‘We all shared cloud nine after Lenanshee’

Pictured at the celebrations after the sellout production of Lenanshee -  Niamh McCay, Robert Canning, Sir Richard Stilgoe, Robert Canning , Conor Mitchell (composer/director), Sir Richard Stilgo, Phillip Doherty and Eoin Callaghan
Pictured at the celebrations after the sellout production of Lenanshee - Niamh McCay, Robert Canning, Sir Richard Stilgoe, Robert Canning , Conor Mitchell (composer/director), Sir Richard Stilgo, Phillip Doherty and Eoin Callaghan
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Donal Doherty, the Director of the Music Promise, said everyone “shared cloud nine” after the musical Lenanshee was performed on Friday evening.

The musical - performed to a sell-out audience in The Venue - was a major strand of the City of Culture 2013 `Music Promise’ initiative.

Young people of all ages and abilities brought the modern fairytale to life under the direction of acclaimed composer Conor Mitchell.

Lenanshee tells the story of two opposite worlds which come together against all odds to create a haven of peace where everyone is accepted .

This is the first time children with special needs and those from mainstream schools came together as a 200 strong cast of singers, dancers and actors to create a West End quality musical.

The Lenanshee musical is based on a story outline written by Sir Richard Stilgoe, who was also in the audience on Friday and according to Donal, Sir Richard was left gobsmacked after the performance.

“Friday night’s performance was an absolutely phenomenal experience for everyone involved,” said Donal.

“It went beyond our wildest expectations and as everyone left The Venue after the musical was over, we all shared cloud nine.

“As many will know, Sir Richard Stilgoe wrote the story which gave rise to Lenanshee and he said afterwards that he was genuinely taken aback by just how an amazing performance it was.”

Children from Foyleview and Belmont House took part in Friday’s showpiece and Donal said because of their skill and talent he believes Lenanshee to be one of the most important events to happen in Derry this year.

“Conor Mitchell is a composer who has a wealth of experience when it comes to big West End shows and he didn’t pull his punches here either.

“Conor had the children taking part in regular rehearsals and it’s because of their hard work that Friday’s event was so special. It’s part of the city wide Music Promise programme but I honestly believe the atmosphere felt after Friday’s performance was so unique that I can’t help but feel that the event, from start to finish, was much much more than just a musical.”

The musical was a major strand of the City of Culture `Music Promise’ initiative. Young people of all ages and abilities brought the modern fairy tale to life under the direction of acclaimed composer Conor Mitchell. Lenanshee tells the story of two opposite worlds which come together against all odds to create a haven of peace where everyone is accepted .

The Elf Army in the sellout fairy tale Lenanshee in the Venue Derry/ Londonderry

The Elf Army in the sellout fairy tale Lenanshee in the Venue Derry/ Londonderry

This is the first time children with special needs and those from mainstream schools came together as a 200 strong cast of singers, dancers and actors to create a West End quality musical.

The Lenanshee musical is based on a story outline written by Sir Richard Stilgoe, who was also in the audience on Friday and according to Donal, Sir Richard was left gob smacked after the performance.

“Friday night’s performance was an absolutely phenomenal experience for everyone involved,” said Donal.

“It went beyond our wildest expectations and as everyone left the Venue after the musical was over, we all shared cloud nine.

Rachal Xu performing as Queen of the Banshees in the sellout fairy tale Lenanshee in the Venue Derry/ Londonderry

Rachal Xu performing as Queen of the Banshees in the sellout fairy tale Lenanshee in the Venue Derry/ Londonderry

“As many will know, Sir Richard Stilgoe wrote the story which gave rise to Lenanshee and he said afterwards that he was genuinely taken aback by just how an amazing performance it was.”

Children from Foyleview and Belmont House took part in Friday’s showpiece and Donal said because of their skill and talent he believes Lenanshee to be one of the most important events to happen in Derry this year.

“Conor Mitchell is a composer who has a wealth of experience when it comes to big West End shows and he didn’t pull his punches here either.

“Conor had the children taking part in regular rehearsals and it’s because of their hard work that Friday’s event was so special. It’s part of the city wide Music Promise programme but I honestly believe the atmosphere felt after Friday’s performance was so unique that I can’t help but feel that the event, from start to finish, was much much more than just a musical.”