St. Fintan's High School

School Musical

The first St. Fintan’s School Musical was staged in 2007 with the premiere production in Ireland of Tommy, the stage version of the rock opera album by The Who. It has been a successful annual Transition Year event ever since, staged with students from the TY program in Santa Sabina performing the necessary female parts.

It has grown from being an initially experimental move to see if the Performing Arts in the school could expand, develop from three prior staged dramatic pieces, in order to allow more involvement from the student population – personnel and contributions – and to allow a greater entertainment of singing, dancing, acting, and even puppeteering (Avenue Q), be displayed by the young and talented casts, for the audience.

As the years have gone by, we have always tried to develop and expand on the staging and production from prior years. The addition of scaffolding for the set construction, a rewiring of the electrics to sustain the necessary light and sound rigs, a new curtain and pelmet was acquired recently, tiered seating for the performances was introduced, as well as the traditional ‘Cast & Crew’ hoodies, worn with great pride as a badge of honour by all participants, including the staff involved, and this year’s show sees the return of a live band after a couple of years’ absence.

​Alumni of the shows have included Bohemian and Longford Town footballer Paddy Kirk (Sweeney Todd), three Senior All-Ireland Football winners in Brian Fenton (who played Marius in our Les Miserables), Brian Howard and Laura McGinley (both of whom were in Sweeney Todd), as well as former Miss Ireland Holly Carpenter (Back To The 80s!), and Danny Michaels, who subsequently swapped his Dentist’s Surgery (from Little Shop Of Horrors) for the land of Oz, and starred in Wicked in London.

The shows have been in order;

Rock of Ages – 2017

Sweeney Todd – 2014

Rock of Ages – 2017

Avenue Q – 2015

Grease – 2018

Avenue Q – 2015

The shows have met with full houses every night and high praise from both the local and broader artistic communities.
Avenue Q was the recipient of the Judges’ Choice Award for Outstanding Production at the Bord Gais Student Theatre Awards for 2016, while the following year the amazing sets from A Midsummer Night’s Dream won Best Set Design at the same awards.
Over the years, cast and crew have been lucky enough to have contact with seminal individuals involved in the writing or performing of the original versions of their shows.
These have included meeting both Pete Townshend of The Who, composer of Tommy, and Colm Wilkinson, the original Jean Valjean from Les Miserables, as well as receiving a handwritten letter of commendation from the original Mrs. Lovett, Angela Lansbury, when she was sent images and footage of the 2014 production of Sweeney Todd, “Stephen [Sondheim] would be proud, I am sure!” she commented.
The shows have seen a huge upsurge of interest in musical theatre and the performing arts among students who take part, as well as more curriculum based awareness being developed regarding future subjects of interest, such as taking Art to Leaving Certificate having maybe only started working in the subject while contributing to the musical.
We staged Jesus Christ Superstar in March 2022, after an unfortunate two year absence of the TY Musical due to the global pandemic, followed up last year by a very successful production of Shrek The Musical! The musical is very much back on the map for our TY programme and we are looking forward to this year’s production of Beauty and the Beast in March.