The ‘Big’ time beckons for talented thespian

December 5, 2016

A first year pupil at St. Joseph’s High School in Crossmaglen will experience the thrill of a Broadway show later this week when he takes his first tentative steps into musical theatrical performance on the national stage.

Aaron Duffy, from Culloville, has landed himself a plum role in Big The Musical, which opens in Dublin’s Bórd Gáis Energy Theatre this Thursday.

At just eleven-years-old, Aaron is no stranger to the stage having played the lead role of The Artful Dodger in a Dundalk stage school’s production of Oliver Twist last year.  This week, however, is his debut on the national stage as Big The Musical comes to Dublin for its European premiere season.

Based on the classic movie starring Tom Hanks, the show is headlined by household names such as Gary Wilmot, Jay McGuinness and Diana Vickers and features songs by David Shire and Richard Maltby.

A member of the Born 2 Perform stage school based in Castleblayney, Aaron first began drama lessons as a toddler and his natural affinity with the stage has blossomed since.

Having successfully progressed through tough auditions, he says he is delighted to be cast in the show’s singing, dancing sextet ensemble.

Speaking to The Examiner ahead of the show, Aaron revealed he is really looking forward to performing although admits to being “just a little nervous”.

Combining his schoolwork with rehearsals and learning songs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aaron’s devotion to drama is evident and he remains unfazed by his workload.

His Form teacher Maria Rock describes the young protégée as a confident and all-round student, and says the whole school is proud of Aaron’s achievements.

To show their support en-masse for their talented classmate, the school’s 110 Year 8 pupils will travel to Dublin on Thursday for Aaron’s debut on the Dublin stage, which, Ms Rock says, will offer them the opportunity to experience the thrill of a Broadway show while supporting their friend.

Big The Musical opens in Dublin’s Bórd Gáis Energy Theatre this Thursday and will run until early January, before heading to London’s West End.