Don’t miss ‘Play On’, the side-splitting new comedy from Ballyshannon Drama Society, which continues Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday this week.

Warning! ‘Play On’ may seriously affect your health! After last night’s hilarious opening performance, there have been reports of tears streaming down faces, sides bursting with laughter, and audience members worrying about their heart conditions due to too much hilarity!!
Last night’s opening show was an absolutely fantastic way to end months of rehearsal, and to begin the run of 4 nights (only 3 left!) in the Abbey Centre. The audience were laughing from the moment the curtain opened, and continued to laugh all the way to the final curtain…the final final curtain, that is.
‘Play On’ follows a really very amateur group of actors as they rehearse for a murder mystery written by an over-zealous local writer. Directed by Rachel O’Connor and starring many well-known local faces, this show is a fantastic way to end a lovely day.
Don’t miss it!! Curtain at 8.30. Tickets available at the door.

‘Play On’ by Rick Abbott is the hilarious new comedy from Ballyshannon Drama Society which is guaranteed to have them rolling in the aisles every night! Directed by Rachel O’Connor and featuring many familiar faces, this promises to be a great night’s entertainment for all. The story follows an amateur drama group and their trials and tribulations in trying to put on a murder mystery play in their local theatre. The show opens on Tuesday May 22nd and continues Wednesday 23rd, Thursday 24th and Saturday 26th (no show on Friday) at 8.30 pm nightly.

Play On poster

And the Winners are…

THE PATSY CROAL BLUE RIBAND: ‘Sylvia’ by Prosperous

OPEN

FIRST PLACE (Maureen Gallagher Award): ‘Sylvia’, Prosperous

SECOND PLACE (C. J. King Award): ‘Beneath An Irish Sky’, Letterkenny

THIRD PLACE (Jim Flynn Award): ‘Dancing At Lughnasa’, Lifford Players

BEST PRODUCER (John Stephens Cup): Lurleen Duggan, Prosperous

BEST ACTOR (H.J. Travers Award): Robert Massey, Prosperous

BEST ACTRESS (Eoin Carney Award): Ashleigh O’Neill, Prosperous

CONFINED

FIRST PLACE (Commercial Hotel Cup): ‘Buried Child’, Phoenix Players, Tubbercurry

SECOND (Catherine Breslin Award): Sillan Players, ‘Una Pooka’

THIRD: Newtownstewart, ‘Meeting at Menin Gate’

BEST PRODUCER (Hugh & Mary Daly Cup): Peter Davey, Phoenix Players, Tubbercurry

BEST ACTRESS (Kathleen Fagan Award): Rebecca Farrington, Kiltimagh

BEST ACTOR (Saimer Cup/Paddy Mc Loone Award): Pat Feeley, Phoenix Players, Tubbercurry

BILLY MYLES AUDIENCE AWARD: Prosperous, ‘Sylvia’

BEST SET (Mary Monaghan): Prosperous, ‘Sylvia’

BEST STAGE MANAGER (Maureen Kane Award): Siobhan Keogh, Prosperous

LIGHTING (Margaret Mc Ginley Award): Ciarán Healy, Prosperous

ADJUDICATOR’S AWARDS

1) Corn Mill – ‘Waiting for Godot’

2) The cross in ‘Una Pooka’, Sillan Players

3) The dance in ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’, Lifford Players

PHIL MC LOONE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT BY A YOUNG PERSON: Eoin Callaghan, Letterkenny

Sunday 18 March is the concluding performance of the festival and Prosperous Dramatic Society will present ‘Sylvia’ by A R Gurney. It is a smart, playful, sophisticated and occasionally gritty comedy about relationships, nature and growing older. A lovable dog changes the lives of a middle-aged couple who have entered the empty nest time of life and have moved to Manhattan after twenty years in the suburbs. Greg is dissatisfied with his job but Kate is excited about her new teaching opportunities and new-found freedom. Sylvia challenges everything and everyone in the relationship. Prosperous Dramatic Society first won the 1 Act Open All Ireland finals in 1995 with ‘Faint Voice’ by John MacKenna. They won the 1 Act All Ireland finals in 2012 with ‘Bobby Gould in Hell’ by David Marmet and again in 2012 with Neil LaBute’s ‘Lovely Head’. They were invited to perform ‘Bobby Gould in Hell’ at the Mondial du Theatre in Monaco. They won the Ulster Champions title in 2013 and 2014 with Edward Albee’s ‘The Goat or Who is Sylvia’ and Marc Camoletti’s ‘Boeing Boeing’. In 2016 they came third in the All Ireland Finals with ‘One Man, Two Guv’nors’ and were awarded the Abbey Theatre Award in the All Ireland Finals in 2017 with ‘The Play about the Baby’.

ConservatoryOn Saturday 17 March the Bradán Players will present ‘Conservatory’ by Michael West. In the play you will hear: ‘I wasn’t throwing up. I was dying. I was very ill… And do you know what? In the middle of all that… malaise. I remember thinking “This is what it’s like to be married” But I’ll do it again.’ An elderly couple sit in a dark room in their house, doing the crossword, taking their tablets and knitting, all the while raking over a traumatic past that has all but destroyed them. Conservatory is a compelling play about loss and family which shows that happiness is not a necessary condition of togetherness. It premiered at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin in March 2014. Founded in 2005, the Bradan Players are from north Kildare and west Dublin area. They have appeared in the All Ireland One Act Finals seven times, winning on four occasions with their latest ‘Power Lunch’ by Alan Ball in Galway 2015. They have also appeared in the All Ireland Full-length Finals in Athlone on six occasions, most recently with ‘Blackbird’ by David Harrower in 2017.

Buried Child‘Buried Child’ by Sam Shepard will be performed on Friday 16 March by the Phoenix Players, Tubbercurry. One of the oldest drama groups, they have been performing since 1945. They are regularly involved with Community Theatre and have often qualified for the All Ireland Finals. Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, with its surreal dark humour, explores universal themes which are taboo within society. Vince returns to find the degradation of this once noble farm family in Illinois. One catastrophic event is the root cause of the degradation of a once proud family, caused by a secret buried in the dark. Has Tilden’s persistent search enabled his family to emerge like a phoenix from the ashes?

Dancing At LughnasaThursday 15 March sees the production ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ by Brian Frielperformed by Lifford Players. They have been actively participating in the Amateur Drama Circuit since they were formed

in the early 1950’s by Donegal County Council and Lifford Post Office. Their most successful decades have been the 1980’s and 2000’s with their most recent productions being ‘A Crucial Week in the Life of a Grocer’s Assistant’ by Tom Murphy in 2016 and ‘Abigail’s Party’ by Mike Leigh in 2017. ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ depicts two days in the lives of the Mundy sisters living in poor circumstances outside the village of Ballybeg, County Donegal during harvest time in 1936. Their brother Fr. Jack a missionary priest is sent home after twenty five years in Africa and the youngest character in the performance is a seven year old son of Chris the youngest sister. Brian Friel evokes not simply the interior landscape of a group trapped in their domestic situation, but also the wider landscape of which they are a part. This play was first performed in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin 24 April 1990.

Clann Machua Drama Group, Kiltimagh the-cripple-of-inishmaan-dz5mi1mg.khepresent ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’ by Martin McDonagh on Wednesday 14 March. The inhabitants of the Aran Island Inishmaan of 1934 are excited because a film crew from Hollywood is expected to arrive soon in the neighbouring island of Inishmore to begin a documentary about life on the Aran Islands. Crippled Billy Claven, eager to escape gossip, cruelty and boredom of Inishmaan is determined to be part of the film. Clann Machua Drama Group was formed in 2010 to revive the amateur dramatics in Kiltimagh and hosts the annual ACDI one act festival every year in November. The group narrowly missed out for a place in the confined finals in 2017 with ‘Juno and The Paycock’ by Sean O’Casey.