The Multi-talented Richie Hayes Stage School had an amazing four night showcase of up and coming talent at the theatre Royal last week. There was a half hour towards the end of Star Parade that was a wow of professional variety standard, with colour, excitement and crowd-pleasing acts.
In an energetic show we got choirs, wonderful awe-inspiring tots, lots of zippy dances, some clever comedy, two comedians, an ace violinist who wowed with Vivaldi and an Irish routine full of fun and musical expression. Add to this the irrepressible verve of Richie Hayes, his wife Erica and his father Dick and a backup family covering lights, sound and a splendid set and you had a wonderful evening with all the ingredients for top-class family entertainment.
Tots of between four and six years in sailor suits delighted the audience on the Good Ship Lollipop and older kids Walked the Dinosaur.
Shane O’Sullivan impressed with a spot on Forrest Gump impression. Sinead Murphy and Rachel Payne wrung new comedy out of cleaning ladies and a clever dance routine.
Rachel English sang her way into the hearts of the audience. Sam Elliott was excellent with a difficult stand-up comedy routine but he took his chance and shone. Great to see these young performers going solo with such ease and confidence. I loved his two fish in a tank joke very much.
Kayleigh Quinlan led the large cast into a colourful FAME finale that encouraged people to vote for Michael Joseph O’Brien on RTE1 as well.
Donal Flynn featured in the Act Two opener from Rent and he is another talented find since his Tramore and Royal Variety appearances. The dance routines were snappy and tappy and Erica Hayes inspires confidence and style.
Laura Broderick shone in a Cousin Vinny, Bisquits routine and then Rebecca McCarthy-Kent took the show to a most professional place with a red hot electric violin passage of Storm by Vivaldi. This was feature act stuff and later on violin with her equally talented sister Jana on concert flute wowed the audience in the Sally Gardens.
A Michael Jackson medley featured great routines and fine solo work from James Upton, Aoife O’Neill, Jack Kelly, Ben Nolan, Kate O’Brien, Ciara Larkin and Sam Galvin.
Uptown Girl allowed Rachel Payne and Sinead Murphy to reprise their cleaners routine with the young boys in fine support. Donna Murphy was excellent in a quality French can-can.
Dick Hayes sang us to Caledonia before an Irish scene wowed the audience with Ciara Kennedy and Donna Murphy outstanding in the company of Megan Cassidy and Erica Hayes.
A glorious sequence from Glee closed the show with top class work from Paula Weldon, Evan O’Hanlon and Donal Flynn. Don’t Stop Believing could be the motto for this Richie Hayes Stage School.