Students and teachers from St Patrick's College are busy in rehearsals for the school production of 'Many Young Men of Twenty' by John B Keane this week.
This is the first year that students and staff will be working together onstage for the annual school play. Director and teacher Gwen Brady is the driving force behind these annual dramas.
Keane's play is set in 1961, a period when the economic depression saw many young men and women emigrate to England to try to find work. This memorable story follows Danger Mullaly, Peg Finnerty and many other characters, as they witness many of their friends and neighbours depart for England.
For this play, the St Pat's crew have a cast of 20 students, four to five students from Loreto College and one student from Breifne College to play some of the female roles. “Drama is really a confidence booster for the students,” Gwen said as to why she started running these shows. “And even some of the very quiet lads end up coming to life on stage.”
The impressive set design was made by the school's Construction and Art departments. The orchestra is also made up entirely of St Patrick’s College students.
While sticking to the script, they also wanted to try to showcase some of the original talent from the students, Gwen explained. They will be incorporating as much music into the play as possible.
Last year neither Loreto nor St Patrick's College organised a play so they are making up for it this year.
Olivia McClean, who plays the bar owner, opted to take part, as she says: “I wanted to meet new friends, for the craic and the free pizza.”
Gavin Brady, who plays Olivia’s brother in the play, has always had an interest in acting and has previously been involved in Scór.
“I took part in a play in first year and I always said that I would love to do it again and, when it came up, I said, 'why not?'” It starts this week Wednesday, March 21 and runs right through until Saturday, March 24 in the sportshall in St Patrick’s College. Tickets are on sale in the school office or in Eason Cavan for €8. There will be a shop and a raffle during the interval. All proceeds go to the school's drama department.