Rockwell College’s presentation of The Little Mermaid on Tuesday and Wednesday last received rave reviews.


The large Rockwell College cast under the brilliant guidance of producer Suzanne Buttimer, choreographer Therese Maher of the Rockwell College Musical Academy and assistant producer Lena Hally brought Hans Christian Anderson’s novel to life in an action packed musical fantasy. This was expertly blended with some humorous light hearted moments and overall was a daring undertaking by Suzanne, but her casting of the characters was perfection itself.


The musical tells the story of a rebellious 16-year-old mermaid princess, Ariel (PhillipaHarold Barry), who is fascinated with, and dreams of life on land. On one of her visits to the surface, which are forbidden by her controlling father, King Triton, she falls for a human prince. Determined to be with her new love, Ariel makes a dangerous deal with the sea witch Ursula (Katelyn Hewitt) to become human for three days. But when plans go awry for the star-crossed lovers, the king must make the ultimate sacrifice for his daughter. Despite all the tribulations experienced by Ariel good eventually overcomes evil. Phillipa Harold Barry carried off the role of Ariel superbly, and, not to be outdone, Prince Eric (Henry Buttimer), Ursula (the evil witch), King Triton (Jamie Brown), Grimsby (Tadhg O’Donnell Jones), Sebastian (David Traas), Flounder (Mark Neville), Scuttle (Beth Buttimer), Gulls (Christina Longworth, Fennella Riordan, Patsy Culleton), Flotsam and Jetson (Grainne and Aisling Stembridge), Chef Louis (Michael Long), Carlotta (Aoibhe Gleeson) among the many other characters were brilliantly cast. That in itself was one of the chief successes of the show.


The outfits and props were stunning and the painstaking detail was clearly evident. The intricate detail on the mermaid wall was created by Marguerite Guidera, Lily Murphy, Rita Mackey, Mary Jenkins, Anne Dennehy, Lesley Lynch, Mary Fitzgerald, Ann Fitzgerald, Marie Hallinan, Fiona Rea and the T.Y. group. A huge gratitude also goes to musical director, Eoin O’ Keeffe, dialect coaches Nancy Farrell, Danna Davis and all the backstage crew who contributed to make this such a success. Unfortunately, Thursday’s show which was a sell-out had to be cancelled because of the present restrictions necessitated by the current health climate.