Lion King and Book of Dreams scoop student theatre awards

Almost 3,000 entries received from nearly 250 schools in pursuit of prestigious honours

Separate productions of The Lion King Junior have won two of the big prizes at the Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards.

Scoil Réalt na Mara from Kilmore, Co Wexford, won in the primary school category for best musical; the Presentation Secondary School in Thurles won at secondary level.

The children of Scoil Éanna, Bullaun, Loughrea, Co Galway, won best overall school play for The Book of Dreams which they wrote themselves.

The best overall school play at secondary level went to the topical Séan O'Casey classic The Plough and the Stars which was performed by Mercy Secondary School, Mounthawk, Tralee in Co Kerry.


The best actors at primary level were Seán Burke O'Donoghue for his performance as Patrick O'Connor in Fight for Freedom. The best female role went to Caoimhe Troy for her performance as Rafiki in The Lion King Junior.


At secondary level Caolann Haughton won for best male actor in his performance as Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar. He is a pupil of Maynooth Post Primary School. The best female actor went to Lainey O'Sullivan for her role as Gertrude in Hamlet. She is a student of Skerries Community College, Skerries, Co Dublin.

Some 2,888 entries were received from 249 primary and secondary schools. The awards took place before 1,400 primary and secondary school students in the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin.

Special guests at the awards ceremony included: Sabina Higgins and the members of the Bord Gáis Energy Student Theatre Awards judging panel; actress Amy Huberman; playwright Marina Carr; author Sarah Webb; set and costume designer Maree Kearns; Bord Gáis Energy Theatre manager Stephen Faloon and Bord Gáis Energy communications manager Irene Gowing.

Mr Faloon, who was the chairman of the judging panel described the standard as “incredible”.

"What we saw was professional. Thbis could be a West End musical or a Broadway show. We are so proud of all the entrants. The future of Irish theatre is looking good."

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times