A primary school in Youghal is gearing up for the show of a lifetime this October when the local cinema puts on a movie recorded by the students of Síolta Beaga, a special class for children with Autism.
Susan Conway is a Teacher with Bunscoil Mhuire, Youghal. “I have six wonderful pupils in my class who love to sing. In September 2021 we began to rehearse for our Little Red Riding Hood play.
“Performing in front of a live audience would be stressful for some of our students and so we normally record our plays over a number of weeks before piecing the film clips together to create a finished 'movie'”.
Covid put lots of obstacles in their path over the past year but they persevered and, after months and months of practising, “we eventually managed to record our show in June 2022.
“We are super excited that our local cinema, The Regal, will open its doors to us and host a very special movie premiere for the children in our class.” The screening is set to take place on Friday, October 14, at 1pm and all are welcome to attend.
“In a time when costs are soaring and money is to the forefront in people's minds, we are so very grateful to have this chance to bring our show to the biggest screen in Youghal free of charge. It is an opportunity to celebrate all that it is possible for a child with Autism to achieve.
“Our show Little Red Riding Hood is about 30 minutes long and is certainly a tale with a twist as Little Red's true colours are finally exposed.
Well-known hits such as ABBA's Waterloo, Billy Joel's Uptown Girl and You're the One that I Want from Grease feature in the play.
Susan said every child is different in her Autism class, but singing and music has really brought on their memory and confidence. Mixing the school setting with family members from a home setting can be stressful for the autistic child, and cause confusion, and when the two are brought together for a live show.
“It’s an awful lot of pressure to remember lines. Some of them would have anxiety over a live performance, whereas if it’s recorded over a series of weeks, it gives them time to practise. If it’s a live show, the pressure is on for everything to go right on the day.”
“It’s fantastic to see their progress, and see that they recite three or four lines from memory.”
The children will be able to watch themselves on screen with their families in a relaxed setting, creating memories that will last a lifetime.