a raffle for some great prizes.
• Footloose runs Tuesday October 20 – Saturday October 24th in De La Salle College Hall at 8pm each evening. Tickets can be purchased College Office 875294; online at delasallewaterford.ie Golden Discs (City Square) or on the door if they are still available.