The first production Cai performed in was Bugsy Malone playing Knuckles, and he never looked back appearing in every production apart from Hairspray.
Although he has now left school, when Cai visited St David’s College last week to receive his award, there were lots of excited staff and pupils overjoyed to see him once again.
Our Head of Drama, Mrs Jennifer Appleton, said: “As soon as Cai walked into the drama room when he was in Year 7, I just knew he would be an outstanding performer!
“His natural talent for performing arts shone through in every rehearsal and performance.”
Lyn Emmerson, the Regional Representative for the National Operatic and Dramatic Association (NODA) Wales and Ireland Region, a post that she has held for 29 years, explained why Cai, was given the award.
She said: “Every year, we present Awards for outstanding contributions to Musical Theatre and Drama Productions in the seven Districts in the Wales & Ireland Region.
“The awards can be given for Individual Performance, Direction, Musical Director, Stage Management, Choreographer etc. who belong to a Society which is a member of NODA.
“In March 2022, I was pleased to receive an invitation to their production of ALADDIN JR at Theatr Colwyn which was a credit to all concerned with the success of this piece.
“I was in fact, blown away by the performance of Cai Riley as Genie.
“From the moment he took the stage, he took command of his tasks, immersing himself in the characterisation of this enviable role.
“Covered in blue make-up, Cai maintained the character from start to finish, encouraging younger members of the cast and giving them confidence.
“I was pleased to meet up with Cai at St David’s College and present him with his NODA Award and Certificate for an Outstanding Performance as Genie, an Award richly deserved.
“A very talented young man whom I am sure will succeed in his chosen path.”
Cai, who is corrently working at a school in Anglesey, and is looking forward to being involved in the school's drama department, said he had so much fun performing in school productions.
“I used to improvise a lot of scenes and Mrs Appleton would tell me to keep them in, and I enjoyed playing opposite Josh Davies we worked really well together,” said Cai.
“Josh and I were also in the Under 16s rugby team together and we were undefeated for two years, we had a strong bond together especially when we did Peter Pan, he was Hook, and I was Mr Smee.”
Cai added: “Receiving this award means a lot to me and it reminds me of very happy times I had at St David’s, and I’d like to thank Mrs Appleton for mentoring me.”
Well done Cai, and it was lovely to see you again! Please visit us again soon.