"Years 7 and 8 viewed a magnificent performance by Blue Whale Theatre about the life of Catherine McAuley. This performance went into ‘depth’ of who Catherine McAuley was and how her actions heavily influenced the surrounding environment. OLMC is a school which promotes the action of service throughout our school, community and home environments, which is evidently shown throughout Catherine's life. One of the many examples of this is when Catherine creates the first House of Mercy in Baggot Street, Dublin in 1827. This house was to be the foundation for providing the marginalised with a safe place to be educated about the skills they would need later to improve their standards of living. Seeing a performance like this opened the eyes of Stage 4 students and made us realise that we cannot wait for action, we must create it ourselves, as Catherine did, in the eyes of the Lord."
Josie, Year 8, OLOM College Parramatta, 2016
The play A Bright Light In The Darkness was well written and very informative, it included many dates of Catherine McAuley's life and different perspectives on it. It helped me understand parts of the story of the Sisters of Mercy, how and why they came to be. I learned about some of the people in Catherine McAuley's life and how they had an impact on the person she became and how her life unfolded. I think it was neat how the actors in the play changed characters from time to time, it gave a great range of people for us to include in our assessment. It was very helpful to have the play come to our school and perform because it gave us a better understanding of how important Catherine McAuley was in the Mercy story.
Aliyah, Year 8, Mercedes College Perth
The play was exceptional. Not only did it teach the children all about Catherine McAuley, it also helped us better understand the important Mercy values. All the children were thoroughly entertained with the balance of humour mixed with serious situations. I know that everyone enjoyed the play and would definitely want to watch it again. Thank you so much.
Tane`, Year 8, Mercedes College Perth
"The Catherine McAuley play was very interesting they used lots of different outfits to act the different characters, they had very limited props but you could still understand what was going on. They were very good at projecting their voices which made it easy to hear. They really made the play interesting. Catherine was very at showing her emotions. We learnt about how her compassion to help people is what helped her open the house of Mercy. She was a very compassionate person." Giulia and Ciara, Santa Maria College Perth WA.
"We really enjoyed this play and we could watch it over and over again without getting bored! Our highlight of the play was the first part where Catherine was 5 years old and was helping Jenny the less fortunate child. We have learnt a lot like how Catherine McAuley became a nun, how she lived her life and the challenges she faced. This is why we really enjoyed this play and we want to thank them for the effort they put in."
Kleonora and Sarah, Santa Maria College Perth WA March 2017.
Today we saw the Catherine McAuley play and we thought it was very interesting and we learnt lots of new things, like we didn't know that Catherine also known as Kitty in her early years, built a house, called the House of Mercy for the women and girls who need shelter and learning facilities to do things like: reading, writing and sewing. We think it was very interesting how they showed the story of Catherine McAuley's life. We thought it was an amazing performance and if we got the chance we would definitely see it again. Kaylee and Stasia, Year 6, Santa Maria College
I enjoyed the play because it was very educational and we didn't know she had had such an impact on all these families, and the actors where very believable! We learnt many new things, including that Catherine McAuley had over a million dollars and decided to build a house for poor women and girls and spent nothing on herself and educated over 200 girls/women. Bec and Bella, Year 6, Santa Maria College
"Dear Blue Whale Theatre, a few days ago when you came to our school performing “A Bright Light In The Darkness", I thought that you were going to be only talking to us about Catherine McAuley's life, but when I arrived in the hall, when I heard the beautiful music playing in the background, I suddenly changed my mind. I had that gut feeling that it would be a performance to remember. And it was. I especially liked the part where “Kitty” gave Jenny Mr. Teaspoon Head, as I felt as though it was a very kind gesture. I also liked the actor who played Catherine's dad, and William Callahan. Thank you for coming to our school, Blue Whale Theatre". Thomas, Year 5 St Michaels Primary Baulkham Hills, May 2016.
"A few days ago when I heard about this play I was expecting it to be a little boring, but when it started I realised Catherine McAuley's life was amazing! Every minute of the play really inspired me and I would really like to say thank you for performing this for us, I especially enjoyed the part when Catherine was really generous and gave her special toy (Mr TeapotHead) that was very important to her to Jenny as she had nothing. I also really think it was amazing how Catherine made that amazing big Mercy house for all the homeless people to enjoy them selves and get them back on the feet. Thank you so much for coming to St Michaels and performing Catherine's life, it really inspired me.” Thank you, Sincerely Lachlan, Year 5, St Michaels Primary, Baulkham Hills, Sydney.
"The Blue Whale play was about Catharine McAuley's life.The story started off in ireland in a big house with her mother and father living a perfect life, Catharine and her dad helped the poor living on the streets, she had a dream to build a mercy house. The play was very detailed and imaginative, there were some very interesting parts like when Jenny comes for help and Catherine opens the door to a stranger. This play was one of the most interesting plays of someones life and it was totally great like I said one of the best life plays I have ever seen.” Caleb, Year 6 St Michaels Primary, Baulkham Hills, Sydney.
"I enjoyed the play about Catherine McAuley because the actors used lots of expression and I think that it told the story of her life extremely well and I truly think that it was amazing. Thank you for taking the time to prepare for this wonderful and charming play with amazing and realistic characters, it could have practically real life." Noah Year 6 St Michaels Primary, Baulkham Hills, Sydney.
"On the 25-5-16 the play that you performed Catherine McAuley was very moving because of the way it demonstrated the life of Catherine McAuley. It showed how from when she was still so young she cared about everyone and everything. It showed how when she was just five years old she gave a brand new toy to someone she had just met. Catherine McAuley opened a house for the women because she cared so much about their well being and how they lived. The performance was very detailed and there was so much effort put into the production. It was fun to watch and I learned so much more about the life of Catherine McAuley and how she dedicated her life to others and the path of God. Thank you for preforming the play and I loved every part of it." Melissa Year 6 St Michaels Primary, Baulkham Hills, Sydney.
"On the 25-5-16 we watched the play of Catherine McAuley which we are very thankful for. The actors were very enthusiastic and they had great expression. We thank you for spending your time showing us the life of Catherine McAuley. I think that they would be great actors and actresses in the future. I think they did an amazing job showing Catherine McAuley's life. I hope we can see another play from you guys”. Nikola Year 6.
"I would like to thank the whale theatre group for there enthusiastic performance of the life of Catherine McAuley. i personally enjoyed your acting and the way you told us the story. even the question time was great.”
Olivia Year 6 St Michaels Primary, Baulkham Hills, Sydney .
"I enjoyed the play about Catherine McAuley because the actors used lots of expression and I think that it told the story of her life extremely well and I truly think that it was amazing. Thank you for taking the time to prepare for this wonderful and charming play with amazing and realistic characters, it could have practically real life." Noah year 6 St Michaels Primary, Baulkham Hills, Sydney
"On the 25th of May 2016,Blue whale theatre can to our school.They performed a play about Catherine McAualy-A bright light in the darkness.The play was very well constructed and quite moving.The play was about Catherine McAualy and her life,and her journey of helping the poor.The actor and actress were all very good at their roles and performed excellently." From Amalija year 6 St Michaels Primary, Baulkham Hills, Sydney.
"I really liked it because all the actors were very talented people. I really liked how the actors were able to act all the characters so well." Matthew year 6 St Michaels Primary, Baulkham Hills, Sydney
"On the 25th of May you came to our school to present the Cathierine MacAughley Lifestory thing. It was very interesting and I enjoyed it a lot. The three people who acted had a lot of expression and played their different roles very well. Even though they acted different people out you guys were still interesting. You guys were very enthusiastic and made me feel as though I were actually there. I would like to see more of your productions.” Lauren Year 6 St Michaels Primary, Baulkham Hills, Sydney
"Last week year 5 and 6 saw your play on Ms. Catherine McAuley. I enjoyed this play , It had lots of visual and showed lots of expression. This is one of my most favourite plays I've seen in my school." Natasha Year 6 St Michaels Primary, Baulkham Hills, Sydney
"On Wednesday the 25 May, my grade and I watched an amazing performance on Catherine McAuley's life. This play showed how she grew up and what happened in her life. The actors showed great enthusiasm in their performance and told the story well. Overall she was a loving and kind lady that had a lot to do with the parish." Felicity Year 6 St Michaels Primary, Baulkham Hills, Sydney
"On Wednesday 25th of May you came to our school and performed the Catherine McAuley play. I really liked how you added in parts of the story that didn't actually happen in her life, but you wanted to show us how difficult it was to live there at that time. Thank you for coming to our school, it was a great play!!” Jessica Year 6 St Michaels Primary, Baulkham Hills, Sydney
"l really enjoyed the play and how you managed to pretend to have different personalities and make it believable. The play was very gripping and captured my attention for the entire time. It was a thoroughly fantastic play and l wish you good luck in your other plays." Michael Year 6 St Michaels Primary, Baulkham Hills, Sydney
"On the 25-5-16 you came to our school to perform A Light In The Darkness The Catherine McAuley Story. I thought it was a great play and i really liked how the actors played so many different people. It was really great. Thank you for coming.” Georgia Year 6 St Michaels Primary, Baulkham Hills, Sydney
"I enjoyed the play because it was very well told and was detailed about Catherine McAuley. They didn't fail once in the acting and of course weren't shy. The were very creative, and the actors had a lot of expression. It was a great play.” Andrew Year 6 St Michaels Primary, Baulkham Hills, Sydney
"During the performance I was very enthusiastic because it gives me a message.There are many people who are poor.We are glad that someone helped the poor and we can try to be merciful to the poor.” Nicola Year 6 St Michaels Primary, Baulkham Hills, Sydney
“I thought it was really interesting. I learnt quite a bit and it was fun because it really brought you into what the characters were doing. I thought it was surprising that Catherine kept on going and kept believing in God and thinking 'I can do this' even though her family and friends had died. I learnt that she always treasured what she had learnt and what she had been given.” Abby Aged 11, St Charles Primary, Ryde Sydney.
“I loved how in between every section they gave you question breaks. That helped the children and the teachers understand more about the play. I was surprised at how many diseases were around and that her father died when she was so young, because I thought he had inspired her throughout most of her life." Year 4 student Justin, St Charles Catholic Primary, Ryde, Sydney
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Testimonials from school students