Students and staff at St.Patrick’s Grammar School recently performed a production of Willy Russell’s Our Day Out. This poignant, rowdy and boisterous play tells the story of a group of underprivileged school children on a school trip and is set in Liverpool in the 1970s. Our Day Out is an exuberant celebration of growing up in times of austerity and being footloose, fourteen and free from school. Despite the bittersweet undercurrent of the piece, the audience could not help but revel in the youthful ignorance and anarchic energy of the characters.
School Principal, Mr. Dominic Clarke expressed his gratitude to everyone who made the production a success noting that “I am extremely proud of the cast and staff who have been using every available free minute to learn lines and rehearse songs and dance routine. This is a fantastic opportunity for our students to showcase their talents outside of the classroom.”
Mrs. Maria Rafferty wished to recognise the actors from St. Catherine’s College and The Royal School Armagh who joined St. Patrick’s students in this creative enterprise. She commends the commitment of the entire cast throughout the intense rehearsal period emphasising that “their effort has been admirable and we have had a lot of fun working with this fabulous bunch of students over the past three months. I have no doubt the memories of this experience will remain with them for many years. We have been privileged to be able to facilitate this creative opportunity for this group. Their talent, energy and enthusiasm is a true embodiment of the vibrant spirit of the St. Patrick’s school community.”
The production enjoyed superb musical support from a live band comprised of members of MD Rafferty Music School, staff and students of St. Patrick’s own Music Department and a student from St. Patrick’s High School, Keady. This mix of past and present pupils and the wider Armagh Area Learning Community displayed immense musical talent in bringing the score of this musical to life. In the words of musical director, Mrs Frances McCann, “they expertly created an amazing backbone to fully compliment the vocals of our lively cast.”
The performance was a credit to the thriving creative arts education in the school and we look forward to the next St. Patrick’s Grammar production soon! Well done to all involved.