Grease Lightnin’

Summer lovin’ is coming to Lisdoonvarna this week as the transition-year students from Mary Immaculate Secondary School take on the ever-popular musical, Grease. Ahead of curtain call, Andrew Hamilton spoke to teacher Mark Mulqueeney.

Mary Immaculate School students Emma Haran as Sandy and Sean Casserly as Danny in rehearsals for their upcoming production of the hit musical, Grease. Photograph: Natasha Barton

Pink Ladies and T-Birds have been spotted roaming the Burren hills around Lisdoonvarna in recent weeks, making their way slowly to the Pavilion in Lisdoonvarna for this weeks much anticipated performance of Grease.

The musical, which is being performed by the transition year students from Mary Immaculate Secondary School  in Lisdoonvarna, is making a welcome return after an absence of nearly a decade from the stage in North Clare. According to teacher, Mark Mulqueeney, students have been working hard on the musical for months.

Grease is very popular. We put it on seven or eight years ago and we are bringing it back again this year. It’s a classic,” said Mark.

“They have been working hard on the musical since November so every one is ready for a great performance. We have about 45 students involved altogether so it’s a great event for bringing the students together. It’s one of the highlights of the year and the students really look forward to it each year.

Grease is a perennial favourite for the students. Every year when the transition year students are choosing the musical they always want either Grease or High School Musical. They are really looking forward to it.

“It’s an old classic – everyone will know all the songs. The look and the costumes is a big part of Grease as well, so we have the Pink Ladies, the T-Birds. It’s a big, uplifting musical.”

This year’s musical is being directed by school music teacher, Lauren Dunne, with choreography by Finola Costello and set design and construction by Conor Burke and Mr Malone. 

The lead roles of Danny and Sandy are played by Sean Cafferly and Emma Haren while Eoin McNamara plays Kenickie and Rizzo is played by Aoife McNamara.

“Everyone in the school pulls together for the musical each year, which is great. It’s a full school effort,” said Mark. “It’s a brilliant experience for everyone who is involved. Each year some of the students move on and take part in the Ennistymon Musical Society and some even go on to do drama in college. They get a great kick out of it.

“It’s great for building their confidence as well. It’s a real boost for them. They can take to the stage in a safe environment at the school, it makes it easier for them to do other things. Wellbeing is a big part of teaching now and things like this really do help.”

A sold-out matinee performance of Grease will take place this Thursday, February 7, while two evening performances will take place this Friday and Saturday night, February 8 and 9. To book tickets, call the school on (065) 7074266.

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Andrew has been working in the media in the West of Ireland for more than a decade. During that time he has been shortlisted for many national journalism awards, served as a judge for the Choice Music Prize in 2008 and was part of the nominating panel for the Meteor Ireland Music Awards from 2008 to 2011. He holds an MA in Journalism and Public Relation and a BA in English, Sociology and Politics. He is currently working on his debut novel. A selection of his writings, including a number of short stories can be viewed on Where The Rain Falls at Follow Andrew on twitter: @Andrew_CPeople Contact Andrew on [email protected]


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