Portlaoise College takes the people of Portlaoise ‘Around the world in 80 Minutes’
In just six weeks the students and teachers of Portlaoise College gathered together to make plans to produce a show. Many ideas were thrown into the mix including Annie, Grease and My Fair Lady. However, wanting to be unique and be fully involved, the Transition Year students and five teachers sat and wrote their own script. Ms. Alex, French teacher, put forward the idea of showcasing different countries, and so the title ‘Around the world in 80 minutes’ was born.
The plot of the show displayed many surprises. Four girls (Niamh Delaney, Shannon Carroll-Talbot, Kerry Carroll- Talbot and Triona Brennan-Talbot) set out to travel the world together with the hope of experiencing all that is good in each of the countries they visit. In England the legendary Mary Poppins gave advice about how to take medicine!, while England’s own Roald Dahl’s Oompa Loompa’s came to give their own bit of advice too. Of course, one can’t leave Great Britain without bumping into Harry Potter on their way. Moving forward to France, a live Mona Lisa amused the audience with funny faces while the real essence of French romance was paraded. In Africa, fantastic dancing routines were performed with music by Shakira – Waka Waka (This Time For Africa). One cannot envisage scenes of Africa without recalling the childhood memories that is ‘The Lion King’. The ‘Circle of Life’ was sung beautifully and the scene was reproduced and enjoyed by all.
Following Africa, the four girls travelled to India experiencing the religion, markets and spices and of course the very gifted Bollywood dancers, and all this in just Act One!
Moving along to Act Two, the girls continued their journey with the hope of meeting some well admired rugby players and the chance of bumping into Kylie Minogue. These hopes were more than fulfilled when the New Zealand All Blacks took to the stage to take on the Aussies. A fierce ‘Haka’ performance was put on show following the sweet voice of Kylie Minogue singing, ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’. In the need to keep up the good tan before heading home, the girls set out for Hawaii and Texas. On the beach in Hawaii, they were fortunate to see some very talented Hawaiian dancers. These Hula Dancers entertained the audience with their eye catching and colourful costumes. Samba drummers came on stage to assist the dancers with some very feisty and spirited beats! One cannot travel to Texas without encountering the music and dancing that is intrinsic to the state, ‘Line dancing’.
A lively performance was displayed by the Transition Year Group as this was their own choreographic work. ‘Baby’ was not left in the corner of this show as Craig Byrne and Klaudia Malec adapted the famous scene from ‘Dirty Dancing’ ending with a top class lift.
As the girls began to make their journey for home, they realised the time of year, Halloween. Being in the States, Halloween cannot go unnoticed without the famous ‘Thriller’. A series of Zombies invaded the stage and crept down throughout the audience leaving some people on the edge of their seats! The end was nigh, and to home they had to go, but first, a quick stop at an old Irish bar. The audience were treated to a rendition of ‘Molly Malone’ and the ‘Riverdance’, followed by a star appearance from the happy, loud and crazy duo that is ‘Jedward’ reminding us to put our lipstick on!!
The show was watched by a full house for the one night only experience. Each person who was asked about their opinions on the show all commented on different parts being their favourite. It truly had a little something for everybody. Primary schools experienced a special production of the show on the Wednesday morning as approximately 600 students attended. This production, unique to Portlaoise College is the first of many to come. The school would like to thank all the parents, students, staff and teachers involved who helped out in any way.