On the night that Irishtown Stage School held their end-of-year show, someone screamed, “Break a Leg!” It was meant to be the traditional good luck phrase bantered about by showbiz folk as they take to the stage.
Liza Caulfield, however, took it literally and that is exactly what she did. NewsFour got the story from Caulfield as she nursed her cast-encased ankle, and the mishap was not surprising when the workload involved in producing a show was explained.
“Apart from stage management, running order, make-up, costumes, set and lighting design and programme production, first aid and child safety need to be considered when running a stage school. You need to be aware of the children in the group. For instance, they all wear black leggings and t-shirts (known as their ‘blacks’) as a base. That way it’s a uniform look and they all feel the same.”
Caulfield set up the stage school in 2009 when she relocated back to her home town from Waterford, where she had run a successful stage school. Her father, Seán Caulfield, himself a talented performer, told NewsFour how Liza was still remembered locally for her rendition of Take Back your Mink from the musical Guys and Dolls when only three years old, complete with New York drawl.
This year’s Stage School finale was a Disney Extravaganza featuring some of Disney’s best-known hits, with Let it Go, from the blockbuster Frozen, being the number that fired up all the determined Disney Princesses who were performing with passion on the night.
The show took place in Clanna Gael, and included about 30 children from the locality. Caulfield was happy with the community atmosphere that prevailed at the host venue.
Members of the stage school range in age from eight to 18, and for this show, some past pupils, Ellen and Gillian Garvey, came on board to help out. “I always try to keep the shows current, and the movie Pitch Perfect is the ‘in’ thing at the moment,” Caulfield said. “The kids who have just graduated from primary school performed Flashlights, which I felt was very apt as they are at a crossroads in their lives.”
Guest performers on the night were cousins Leah and Shannon Weafer, who gave the audience a number of songs, including an acoustic co-performance with Liza Caulfield of Swedish House Mafia’s hit Don’t you Worry Child. “It’s raw talent,” Caulfield said of the girls. “People think the Beyoncés and Rihannas of this world are amazing with backing singers and filters, but these girls are just lost in the moment when they sing and it just flows out. They both have unique voices that work really well together.”
Caulfield was keen to express her thanks to Dublin City Council and South Inner City Drugs Task Force for their support in this production, as well as Ger McGuinness for sound and lighting. “I am really proud of our drama teacher, Nikkii Bui Thi who has just graduated her diploma with distinction and has now been accepted to Wolverhampton University to study her degree.”
After another successful show, which ended in an after-party for the cast and helpers, the Irishtown Stage School will take the summer off. Caulfield is hoping to be back in fighting form on September 5th for the resumption of classes in Irishtown Stadium.
Those interested in joining can contact Liza Caulfield. Phone 087 7901591 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
By Maria Shields O’Kelly