An Evening of Comedy & Drama – ‘A Bit of Land’ & ‘Faint Voices’

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 €10Box office: 071 9851375Online booking available soon. 

Confined Finals Update


The curtain rose on the All Ireland Amateur Drama Festival on Friday 21st of February as the first festivals opened their doors to competing groups, adjudicators and of course the audience! Rush, Kilmuckridge and Newtownstewart maintained their traditions of being the first festivals on the circuit with plays in both the Open and Confined sections.

As the weeks go on, you can keep track of the competition on, where you can download this Nightly planner or follow the festivals and results. The ADCI Facebook page is updated regularly with all the latest festival news.

Here in Ballyshannon, we’ll be paying close attention to the results in the Confined section to see who will be joining us in the Abbey Arts Centre in April.

If you’re planning to visit Ballyshannon for the festival, we’ve included a list of accommodation and dining options in the area on the website, and will be posting frequent updates on our own Facebook page.

For more information on the Confined Finals, visit our dedicated page on the website.

Casting Announcement!

We’re delighted to share the cast list for our upcoming production of ‘A Bit of Land’, to be directed by Rachel O’Connor:

Callum Gallagher – Tommy Boyle
Sean McLoone – Dan Murphy
Andrea Whelan – Mary J. Monaghan
Margaret Timoney – Biddy Lynch
Frankie O’Donnell – James Gormley.

‘Let the shenanigans begin!😊’ – Rachel O’Connor.

Auditions for One-Act Comedy Feb. 6th

We are delighted to announce that Rachel O’Connor will direct the one-act Irish comedy ‘A Bit of Land’, to be performed alongside ‘Faint Voices’ in March.
The cast consists of Tommy (30s), Dan (60s), Mary-Jane (middle-aged), Biddy (an old woman), Master Gormley (middle-aged).
The auditions will take place in the Green Room in the Abbey Arts Centre at 8pm.
All welcome!

All Ireland Confined Finals 2020

81289599_10221136119422063_1794082602034921472_nAs drama festival organisers around the country welcome this year’s competing groups, we’re looking forward to the excitement of the All Ireland Confined Finals in April! We’ll be hosting the top 9 plays in the Confined group as they compete for the All Ireland trophy in the Abbey Centre from April 17th to the 25th.

The draw to decide the running order of the festival will take place in the Abbey Centre on Saturday the 4th of April at 1pm. Following that, nightly tickets will be available online from April 6th (€18/€15). In the meantime, if you’d like to secure a season ticket, they will be available from March 1st by phone on 0719851375 for €90.

There are 21 groups participating in the Confined Group this year. You can follow all the action of the league table on once the festivals begin to see which of these groups will be joining us in Ballyshannon!

  • Lislea Dramatic Players – “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Kesey/Wasserman
  • Phoenix Players – “The Communication Cord” by Brian Friel.
  • The Knocks Drama Group – “ The Cavan Curse” by John Mc Manus
  • Enniskillen Theatre Co. – “ The Night Alive” by Conor Mc Pherson
  • Clonabogan Drama Circle – “The Two Loves of Gabriel Foley” by Jimmy Keary
  • Pomeroy Players- “Same Old Moon” by Geraldine Aron
  • Newtownstewart Theatre Co. – ”Shoot The Crow” by Owen Mc Cafferty
  • Clann Machua, Kiltymagh – ”Sive” by J.B. Keane
  • Sliabh Aughty Drama Group – ”The Outgoing Tide” by Bruce Graham
  • Glenamaddy Players – ”The Cripple of Inishmaan” by Martin Mc Donagh
  • Sillan Players, Shercock – “At the Black Pig’s Dyke” by Vincent Woods
  • Duleek Drama Group – ”The Blacksmith” by Michael Ferguson
  • Kilmuckridge Drama Group – ”Daughter from over the Water” by M.J Molloy
  • Wayside Players – “The Cripple of Inishmaan” by Martin Mc Donagh
  • Tinahely Variety Group -”Juno and the Paycock” by Sean O Casey
  • Skibbereen Theatre Society – ”Steel Magnolias”  by Robery Harling
  • Mullingar Theatre Lab – ”One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Kesey/Wasserman
  • Kilworth Dramatic Society – ”The Quiet Moment” by Mike Finn
  • Camross Drama Group – ”The Year of the Hiker” by J.B. Keane
  • Ray Leonard Players, Claremorris – “Beyond Therapy” by Christopher Durang
  • St. Dympna’s, Dromore – “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” by Martin Mc Donagh

Casting Announcement!

We are delighted to announce the cast for our upcoming production of ‘Faint Voices’ by John Mac Kenna, which will be directed by Anne Mc Hugh.

Ellie Vaughan – Audrey Davitt
Francis Ledwidge – Terence McEneaney
Matty Mc Goona – Sean Donegan
Mrs. Ledwidge – Rachel O’Connor

Congratulations to the new cast members, and many thanks to everyone who turned up to the audition. We’re looking forward to this production, which will open in March a few weeks ahead of the All Ireland Confined Finals in April.


Ann Mc Hugh to direct ‘Faint Voices’

We are delighted to confirm that award-winning director Ann Mc Hugh has announced plans to stage ‘Faint Voices’, a one-act play, by John MacKenna in March 2020 (pending the successful acquisition of performing rights).

There will be an open reading on Monday the 16th of December at 8pm in the Abbey Arts Centre. All welcome.

The play is based on the love affair between Frank Ledwidge, the Slane poet who was killed in 1917 in the Great War, and Ellie Vaughey, a member of a well-to-do farming family from just outside Slane.
Ledwidge worked at a variety of jobs in and around Slane in the early years of the twentieth century. His poetic talent was encouraged by Lord Dunsany, a local landlord and himself a writer. Ledwidge’s promise was cut short by his early death.
The reasons for Ledwidge’s joining the British army are complicated. Some people have argued that it was a political decision. Undoubtedly, the loss of Ellie Vaughey’s love was a major influence and this factor is the central point of this play.
Ellie Vaughey married a local man and moved to Manchester where she died in childbirth, in June 1915.

There are four speaking roles and a number of non-speaking roles.

Speaking roles:

Mrs Ledwidge
Matty McGoona
Ellie Vaughey
Frank Ledwidge

Neighbours and soldiers make up the non-speaking roles.

Ballyshannon Drama Society to host All Ireland Confined Finals 2020

Ballyshannon Drama Society will very proudly host the All Ireland Amateur Drama Confined Finals 2020, from April 17th to the 25th in the Abbey Arts Centre.

Ballyshannon hosted two very successful All Ireland One Act Finals, first in 1996 and again in 2014, but this is the first time that the confined finals will be held in Donegal. The top nine acts from 35 festivals around the country will perform in front of adjudicator Paul Fowler, in the hope of winning the All Ireland trophy. There will also be fringe events during the festival, and a festival club each night.

Season tickets will be available online in the new year at the cost of €90 per person. This will entitle the holder to an allocated seat at each of the nine nights of the festival. The draw for the running order of the final will take place on April the 6th. Nightly tickets will be made available online shortly after that date at €15 per person.