The cast of Evita on the Saturday night of their run at Mullingar Arts Centre.

Evita a triumph – by TY actors from Coláiste Mhuire and Loreto College

There is a huge tradition of links between this area and Argentina – now a new link is that the town has just witnessed a top-class production of the musical show Evita.

Staged at the Arts Centre in Mullingar, the production was a collaboration between transition year students from Coláiste Mhuire and Loreto College, Mullingar.

“This has been a show that’s been in the making since September,” Catherine McInerney, TY coordinator at Coláiste Mhuire told the Westmeath Examiner, extending thanks to Catherine Gallagher and the teachers from Loreto as well as the Mullingar Arts Centre director Sean Lynch, and Paul Whelan and Sarah Corrigan for their work with the students over the last few months.

“I’d also like to thank the teachers and the management of St Mary’s CBS/Coláiste Mhuire for all of their work and support of the show, as it’s gone on,” she said.

Evita focuses on the life of Eva Perón, played by Aoilleann Mulvihill. Other lead roles are that of Che, played by Luke Coll; and Juan Perón, played by John Casey.

“It was an ensemble cast of over 40 students who worked so hard since September in order to put this together. And we’d like to thank the students and tell them how proud we are of them and their achievement in bringing the story of Eva Perón to the stage in Mullingar, which has never been done before,” said Catherine.

“Also just a massive thanks to everybody who came to the show, who supported the show, and had a hand in making the show happen. Without that, it wouldn’t have been on the stage and it’s been a phenomenal experience for all the students involved. And we have given amazing performances every night and we would just like to thank everybody for everything along the way.”

Seán Lynch, director of Evita, was proud of what the young people had achieved: “Evita is probably one of the most difficult shows to stage. And when we undertook it as a TY project, we were being extremely ambitious. I’m delighted to say, however, that they rose to the challenge,” he said.

“It was a hard arduous thing, a lot of work went into it. I’d like to thank Paul Whelan as MD and Sarah Corrigan as choreographer. And I will say this: when I’m thinking of shows we’ve done, this will rank very high in what I consider the best that we’ve done in this place.”

Mr Lynch said that there had never been any doubt that the female talent the show requires would manifest itself – but his concern over finding three lead boys was more of an issue, but proved to be an unfounded concern.

“And I hope that I will get all of them back in the centre again,” he said.

As it happens, Aoilleann Mullvihill is already back: she is one of the leads in the Mullingar Student Players production of Into The Woods at the arts centre in the coming weeks.