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06 Jul 2022

St. Oliver Plunkett Primary give show-stopper performance of Matilda with BBC NI Soloist of the Year runner up as lead

St. Oliver Plunkett Primary give show-stopper performance of Matilda with BBC NI Soloist of the Year runner up as lead

Runner up in this years BBC NI Soloist of the Year, Francesca Kelly, smashed her lead role as Matilda

The pupils of St. Oliver Plunkett Primary School performed the musical Matilda to sell-out audiences last week on Wednesday May 11 and Thursday 12 May.

The lead role of Matilda was portrayed by Francesca Kelly, the Primary 7 pupil who recently finished runner up on BBC NI's Soloist of the Year 2022.

The show was the culmination of weeks of auditions and practices under the expert direction of Miss Katie Patton of Warwick Avenue Productions.

Principal, Eamonn Moore, was delighted to be able to welcome parents, families and the wider community back into the school for the first time since Covid-19, telling the audiences that, “Not only is it wonderful to be able to have everyone back with us but to be doing it for such a positive event is extra special.” 

The audiences were astonished at the quality of the performances with the children receiving full standing ovations on both nights.

The overriding feeling was, “We knew it would be good but we had no idea it would be this good.” 

Such was the buzz within the local community that requests for tickets far exceeded capacity and the Mayor himself, Alderman Graham Warke, attended the matinee performance on Thursday morning. He was blown away by the show and commented, “This should be on Broadway.” 

Principal, Eamonn Moore, said: “We have always known that the children of St. Oliver Plunkett Primary School had talent but we had not realised just how talented they are.”

Francesca Kelly, was an amazing Matilda, while Ethan Cooke and Hannah Deery played her parents brilliantly.

Patrick Linton made the role of Miss Trunchbull his own, terrorising Claragh Mc Ivor’s Miss Honey and Cameron Quigley’s Bruce to howls of laughter from the audience.

The pupils gave a fantastic performance to three sold-out crowds, with Mayor Warke, also in attendance

Principal Moore continued: "The talent displayed by all of the children was astonishing. Every performance from every child on the stage was a 10 out of 10."

Principal Moore was eager to acknowledge the dedication and support of all the staff of St. Oliver Plunkett Primary School who helped ensure that the show was such a huge success.

He also paid tribute to the show's director, Katie Patton, “Katie is the perfect fit for St. Oliver Plunkett Primary School as she embodies everything that our school stands for - developing the children’s talents through positivity and pastoral care," Principal Moore added.

"The school is already planning next year’s extravaganza and, if this year’s performances are any barometer, it will be a show not to be missed."

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