St. Mary's Secondary School, Ballina

Billie - The Musical

INSIDE us all, lies a star waiting to shine – sit back and enjoy the magical story of “Billie”
Billie - The Musical

'Billie' The Musical from St. Mary's Secondary School on Vimeo.

MARY’S Secondary School and musical success are almost synonymous terms – and after over three decades of sell-out shows, it is not hard to see why. Move over Broadway, the Ballina all-girls school on the hill has earned its place in lights with a track record of cleverly reworked classics which are given a new lease of life on the Convent Hall stage.

2018 is no exception with an 80-strong Transition Year cast spear-heading this year’s original script of a dance and drama show-stopper aptly entitled “Billie”. Added to that, a chorus of first year, second year, and fifth year students, and you get a small taste of the volume expected on stage – almost 200 voices, talents and faces breathing life into a show that promises colour, music, song, dance and plenty of drama.

And while entertainment is the order of the day, there are a few life lessons to be learned along the way – with this modern story addressing the timeless themes of poverty, protest, dance and dreams.

Our story opens in 1973 with the birth of Billie Elliot to parents Jackie and Jenny. Eleven years later, in 1984, the death of Jenny leaves Jackie a single parent to children Billie and Tony. Add to the mix, Billie’s grandmother and the stage is set for a family story with a difference.

Tony Elliot has a good job as an accountant with the mines and is dedicated to the memory of his Grandfather who was a miner, originally from Mayo and this leads to disputes with his Dad, Jackie. Dance classes start in the area under the direction of Rose Watkins and Billie is encouraged to attend by her friend Mandy. Soon Billie is skipping her extra Maths tuition to dance – aided and abetted by Eileen, her brother’s girlfriend. As we journey with the Elliots, a story of dreams, dedication, dance and more than a bit of drama is promised!

“Billie Elliot” is the latest in a very colourful tapestry of theatre, carefully woven by the girls of St. Mary’s, under the guidance of director, Mr Peter McLoughlin, Musical Director, Ms Regina Deacy and Choreographer, Ms Annette Leonard. The team also incorporates the talents of the Art Department led by Ms Renee Cronin and the team of Home Economics teachers, Ms Marie Clarke, Ms Anita Ginley, Ms Shona Garvey and Ms Eva Beirne involved in costume preparation. This year’s show comes on foot of the 2017 extravaganza “Illegally Blonde.”

Principal, Mr Robert O’Reilly wished the cast and crew well in the upcoming shows and said: “Participation in the annual school musical is one of the greatest learning experiences of the Transition Year programme from a cross-curricular perspective. Friendships are forged, skills are honed, talents are nurtured, creativity is encouraged and challenges are overcome all in the atmosphere of convivial co-operation,” he said.

Show Director, Mr Peter McLoughlin, promised this year’s event will be “bigger and better” than ever before. “Each year we try to write a story that is both relevant and entertaining, a serious message presented in a light hearted way. This year’s show certainly captures that. The girls have worked tirelessly to create a fantastic theatre production that boasts a plot that comes to life through music, song, dance and drama.”

Aug 27
1st year students Mass of Welcomes & Induction Day
Aug 28
5th year, 6th year & LCA students return
Aug 29
2nd, 3rd & TY students return
Sep 24
Mercy Day Mass/Opening of School Year Mass
Slí Ectra, Ballina, Co. Mayo F26YXC7
353 96 70333
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