Tune in from 9pm on Thursday July 16th for the first Virtual Allingham Concert, featuring the Ballyshannon Drama Summer Shakespeare Project performing scenes from Much Ado About Nothing. Hey nonny nonny, hi!
Ballyshannon Drama’s Summer Shakespeare Project will feature in the Allingham Arts Festival Virtual Concert which will begin streaming at 9pm on Thursday July 16th on YouTube, the Allingham Festival Facebook Page and also on the Abbey Arts Centre page. The group of well-known Ballyshannon thespians will perform scenes from Much Ado About Nothing, shot on location in a garden in Garrison, filmed & edited by Sean O’Connor.
The Summer Shakespeare Project was conceived in response to the coronavirus crisis. With the theatres closed, the group of Ballyshannon actors came together (exercising social distancing and generally rehearsing outdoors) to learn new skills and to continue to build their artistic relationships. They worked on vocal techniques and on scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, under the guidance of director, Sean Donegan. Sean has extensive experience of working with Shakespeare’s texts, having appeared in many Shakespeare productions and having trained for several years in London with Patsy Rodenberg, one of the world’s foremost authorities on voice coaching and acting classical texts.
Sean is delighted to be joined by some of the best acting talent in Ballyshannon, between them having dozens of acting credits in your favourite shows from over the years.
This production would not have been possible without the generous support and assistance of: The Abbey Arts Centre, Pam and Peter Ferguson and Paul Dunleavy.
Sean Donegan – Benedick, a gentleman from Padua
Sean is a Ballyshannon-based actor and theatre director, originally from Inishowen. He has over twenty years’ experience in amateur and professional theatre throughout Ireland, the UK and Germany. Recent favourite productions include: The Importance of Being Earnest, Treasure Island (Abbey Arts Centre), The Winter’s Tale, Lungs (An Grianan, Letterkenny,) Three Days of Rain (Balor Theatre, Ballybofey) and Electra (TheatreForum Kreuzberg, Berlin). Sean appeared at last year’s Allingham Festival in a scene from True West by Sam Shepherd, which was played in McIntyre’s bar.
Sarah Ferguson – Balthasar, a minstrel
Sarah graduated from the Gaiety School of Acting in 2014. Since then she has starred in many productions in Ballyshannon and has also performed in the Glens Centre in Manorhamilton. Recent favourite productions include Sister Act, All Shook Up (Ballyshannon Musical Society), Play On (Ballyshannon Drama Society), Factory Girls and Eclipsed (Splodar Theatre Company, Manorhamilton).
John Larkin – Count Claudio, a lord from Florence
John is a Ballyshannon-based actor and singer with over twenty years’ experience in musical theatre in the north-west. Previous credits include the lead roles in Ballyshannon Musical Society’s productions of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Wedding Singer and The Addams Family, as well as Sligo Musical Society’s production of Beauty and the Beast. This is John’s first project with Ballyshannon Drama Society.
Louise Larkin – Beatrice, Leonato’s Niece
Louise has starred in many productions with Ballyshannon Drama Society. Favourite roles include: Gwendolyn Fairfax in The Importance of Being Earnest, Emily Webb in Our Town, Debbie in The Real Thing and Violet/Diana in Play On. She has really enjoyed this Shakespeare project and is particularly fond of rehearsing outdoors!.
Terence McEneaney – Don Pedro, Prince of Aaragon
Terence is a drama practitioner based in the northwest of Ireland. He has been a member of Ballyshannon Drama Society for the past 17 years. In that time, he has featured in many productions, most notably the multi award-winning plays “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “Five Kinds of Silence”, which reached the All-Ireland Finals. Terence is no stranger to Allingham audiences, having acted in previous festival plays: “Behind Every Man”, “Farewell to Every White Cascade” and “Breadman”. He also starred in the short film “A Walk with Allingham”.
Rachel O’Connor – Leonato, Governor of Messina
Rachel has been involved with the Ballyshannon Drama Society for many years now, as actor, director, stylist and many, many other roles besides. She recently appeared as Lady Bracknell in the circuit production of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, work for which began hot on the heels of the Abbey Vocational School hit ‘West Side Story’, which Rachel directed. She is revelling in her new role as Leonato with the Summer Shakespeare Project.
Ballyshannon Drama Society are delighted to host a drama workshop with award winning actor and director Aaron Monaghan as part of the DLI Summer School Outreach programme. Strict Covid-19 guidelines will be in place for all participants to ensure the health and safety of the participants and organisers.
The programme is funded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. The DLI would particularly like to acknowledge the support for amateur drama given by Minister Joseph Madigan.
The Workshop will take place from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm on Sunday 5th July. Tutor Aaron Monaghan recently played the lead in Druid Shakespeare’s acclaimed production of Richard III and has just finished filming the lead role in ‘Redemption of a Rogue’. He directed ‘Trad’ by Mark Doherty, which toured nationwide and is Artistic Director of Living Dred Theatre Company.
The Workshop is tailored to suit the group of 20 of varied degrees of experience in drama, musicals and pantomime and will cover:
– Physical and Vocal Warm Up
– Character development
– Questions and Answers
There is light at the end of the tunnel as Sean Donegan brings drama into the garden with ‘Summer Shakespeare’. A group of local actors have been exploring scenes by the bard in a socially distant environment, with a view to performing for a small audience in a suitable outdoor space later this summer. Their first performance will be online as part of the Allingham Festival Virtual Concert on July 19th. The group will perform a short scene from ‘Much Ado About Nothing’. The cast consists of Sean Donegan, Terence McEneaney, Louise Larkin, Sarah Ferguson, John Larkin and Rachel O’Connor.
The All Ireland Drama Festival 2020 has officially been cancelled by the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland. Here’s the text of the official statement:
“The ADCI are announcing the cancellation of the 2020 Amateur Drama Festival Circuit from 18:00 today Thursday 12th march. This decision is taken based on safety and on guidelines from the Government and the Health Service recently issued. We are sorry that the Covid-19 Virus has brought us to this situation but in the National interest and to play our part we are taking this action. Please take care of yourself during this unprecedented event. Any queries to firstname.lastname@example.org”
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As a result of the government decree on public gatherings in response to the Covid19 crisis, our upcoming ‘Evening of Comedy and Drama’, due to take place on March 18th, 19th and 21st, has now been cancelled. We hope to be able to reschedule in the future. In the meantime, stay well!
The 9-Night Season Tickets for the All Ireland Confined Finals are now sold out.
A limited number of 8-Night Season Tickets (excluding opening night) are still available at the cost of €80.
To secure your season tickets, please phone the Abbey Arts Centre box office on 071 9851375 (opening hours Mon-Fri, 11am – 3pm).
To keep the local drama fans entertained as we await the Confined Finals in April, Ballyshannon Drama Society will present two one-act plays on March 18th, 19th and 21st in the Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon, at 8.30pm nightly. This promises to be a wonderful night of entertainment for all, with two very different productions.
To begin, we have the one-act comedy ‘A Bit of Land’ by Agnes Adam, directed by Rachel O’Connor. Most recently seen on stage asking questions about handbags, Rachel since directed the hit production of ‘West Side Story’ in the AVS. Rachel also directed the hilarious ‘Play On’ in the Abbey Centre, and so we look forward to plenty of laughs with this show! The cast includes Callum Gallagher, John Travers, Sean McLoone, Andrea Whelan, Margaret Timoney and Frankie O’Donnell.
To balance the comedy, we have ‘Faint Voices’ by John Mc Kenna, directed by Ann Mc Hugh. Ann’s last one-act production, ‘Five Kinds of Silence’ won many awards on the festival circuit, and took home Second Place in the All Ireland Finals in Letterkenny in 2017. Of course, several of Ann’s full-length productions made it to the All Ireland Finals as well, such as ‘God of Carnage’ and ‘The Gingerbread Lady’, with ‘Steel Magnolias’ coming first in the Confined Finals. The cast includes Audrey Davitt, Terence McEneaney, Sean Donegan and Rachel O’Connor.
“Faint Voices” by John McKenna (Drama)
Directed by Anne McHugh
Cast: Audrey Davitt, Terence McEneaney, Sean Donegan and Rachel O’Connor
‘Faint Voices’ portrays the doomed relationship between the WW1 soldier-poet Francis Ledwidge and his lover Ellie Vaughey, and the impact of his death on family and friends. Ledwidge, known as the ‘Poet of the Blackbird’, was born near Slane, and served in the British Army. He was killed in the Battle of Ypres in 1917.
“A Bit of Land” by Agnes Adam (Comedy)
Directed by Rachel O’Connor
Cast: Callum Gallagher, John Travers, Sean McLoone, Andrea Whelan, Margaret Timoney and Frankie O’Donnell.
A rollicking comedy! Tommy Boyle persuades Dan Murphy to impersonate his recently deceased father for the purpose of making a will. After a hurried make-up, Dan jumps into bed and poses as the dying man. The schoolmaster arrives to make the will…but things don’t go quite as planned, with hilarious results!!
Admission €12 / Concession €10 — Box office: 071 9851375 — Online booking available soon.