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Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Rosepark Farm

Tuesday

Female in costume with dog in a woodland area

Performing Arts and Music students at Northern Regional College make a welcome return to Rosepark Fark in Ballymoney this week with their own unique spin on ‘Wizard of Oz’. ‘Upside Down Wizard of Oz’ will be the students’ fifth year down at the farm and their reputation for putting on an entertaining event to showcase their talent has grown year on year. With the 2020 performance cancelled due to Covid, tickets for this year’s Halloween ‘spooktacular’, were snapped up as soon as they went on sale. The event, which runs from Thursday, October 28 to Sunday, October 31, from 12 midday to 4 pm each day is completely sold out.

Frankie McEldowney, Curriculum Area Manager for Creative Industries at the College’s Coleraine campus said he is delighted to see the students back doing what they do best.

“This has been a very difficult time for anyone involved in the entertainment industry. We have established an excellent partnership with Rosepark Farm so this is a wonderful opportunity for our students to get practical industry experience of putting on a show and performing in front of a live audience.”

Frankie added that all drama and music students at the College’s Coleraine campus are involved in ‘Upside Down Wizard of Oz’.

“With performances over four days, it’s a very demanding schedule. Most of the students have technical roles to carry out behind the scenes as well as performing. A lot of hard work and effort has gone into making sure everything ‘is right on the night’ and I’m really looking forward to seeing it all come together.

“It’s been a busy time, but our students know that the time they spent rehearsing and performing in front of a ‘live’ audience is time well spent as it’s great preparation for progressing to Higher Education or employment. This practical aspect of the performing arts vocational courses at the College is what our students find really worthwhile.”

Rosepark Farm, situated about 4 miles from Ballymoney is a family run attraction owned by the McAleese family. Gemma McAleese said the students’ Halloween performances are always very popular with visitors.

“We missed having them last year so it’s great to have them back again. We have a great working relationship with the College. The students are very talented and always put on an entertaining show.

The ‘Upside Down Wizard of Oz’ trail around Rospark Farm takes about an hour. With all twenty available places for each 20-minute slot between 12 noon and 4 pm sold out well it advance, it’s a great advertisement for the College’s Performing Arts courses.