The St Aloysius’ College Junior School Show has earned a reputation as one of the highlights of the year and this year’s production, the Wizard of Oz, only secured that position further, transporting the Aloysian Community from College Hall to the Land of Oz through a superb cast of Junior School pupils and some breathtakingly professional costume and stage design.
Opening on a very realistic farm setting in rural Kansas, Maria O’Neil took to the stage playing Dorothy accompanied by her real life Toto, who drew audible ‘Awws’ from the audience.
Maria’s fellow performers Daniel Smith, Joseph Walker and Rhys McIlroy also took to the stage during the first scene in Kansas. The boys played farm-hands Hank, Hickory and Zeke, whilst Madeleine Kelly, Jack Smith and Orla Morrow took on the roles of Auntie Em, Uncle Henry and Miss Gultch.
Maria remained superb as Dorothy as the story progressed, captivating the audience with ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ before being transported to the colourful World of Oz where she met Alex Briscoe and Orla Morrow, who played Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West.
Alex’s voice was delightful and her portrayal of the Good Witch was just as sweet as Orla’s Wicked Witch was devious, the latter displaying outstanding stagecraft and improvisation throughout.
As Dorothy made her way to the Emerald City, Daniel, Joseph and Rhys were highlights of the show playing the Scarecrow, Tin-Man and the Lion, and Tom O’Donnell was commanding in the title role, the Wizard of Oz.
The Directors of the show, Junior School teacher, Mr McHugh, and Music Teacher, Miss Allan, were thrilled with how well the production and performances went, Mr McHugh said:
“As always, our cast showed the array of talent that we are fortunate to have at St Aloysius’ College Junior School. The level of commitment demonstrated by pupils – particularly the principal characters – was impressive."
"They managed to juggle incredibly busy lives with learning lines and rehearsals. Their humour and humility kept us all going, they genuinely are an incredible bunch of young people."
"Music and Drama have long been a part of the Jesuit educational tradition - and for good reason. It really is a joy to see their faces when they eventually reap the rewards for all the hours they put in.”
The College would like to offer sincere thanks to all of those who worked so hard to put on such a fantastic show and to all those in the Aloysian Community who came along to support and enjoy it.