The pupils at Cumber Claudy Primary School were standing proud on ‘Pride Rock’ last week when they staged a colourful production of ‘The Lion King’.
The idea to stage the show came from the staff who, one afternoon well before Christmas discussed the production, believing it the perfect senior show for this year. Amid great excitement, pupils from Primary 4 through to Primary 7 enjoyed a showing of The Lion King and really looked forward to the auditions to be held early in the New Year.
Rehearsals started early in January, with the pace gradually picking up until the performances in the school hall on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday last week.
The energy, motivation and support extended well beyond the school gates and into the wider community, with Foyle College, Limavady Grammar and Limavady High School chipping in to let the Cumber Claudy children borrow their African drums, while St Colmcille’s Primary School helped out with extra staging.
It was Dawn Hume who made the most of the contacts she had in Strabane Academy to secure the loan of the fabulous masks as well as a selection of other props and the school was even offered a life-size skeleton of a baby elephant which all agreed would look fantastic in the school’s entrance porch. Unfortunately, when Dawn’s husband, Alistair went to collect it in his trailer, it turned out to be a 12-feet high adult elephant.
During the past few months the school was buzzing with children going over their lines, while the quiet room was not-so-quiet as the hyenas learnt to drum there...next door to the Principal Maureen Smyth’s office.
Many of the pupils signed up for the after school clubs in acting, singing, drumming, dancing, designing programme covers and making masks, while the children in Key stages 1 and 2 were engaged in learning and researching African wildlife and pupils from P1 up created wonderful wall displays for the hall and corridor.
Among those thanked for their sterling work were Katie McCracken, who worked with the pupils to create masks and embellish head gear and past pupil Yasmine Robinson, who worked alongside older children making props and enhancing the corridor display.
Mr Mike Carlisle’s class, who are involved in The Pushkin Award this year, inspired by its theme ‘the fire within’ worked alongside artists Bronagh and Justyn Corr-McNicholl to produce the fabulous back drop and Mrs Smyth has also thanked the staff for their whole-hearted involvement in the production, supporting and encouraging the pupils throughout. Thanks were also extended to the Foundation Stage teachers and classroom assistants for their support of the cast during after school clubs and supervision during performances.
Mrs Smyth particularly thanked the boys and girls for all their hard work, motivation, energy, enthusiasm and commitment to the production: “Whilst I am in no doubt that everyone who saw the show enjoyed it, the real benefits of this will have life-long impact on the pupils, through developing self-confidence, concentration, self-esteem and communication skills, as well as creating fun-filled memories.”