Dorothy in the land of Oz

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Showstoppers: Tin Man/ Jack McKeon, Lion/ James Corr, Dorothy/ Sophie Power, Scarecrow/ Adam Stapleton

SPRING is bustin’ out all over as Expressive Arts Theatre School steals a march on Easter with the presentation of not one, but three consecutive shows at UCH on Monday April 10, Tuesday 11, 7.30pm.

The women behind ‘The Wiz’ and other stories are Pearl Kiely and May O’Halloran. Working partners for three decades, they set up this school for young people engaged in all aspects of performance art.

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Next week will see their work, play, talent and inspiration flourish on stage. Many Expressive Arts students have attended and performed annually since being knee-high to a blade of grass.

“[The performance] is bubbling up like Champagne,” promises Pearl, “and wonderful fun”.

Anticipate the night unfolding in three parts. Before the interval, younger children aged 5-9 will give us a costumed song and dance act to a live band led by musical director Tommy Drennan, and to some recorded tracks.

“The older children aged 10, 11, 12 will then give us extracts from ‘The Lion King’,” Pearl tells Limerick Post. “Part two is an edited version of ‘The Wiz’, with students from the Junior Cert into Leaving Cert years.

“We have a fine corp of about 45 and many have been with Expressive Arts since the age of five”.

Why ‘The Wiz’? “We thought the they would love the plot and music. We had looked at ‘The Wizard of Oz’ but there is more in this for the kids – jazzy numbers, great pace”.

Tommy Drennan also teaches singing at Expressive Arts; Geri O’Sullivan is over the dance numbers with able help from pass pupil Grace O’Brien.

This will be a big week for the school with students on stage Friday 14 at same venue for ‘La Boheme’ by Opera & Ballet International. Family tickets (4) €50 for ‘The Wiz’,  www.uch.ie