On Sunday last, the pupils, staff and visiting parents were treated to a hugely enjoyable and varied Music Prize Concert. The best musicians and singers in the College performed, all hoping to win one of the coveted Music Prizes. We were hugely thankful to Mr Jonathan Browner (BMusEd), Principal of Educate Together Secondary School in Goatstown, for acting as the adjudicator for the evening. The winners of the Music Prizes 2024 were announced on the night; congratulations to everyone who performed but, in particular, to the following winners:

Junior Music Prizes: Matilde Matera (Form II) and Laurence Sun (Form I)

Senior Music Prizes: Sarah Bruder (Form V), Harry Powell (Form V), Rachel Shaw (Form VI) and Coco Xu (Form VI)

Last night the ‘Junior Sandwich‘ which was this year’s Junior Play production came to a conclusion with two performances in the Big Schoolroom. Particular thanks are due to Mr Swift for conceiving this unusual evening of three short (and very different) pieces flowing into each other. They were very effectively staged in the round on the floor of the BSR, with the audiences on all four sides.

The evening began with the two-hander Now Hear This by Michael Frayn (whose Matchbox Theatre productions ran in late 2021 in the same space under pandemic restrictions, from Seniors). Finn Vanmalder appeared as Person 2, lay down on a mattress, and started trying to solve a Rubic’s Cube, a visible manifestation of his ignoring of Person 1, who came in to complain about how little he listened to her. Unfortunately Harry Casey, the original cast member, was ill, so stepping into the role of Person 2 was another Second Former, Alice Hutchon, and great credit goes to her for an excellent performance with one hour’s notice (she read her lines), with thanks to director Mr Jameson.

The lights went down, and the voice of Marianna O’Shaughnessy came over the PA to describe the odd creatures called ‘Shapeshifters’ in Frayn’s Blackout Number, masked figures dressed in black who scurried around in dim red light, setting up the props and furniture for the main play. Those First Formers were Richard Cosby, Max Heidenfeld, Louie Morphew and Tony Fang, and their movement caused much amusement for the audience.

So finally we saw J.M. Synge’s 1903 one-act In The Shadow of the Glen, updated to a remote part of Wicklow in 1981. Rebecca Flanagan welcomed stranger tramp Alice McCarthy into her house while the body of her ‘dead’ husband Ferdia Murray lay on the pool table in the corner. Of course, he was not dead at all (Ferdia deserves a special award for his sheer stillness for so long). The fourth member of the cast was Jack Francis McKeown, a young man caught by the man of the house at the end for a stiff Jameson or two. Congratulations to all four actors on the compelling way they delivered Synge’s distinctive cadences.

Drama continued to find its feet post-pandemic (when only modest productions found their way to the BSR stage, such as Michael Frayn’s Matchbox Theatre and a part of Waiting for Godot). Last year’s excellent Blithe Spirit was followed this November by another cleverly-plotted piece of stagecraft, Lennox Robinson’s The Whiteheaded Boy. First produced in the significant year 1916, it tells the story of the Geoghegan family: the youngest son, Denis, is his widowed mother’s favourite, and all the other siblings suffer by comparison. When – yet again – he fails his TCD exams, the oldest brother, George, decides Denis must leave and go to Canada. Trouble ensues, a trouble that gradually cranks up over the first two Acts, and culminates in the third.

One of the features of the play is the series of stage directions which amount to opinionated commentary, and so the decision was taken to have an actor voice these: Cheuk Yin Wong confidently came onto the stage at the start, introducing and commenting on the three women who had taken their positions after setting out rugs – Mrs Geoghegan, the mother of the family (Phoebe Landseer), her daughter Kate (Clodagh Walsh) and her crocked old maid Hannah (Melina Paulsen). He then headed off to man the PA system, his disembodied voice guiding the audience to their amusement. Four of Mrs Geoghegan’s other children followed soon after: Jane (Bibiire Oke-Osanyintolu), Baby (Emilia Hager), Peter (Euan Flanagan) and the effective head of the family George (Hal Somerville). Any production depends on those playing these parts to delineate their distinctive characters clearly, and present a strong sense of the family dynamic, and all these performers managed that well.

They were gradually joined by the Aunt Ellen (Sofia Gill Torrejon), Jane’s intended Donough (JJ Beglan O’Connell), and the final ‘child’, the feckless charmer Denis (Aran Murphy), the white-headed boy himself, as well as his fiancée Delia Duffy (Henrike Tertilt). All three were new to the Columban stage: one of the cheering things about drama here is the willingness of pupils to step forward and volunteer themselves to perform to an audience of their peers.

The second Act saw the delayed arrival of Delia’s father John Duffy, a recognisable ‘type’ in rural Ireland, with his fingers in every pie, dealing not just with his business interests but his daughter’s romantic ones. Naoise Murray was most effective in this role, giving the production a boost of energy with his stage presence: both he and Phoebe Landseer have performed in several productions across the years, and in their final one they showed how important such experience is.

The final Act saw everything come together, and it was evident on all three nights that the audiences appreciated the pleasure of this: there are no dramatic events in this play, but instead the words provide the satisfaction. Credit is also due to Calvin She for his patient prompting: he was a busy man leading up to the public performances, but happily scarcely used on the nights themselves. Just as the play itself comes to a satisfying conclusion after its confusions and conflicts, so did the production come together to provide pleasure for the audiences, and a happy sense of achievement for the actors.


  • Our Guide and Opinionated Commentator: Cheuk Yin Wong
  • Hannah, a slow-moving maid: Melina Paulsen
  • Mrs Geoghegan, a widow with six adult children: Phoebe Landseer
  • Kate, her oldest daughter. Now 36, so little chance of marriage: Clodagh Walsh
  • Jane, another daughter. Nice and quiet: Bibiire Oke-Osanyintolu
  • Donough Brosnan, Jane’s intended for the last three years: JJ Beglan O’Connell
  • Baby, yet another Geoghegan lass. Full of notions: Emilia Hager
  • Aunt Ellen, Mrs Geoghegan’s sister-in-law. A bit cranky and full of schemes: Sofia Gill Torrejon
  • George, the oldest Geoghegan son, and now the head of the family: Hal Somerville
  • Peter, the classic neglected middle son. Nothing much one way or the other: Euan Flanagan
  • Denis, the youngest of all the Geoghegans, and his mother’s unashamed favourite. The ‘white-headed boy’: Aran Murphy
  • Delia Duffy, his fiancée. Not as simple as she looks: Henrike Tertilt
  • John Duffy, her father, and one of the solidest men in Ballycolman. His wife died some years ago. On every Committee going: Naoise Murray

Costume, Set and Lighting: Mr R. Swift
Lighting & Sound Operation: Mr J. Girdham
Props: Ms D. Cullen
Hair and Make-up: Molly Mann and Liberty Jacquier-Kende
Production Assistant and Prompts: Calvin She

With thanks to Humphrey Jones, Gerry Pullman, Ted Sherwood, Elaine Healy, Form 2 Artistic Performance, and The Performance Corporation.

Directed and Produced by Mr R. Swift & Mr J. Girdham

The first drama productions of the year took place last Sunday night as our youngest actors took to the BSR stage for the annual Form I & II plays. Many of the young cast members were “threading the boards” for the first time and these short plays tend to serve as great stepping stones to greater dramatic challenges in the months or perhaps years ahead.

This year’s Form I play was a medieval comedy called ‘A Good Knight’s Work’ by Allan Mackey. The young cast were full of energy on the night as three brave knights battled each other, fire-breathing dragons and a bloodthirsty executioner for the hand of the fair princess. There were plenty of laughs and the odd groan at the brilliant terrible puns.

The Form II play was an adaptation of the Oscar Wilde short story’ The Canterville Ghost’. Once again there were plenty of laughs as Sir Simon, the 300 year old ghost haunting Canterville Castle, grows increasingly exasperated at the new American owners who refuse to be frightened by him and his ghostly companions.

Well done to all the pupils involved (listed below) and to the staff (Mr Stewart, Mr Boobbyer, Mr Jones and Mr O’Shaughnessy) for directing.

Form I CastForm II Cast
Chamberlain – Georgia DobbsMr Otis – Finn
Servant – Henry van den BerghMrs Otis – Giacomo Borrilo
Trumpeter – Hugo BellewWashington – Wilfred Hui
Lord Lilly – Seán HennessyVirginia – Alice Hutchon
Lady Lilly – Laurence SunStars – Jason Otolorin
Lord Fitzroy – Max HeidenfeldStripes – Elijah Kim
Lady Fitzroy – Mena SweetmanSir Simon – Harry Casey
King Ferd – Christabella Osereme LynchThe Spirit – Claire Higgins
Queen Maud – Oyindamola OniThe Skeleton – Merida Zhang
Princess Adeline – Maureen DengNarrators: Finn Breatnach, Amy-Anne Newell and Divyaansh Bhardwaj
Executioner – Andrea Beggy
Magician – Charlie Dunleavy
Sir Blufus – Ivor Guinness
Sir Angus – Winnifred Cawley-Comerford
Sir Richard Trueheart – Eric Wang

Congratulations to the winners of the Art Prizes for 2023. The standard of entries was excellent this year. Well done to everyone who entered. We are very thankful to artist and educator Laura Earley, who was invited to look at the entries, which were based on the themes ‘Tranquillity’ or ‘Daily Routines’.

The Earl of Meath Art Prize (Senior) was won by Antonia Ladanyi, Form VI. The Craft Prize (Senior) was awarded to Ellen Bevan, Form VI. Calvin She, Form V won the Photography Prize (Senior). Commendations were awarded to Georgia Goodbody, Form V, and Keelin Bradley-Brady, Form IV.

The Feis Ceoil returned to the RDS after a covid enforced hiatus and our musicians took enormous pride in representing their school at the largest and most prestigious music competition in Ireland. There was both individual and collective success for College musicians, including the top prize for Emily McCarthy in the Girls’ Vocal Solo (A) and the Cailíní A (U18 Girls, ag canadh as Gaeilge) and, in the Alice Yoakley Quirk Cup for school choirs, the College’s Veritas choir (pictured above) were ‘Very Highly Commended’, finishing in joint 3rd place.

At St. Columba’s, we have always celebrated the sporty types and being awarded one’s ‘Sports Colours’ is an accolade to which many aspire but only a few achieve. They are awarded not just for excellence but also for commitment and overall positive contribution. In the past, however, in my opinion, we have not given the same recognition to those who excel in the cultural life of the College and I have thought it is time to change that. ‘Colours’ are usually seen as a sporting idea, so, being a classicist, I have introduced a Musarum Comes, or MC, which translates as a Companion of the Muses. In ancient Greek mythology, the Muses were the spirits which inspired great art and music and dance … in fact, there were nine of them. OK, so it is a slightly pretentious concept, but I like it!

Next term I will present the first batch of MCs with their awards, a tie for the boys and a silver medallion for the girls. However, at assembly this morning I decided to award one in advance to Emily McCarthy, who has made an enormous contribution to the artistic life of the school for the last six years. She is a fine actress, who has had a few lead roles, but her regular contributions to the choir and her readiness to sing solos in Chapel and elsewhere, have been a treat for all of us. This week she won the Under 18 girls’ vocal cup and the Under 18 Cailíní Cup, for singing in Irish, at the Feis Coeil, to add to her win at the Wesley Feis three weeks ago. That is an outstanding achievement and hence the decision to single her out to be the first recipient of this award.

We are very proud that she has been awarded a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London for next year. As for the Musarum Comes, we hope it will become as prized and sought after as Sports Colours. Congratulations to Emily for being the first and thank you for all of the memories.

The College was extremely proud to have large numbers of pupils competing and performing at the Wesley Interschools Music Festival last Saturday, March 4th 2023. Over thirty pupils performed and really did themselves, their teachers and the school proud. Ms Duggan, our Director of Music, was particularly proud of them, their efforts in practice and their performances on the day. Congratulations, in particular, to Emily McCarthy in Form VI for 1st place in the Herbert Pembrey Cup for Over 17 Solo Singing Classical. Thanks also to Mr. McDonald for his work with the excellent Chamber Choir, who were Highly Commended for their performance. A full breakdown of the results can be found below.

Emily McCarthy – 1st Place Herbert Pembrey Cup, Solo Singing Classical.
Rachel Shaw – 2nd Place Strings.
Lauren Ng -2nd Place Classical Singing.
Lauren Ng – 2nd Place Piano Solo.
Matilde Matera – 2nd Popular Singing.
Lauren Ng – 3rd Popular Singing.
St. Columba’s College Chamber Orchestra – Highly Commended.
Steven Kou – Highly Commended, Cello
CoCo Xu – Highly Commended Piano Solo.
Liam Campbell – Highly Commended Strings.

This year’s Junior Play, featuring a cast of pupils from Forms I, II and III, is Guests of the Nation a short play based on the Frank O’Connor short story of the same name, adapted for the stage by Michael James Ford. The play takes place in and around a remote cottage in West Galway and is set against the backdrop of the Irish War of Independence, over 100 years ago. The cast of seven includes the Woman (the owner of the house), Noble, Boneparte, Donovan and Feeney (Irish servicemen) and Hawkins and Belcher (captured British soldiers).

Hawkins  – Jack-Francis McKeon

NobleFerdia Murray

BonaparteRebecca Flanagan

BelcherAmy-Anne Newell

Jeremiah DonovanAlice McCarthy

WomanAnna Rose MacManus

FeenyHugo Russell Connolly

The Irish War of Independence was a guerilla war fought between 1919 – 1921 between forces of the Irish Republic and the British Army, the Royal Irish Constabulary and their auxiliaries such as the so-called ‘black and tans’. Both civil disobedience and extreme violence on both sides almost brought the functioning of the country to a standstill. Ambushes and reprisal killings were a gruesome hallmark of the conflict as it became ever more entrenched.

Frank O’Connor (1903-1966) was from Cork and had first-hand experience of the conflict he writes about with such humanity in this piece. Guests of the Nation was the title story in a collection of short stories published in 1931. It is considered a classic of the form in Irish writing and for years was a favourite element of the Inter. Cert. English course (forerunner to the current Junior Cycle). Michael James Ford is a writer and performer based in Dublin.

The cast have been preparing since the beginning of term and performed for an audience for the first time last night (a preview for our Form I pupils). The two main performances take place tonight (Friday, March 3rd 2023) and tomorrow night (Saturday, March 4th, 2023) with both performances beginning at 7pm. Parents welcome.

The play is directed by Mr Ronan Swift and Mr Humphrey Jones.

Senior Play: Blithe Spirit by Noël Coward

a review by Hannah Bergmann, Fifth Form. Photographs by the Reverend Daniel Owen

November 10th, 11th, 12th 2022

As soon as the BSR was filled with pupils, teachers, and parents, you could feel the positive excitement and anticipation of the audience for the upcoming play, the first full production since 2019. The stage had been transformed into an old-fashioned-looking room waiting for the first actor to appear. When the lights were turned off and the first tunes of the music appeared the spotlight was directed onto the centre of the stage, making the audience curious about what was going to happen in the next two hours.

From flirtatious ghosts to flying cucumber sandwiches, it was all there. Blithe Spirit is about Charles Condomine, played by Nikolai Foster, whose ex-wife, the ghost Elvira, (Isabel Warnock) is conjured up by the experienced medium Madame Arcati (Phoebe Landseer). This evoked a very well-expressed jealousy in Ruth Condomine (Emily McCarthy) as the current wife of Mr. Condomine and Isabel, relishing the discomfort she has created coming back from the afterlife. What followed was a darkly funny competition between two women, one dead, one living.

The whole cast showed great acting skills from the catchy “Yes, Madam” of the maid Edith, played by Anna Naumenko, to Emily McCarthy who conveyed the emotions of Ruth very well so that the audience could feel how jealous and outraged she was. But especially Phoebe Landseer captivated the audience. The entire room seem to engage in the play by laughing at the jokes which showed that the whole evening was thoroughly entertaining. One moment everyone will remember is probably the scene where Madame Arcati threw a cucumber sandwich into the crowd which caused great amusement.  Nikolai Foster was a great fit for the central character of the play, Charles Condomine, because the audience could really feel his emotions such as the relief he presented in the end when both women disappeared

The visual aspect was provided by the fantastic costumes which transported the audience back to the 1940s in London. While the women were dressed in beautiful long dresses one of them an elegant black one, worn by Violet Bradman (Diana Doenhoff), the men were dressed up in noble suits such as the one worn by Lorne Walsh who played Dr George Bradman. Towards the end of the play a mysterious scene caught the crowd’s attention as the shutters of the background rattled fearfully. But who had opened and closed them? This will forever be a secret.

The whole performance was a great success and everyone noticed the effort that was put into the production of this entertaining and enjoyable play. Therefore, a big thank you goes out to the cast as well as Messrs Ronan Swift and Tristan Clarke who directed the whole play. It was a great way to spend a Saturday night! 


Charles Condomine: Nikolai Foster

Ruth Condomine: Emily McCarthy

Elvira Condomine: Isabel Warnock

Madame Arcati: Phoebe Landseer

George Bradman: Lorne Walsh

Violet Bradman: Diana Doenhoff

Edith: Anna Naumenko

Daphne: Alice McCarthy

Lighting and Sound: Messrs Julian Girdham and Ronan Swift

Backdrop: Ms Lynn Murphy, Ms Derarca Cullen and TY Pupils

Costumes: Ms Elaine Healy, Ms Megan Kilpatrick and Abbey Costume Hire

Props and Staging: Ms Elaine Healy, Ms Megan Kilpatrick and Abbey Costume Hire

Stage Hands: Alice McCarthy, Lexi Hunter and Josefien Hutchinson

Artwork: Georgia Goodbody

Directors: Messrs Ronan Swift and Tristan Clarke


The Form Plays returned to the BSR on the evening of Sunday October 16th in the tried and trusted double-bill format. The Form I play, directed by Mr. McCarthy and Mr Girdham, was Red Hot Cinders, a version (in verse) of the classic Cinderella tale. A cast of ten young thespians elicited gasps and laughter galore, mixed with pathos and tension, aided and abetted by a chorus of booers and hissers. There was magic and malice (fairy godmother and wicked stepmother), no expense was spared in the costume department (ah, the beautiful ugly sisters), and the dance sequences were executed with terpsichorean excellence (prince/fair lady and herald/guest). All was presented by two tip-top leathered comperes. And they all lived happily ever after. Bravo to all!

Form II offered us The Poe Plays, a series of modern adaptations of eerie Edgar Allan Poe stories set in secondary school surroundings. Messrs. Clarke and Swift directed and there was a nice balance between the slightly chilling and the downright hilarious. Scroll down for an album of photos from both performances with thanks to resident photographer Rev. Owen.

Meanwhile, this year’s Senior Play will be performed in the week that we return after half term. Continuing a theme of the seemingly supernatural Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit will be the first full senior offering since Grease in 2019. There’s a lot to achieve in a short space of time! 

As for other future plans, there will be a Junior Play in February with auditions on return after Christmas and before then no doubt some sort of Christmas Entertainment will be cobbled together as an end of term, feelgood send off. 

Sunday evening saw the special event that is Voices of Poetry return to the Big Schoolroom in its long-lasting and infallible format: a pupil or teacher reading a short poem after a brief explanation in a darkened room, picked out by a single spotlight. Some of these were in languages other than English: it is amazing how powerful such readings can be, even if you don’t understand the lines. The evening was organised by Mr Swift, and the presenter was Mr Girdham.

Marianne Lee from First Form opened proceedings, with her own evocative poem ‘The Witching Hour’, followed by Mr Jameson from the English Department with a translation of a poem by the Swedish Nobel Laureate Tomas Tranströmer, ‘The Tree and the Sky‘.

The other languages kicked in: poems in Italian (Alexia Fantacci), German (Toni Ladanyi), Cecilia Corti (Arabic), Irish (Dairbhre Murray) and Chinese (Harry Wang). The aural contrasts were fascinating.

Mr Girdham then read out ‘Resistance’, recently written by the British Poet Laureate Simon Armitage in solidarity with all those under fire and bombardment in Ukraine, which led on naturally to Pavlo Shvalov reading a piece in Ukrainian celebrating his country’s independence.

Another step change was to Leonid Mylvaganam, who read out his own flowing work, close to performance poetry. Three European languages came next: Dutch (Josefien Hutchinson), French (Eole Mignot) and Spanish (Mateo Aliaga). Again, it was remarkable to hear the differences even though you can drive from one country to the next.

This year’s Junior Poetry Prize was won by Delia Brady, and her poem ‘The Moon‘ was read by Anna Rose McManus.  She was followed by the Warden, who said that from a young age at prep school he had to learn poems off by heart, and he recited G.K. Chesterton’s ‘The Donkey’.

Then, Slavic languages were represented by Polish (Dr Pyz) and Czech (Phoebe Landseer).

The next two poems brought us close to the end, with two people who are soon to leave the College: Ms Heidi Kavanagh (Yeats’s ‘When You are Old and Grey’) and the Senior Prefect, Evie Pringle, with Stevie Smith’s ‘In My Dreams‘.

And finally, Mr Canning announced the winner of this year’s Peter Dix Memorial Prize for Poetry (pictured), Isabella Treacy, and read out a poem from her winning portfolio, ‘Knots‘.

To conclude, Mr Girdham recommended Pádraig Ó Tuama’s podcast Poetry Unbound: a short podcast twice a week on a single poem, with Ó Tuama’s reflections. It does what poetry should do for readers: provide a space for attention away from the busy noise of the world. And that is just what Voices of Poetry does too.

Congratulations to the following pupils on receipt of one of the Senior Art Prizes.
Senior Photography Prize.
‘Blurred Time Series’ by Alice Letort, Form V.
Senior Craft Prize.
‘Finite Infinity’ by Antonia Ladanyi, Form V.
Earl of Meath Art Prize, Senior.
Time and tide wait for no man’ by Georgia Goodbody, Form IV.

Yesterday afternoon, two Carol Services took place for the pupils and staff. While there was no congregational singing this year, those in attendance were treated to some wonderful performances from the various College choirs and musicians. A musical ensemble, Joshua Chan, Monty Walsh and Liam Campbell, played two beautiful instrumental pieces to open up the services which were followed by the Chamber Choir performing the haunting Irish carol Suantraí. The Sine Nomine choir sang a beautiful arrangement of the Coventry Carol along with a more traditional rendition of Joy to the World, while the Chapel Choir sang Three Kings. Finally, there was an organ solo (Il Dulci Jubilo) from Harry Powell, Form III.

You can watch the recording of the service below. Merry Christmas!

The last weekend of term featured another welcome artistic moment (following Matchbox Theatre on Friday evening). Mrs Malone-Brady put together a 40-minute concert which was shown twice, to keep audience sizes down, and it was a delight.

The evening opened with an instrumental group (Monty Walsh, Liam Campbell, and Joshua Chan), who performed ‘Legends of the Fall’ and the ‘Toreador Song’. Another instrumentalist, Kamilla Murphy, took over at the piano for ‘Novelette; following which Joshua returned on the violin with ‘Salut d’Amor’.

Tyrone Shi performed a guitar solo, and Marcus O’Connor sang ‘It’s beginning to look like Christmas’ in an appropriate garish jumper, with Emily McCarthy singing ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (all three had also been in Matchbox Theatre).

Antonius Kruse performed ‘Nocturne’ on the piano, and the evening was rounded off with ‘Last Christmas’ from Hugo Dunlop (guitar and voice), Tadgh Rane O Cianáin (piano) and Marcus on drums.

Many thanks to all. Photos of the evening by the Chaplain follow.

Last night in the Big Schoolroom there was a welcome return to the stage of Senior Drama, with a production of five of Michael Frayn’s (very) short plays in his book Matchbox Theatre. The production ran three times (for 30 minutes), to allow smallish audiences to see it, and they flanked the central performance space to watch 13 actors entertain them in works linked by themes of miscommunication.

Solomon Babajide was the Master of Ceremonies, introducing the plays: on the irritation of other people finishing your sentences, on constantly getting driving directions wrong, on two couples interacting spikily in a café, on the meaningless of most phone conversations, and on a couple trying to say goodbye to each other at an airport but being thwarted by the PA system.

Well done to all: it was a tonic to see pupils performing again. The directors were Mr Swift and Mr Girdham. See pre-performance photos below, taken by the Chaplain.


Finishing Touches

Her:   Emily McCarthy

Him:   Tyrone Shi


We Have Been Here Before

Driver:   Róisín Northcote

Passenger:   Phoebe Landseer



Mrs Hazey:   Anna-Nibha Rospatt

Mr Hazey:   Nikolai Foster

Mrs Sharpe:   Gloria Rose

Mr Sharpe:   Florian Zitzmann


Between Cheese and Jam

Him:   Kim Guinness

Her:   Ebah Assebian


Bing Bong!

Announcer:   Iona Chavasse

Her:   Isabel Warnock

Him:   Marcus O’Connor


Crew: Alice Letort



As a small sign that things may slowly be returning to ‘normal’, the first BSR drama production for over a year took place on Thursday. It was to small, masked, socially-distanced audiences, with just two performers: Emily McCarthy as Vladimir and Isabel Warnock as Estragon in an excerpt from Beckett’s Waiting for Godot. They put it on three times in the one evening

In many ways Godot is as pertinent as ever: depressingly, two people are stuck in one place, both intimate with and exasperated by the other, waiting for a change of circumstances that seems doomed never to arrive. But it is also full of humour, which was beautifully captured by the actors. Beckett is hard to perform, and certainly this is so for teenagers, but both Emily and Isabel, working off each other skilfully, captured the heart of Beckett’s vision. As a result both were awarded the two Drama Prizes 2021.

It was good to be back in the BSR for drama, and certainly for this intimate, absorbing experience.

The director was the Sub-Warden, the technical desk was run by Head of Drama Mr Swift, and the featured photograph is by the Chaplain.


Unfortunately this year we were unable to hold our annual Christmas Carol Service but music is very much alive and well within the College community. Over the past few weeks, the various choirs and musical groups within the community have been practising diligently and we are delighted to present this short film of carols (sung with the appropriate ‘distance’) and lessons.

The Chaplain’s opening blessing is followed by Once in Royal David’s City, sung by the Chapel Choir with an opening solo by Isabel Warnock, Form IV. Felix Jellett, Form I, reads the first of two lessons and this is followed by Sine Nomine singing Ding Dong Merrily on High. Our newly formed quartet perform a beautiful rendition of The Snowman before a choir of staff and pupils sing the German hymn Es ist ein Ros entsprungen. Senior Prefect Éile Ní Chíanáin then reads the second lesson which is followed by a small Transition Year choir performing Infant Lowly, Infant Holy. Emily McCarthy sings a haunting solo performance of the Irish carol Don Oiche Úd i mBeithil before the Chaplain’s final blessing. The video concludes with organist Patrice Keegan playing Bach’s In Dulci Jubilo. 

Many thanks to the pupils and staff who helped coordinate the video. We hope you enjoy it and we wish you all a very Merry Christmas.