Tipperary school triumphs with Billy Elliot masterclass at Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards

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South Tipp Today

Tipperary school triumphs with Billy Elliot performance at Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards

Presentation Secondary School, Thurles, won two categories at the 2017 Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards.

Presentation Secondary School, Thurles, won two categories at the 2017 Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards on Wednesday, May 17.

The winners were revealed at a special awards ceremony at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, hosted by RTÉ 2FM presenter Eoghan McDermott.

The top prize in the Best Overall School Musical category was bestowed upon the Tipperary school for their remarkable production of Billy Elliot, with the school receiving a bursary from Bord Gáis Energy.  The judges were dazzled by the production and noted that it was an absolutely stunning, ambitious, polished and beautifully performed piece.

Presentation Secondary School’s Zoe Gleeson was also awarded the top prize in the Best Performance in a Supporting Role category for her fantastic performance as ‘Mrs. Wilkinson’ in the school’s production of ‘Billy Elliot’.  The judges were so impressed with the way Zoe mastered a difficult accent and played a character way beyond her years with such nuance.

Over 1,700 primary and secondary school students representing 63 schools from across Ireland attended the event and waited in suspense as the 2017 winners were revealed.  On the day, a number of shortlisted schools also had the opportunity to perform live on Ireland’s largest theatre stage and students were also treated to a surprise performance by Irish rock band The Strypes.

Presentation Secondary School’s Zoe Gleeson, who won the top prize in the Best Performance in a Supporting Role category, with teacher Patricia McElgunn, presenter Eoghan McDermott and judge Amy Huberman.

Now in its fourth year, the Student Theatre Awards were set up by Bord Gáis Energy to recognise and reward participation in the dramatic arts in schools around Ireland.  This year, 2,616 entries were received from a record 309 primary and secondary schools.

Special guests at the awards ceremony included members of the Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards judging panel, including actor and author Amy Huberman;  Dancing with the Stars runner-up Aoibhín Garrihy; best-selling novelist Sinéad Moriarty, writer and storyteller Dave Rudden; Bord Gáis Energy Theatre manager Stephen Faloon; and Bord Gáis Energy Sponsorship Programme manager Tanya Townsend.

Open to primary school pupils from 3rd – 6th class and all secondary school students, the Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards featured 12 categories including performance and production categories such as Best Overall School Musical, Best Costumes, and Best Performance in a Leading Role, to written categories including Best Dramatic Review and Best Short Scene Script. A new category, Best Original Production, was also added to the 2017 awards in appreciation of the exceptional quality of original productions entered in 2016.