In the august presence (in December) of their new Honorary Patron, Nicky Cummins, the David Hennessy Junior Stage School did him proud with a modern style with traditional trappings production of Cinderella. It was a feast of colour with gorgeous costumes from Avril Musgrave, a rocking good lighting plot from Paul Brown, a state-of-the-art backing track design and lots of children; happy, singing and dancing children.
There was a strong corp of older teenagers and a modern range of effects, from Wall-E, a bubble machine, a snow machine, assorted bangs, flashes and bursts, a snazzy video insert with a running Davy Sutton theme.
All in all, this was a wonderful evening, where even the Garter Lane ban on sweets was sent up in a pointed but fun way. Vicki Sheridan as Dance Captain and David Hennessy’s choreography wove a winter wonderland of fun from a sometimes creaky script.
Paul Barry’s splendid set was another miracle on a small budget and showed careful thought and inventiveness. This set was open enough for big powerful set pieces and yet contracted into small concentrated mise-en-scenes when required.
The scenes with 4 – 6 year olds were gentle and heartwarming as Ludia O’Keeffe and her friends wowed a capacity audience. Holly Ryan and Hayley O’Brien touched the hearts of many with a tender finale of feeling, Heal The World. Tom Healy was a fun Johnny Logan; Lauren Cardiff led a great Thriller scene and Luke O’Mahony was a fine Charlie Pigeon. Rebecca Shanahan and Alex Collins were nifty Bouncers on bikes and Mark Kennedy was a funky Fairy Godbrother.
Katie Duggan and Ian McCarthy were excellent in a Barbie and Ken routine. Niamh Bolger was an effective Stepmother. Amy Keegan was a smashing comedic Dandini and Luke Stone was a handsome Prince who was not afraid to poke fun at himself.
Adam Phelan was a suitable Buttons who had wonderful scenes with Becky Hodnett’s frisky Fairy Godmother. Julie Power was a beautiful Cinderella. Raymond Tobin was a hectic Hernia and Glenn Murphy as the other Ugly Sister, Veruka, was outstanding. Here was strong performing talent, who could lead like a leading man, inject pace into slowing scenes, do ad libs with style. He came into the audience and stood a few steps from me and did a joke, about me and fearlessly didn’t fluff a line or an emphasis.