Whistle happy!

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BALLYWILLAN Drama Group opened their new show, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical Whistle Down The Wind, to a sell-out audience in Coleraine’s Riverside Theatre on Friday.

This was not just the Northern Ireland premiere of this musical, but also the All-Ireland amateur premiere, confirming the group’s reputation as one of the top amateur groups in the country.

The hugely successful family musical has toured the world and entertained hundreds of thousands of people with its haunting story of a sixteen year old Louisiana girl who believes she has found Jesus hiding in the family barn.

The show’s director, Brian Logan, said: “This is a show I have been waiting for over 10 years to direct. And I could not think of a better place to do it, or a better group of people to help me realise this dream.”

The principal cast is headed by Ashling Reynolds who takes on the lead role of ‘Swallow’, the young girl whose story the show is based around, with Alan McClarty accepting the role of ‘The Man’.

Ashling’s role is particularly demanding as she is on-stage for nearly the entire show and features in sixteen musical numbers!

Other principal roles are taken by David Ferguson, Vicky Creelman, Colin McClarty, Adam Goudy and Shay Reynolds. Backed by a large cast and two troupes of children, Whistle Down the Wind is undoubtedly one of the biggest shows Ballywillan or any other Drama Group could put on.

The audience was overwhelmingly delighted by the end of the show. The story of Whistle Down The Wind appeals to all ages making it a wonderful show for the entire family.

The tale of innocence and hope as the children of the small town join forces with Swallow, the sixteen year old heroine, to protect the man they have discovered, and are caring for, from the less naïve and adult world he is avoiding.

It has been described as “the original feel-good musical, which juxtaposes child and adult worlds and highlights the ability for unconditional love to open the hardest of hearts will have audiences entranced.”

It’s not too late to see this show as Whistle Down The Wind runs until Saturday, February 2.

Tickets can be obtained from the Riverside box office on 028 70 123 123 or you can book on-line at www.riversidetheatre.org.uk There is a performance every evening (except Sundays) and matinees on both Saturdays.