STUDENTS from two Cork secondary schools teamed up to stage a brilliant performance of ‘Shrek the Musical Jr’ in front of packed audiences in recent days.
Students from North Monastery Co-Educational Secondary School and Terence MacSwiney Community College came together to put on the show over two nights last week, with large crowds on both Tuesday and Wednesday night.
Based on the Oscar-winning Dreamworks Animation film and fantastic Broadway musical, the show followed everyone’s favourite ogre, Shrek, as he embarked on an adventure to rescue a princess and find true acceptance.
Transition Year students from the North Monastery Co-Educational Secondary School, and students from first to fifth year from Terence MacSwiney Community College participated in the musical spectacle.
Speaking to The Echo, North Mon music teacher, Aoife Collins, said the musical was a “mighty success”.
“It went great. It was held in the school hall in the North Mon. It is a huge undertaking as all departments in the school get involved.
“It is a link between the woodwork, the arts and the music all coming together to put all the elements together,” she added.
“It was a collaboration between the North Mon and Terence MacSwiney Community College. Our TY students participated in the musical. “During Transition Year in our school, the students either pick music, art, or woodwork, while it was a mixture of students from Terence MacSwiney. Students from first to fifth year from their school volunteered to get involved in the musical.”
This is not the first time North Mon has collaborated with other schools on musical productions, Ms Collins explained.
“We have previously held musicals with a few different schools,” she said. “I know the music teacher in Terence MacSwiney. I contacted her and they were very interested in getting involved. This was our first musical staged in the school since 2019 before they were interrupted by Covid.
“It is great to have them back up and running again,” she added.
The musical was performed in front of good crowds and a great atmosphere, with support from both schools, explained Ms Collins.
“There was a great buzz amongst the students and the staff members,” she said. “There were so many proud family members in attendance over the two nights. This included grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles.”
Ms Collins paid tribute to the talented student actors who volunteered to participate in the musical. “They were brilliant considering most of them have no experience of ever having been up on a stage performing in front of large crowds,” she said.
"We have been working hard behind the scenes since last November. We got the ball rolling in the North Mon, where we got working on the set and the props. The stage looked fabulous over the two nights. Lots of teachers and SNAs got involved in helping and 25 staff members from our school helped in a variety of different ways.”
The Lord Mayor of Cork city, Cllr Deirdre Forde (FG) was a special guest at the school for the second night of the performance.
“It was great to have the Lord Mayor in attendance,” said Ms Collins. “She spoke about how special musicals are during your school days and how importance it is to support the arts in society.”
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