Butt Drama 'Someone Who'll Watch Over Me'Tonight at the drama festival, Butt Drama Circle from Ballybofey present ‘Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me’, the second play in our programme by Frank Mc Guinness.

‘‘We are in a decidedly perilous position, to put it mildly’’.

Adam an American Doctor, Edward an Irish Journalist and Michael, an English Academic, have little to unite them beyond being human in the same small space. Yet somehow, together, they determine to ward off madness and forestall despair.

Somewhere lurk their unseen captors yet, in the cell, there are stories of adventure and love, there is song and laughter, and even a surge of writing, cocktail drinking and movie making.

Inspired by the abduction of Brian Keenan – taken hostage in Lebanon in the 1980s – ‘Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me’ is playwright Frank McGuinness’s hymn to the defiant power of the human spirit and the creative imagination.

Cloonacool Players 'I Do Not Like Thee Dr. Fell'Tonight at the drama festival, Clonacool Players present ‘I Do Not Like Thee, Doctor Fell’ by Bernard Farrell.

In this dark comedy by Bernard Farrell a group therapy session goes awry when one of its participants sets out to destroy it.

The Cloonacool Players Drama Group was formed back in the 1950s and performed a variety of plays in the local halls. After a lapse of a few years the group reformed in the mid 1980s and have provided entertainment on an annual basis in Cloonacool and surrounding areas with notable performances such as “Moll”, “Big Maggie”, “Sive” and “The Year of the Hiker”. In 2003, the group took to the festival circuit for the first time in 60 years. Over the years they have won many nominations and awards for their performances including qualifying for the All Ireland Finals in 2014 with “Many Young Men of Twenty”.


Corn Mill 'On Broken Wings'Making a welcome return to Ballyshannon, Corn Mill Theatre Group present ‘On Broken Wings’ by Dermot Healy.

The play takes its title from a popular song of the 1930s, a period in which some of the scenes are set. It opens in contemporary Ireland with an old masked figure – Timothy Lavell – seated by the hearth of a cottage on the Mullet peninsula. We follow in Act I scenes from Timothy’s childhood, including his trip by boat and train to Scotland, and his time there potato-picking, before return home again. In Act II we follow Timothy’s life in America. He finds work as an elevator man, and encounters many races and creeds. His experiences, his failed love affair, his hallucinations, and his fears are explored. Eventually he returns to Ireland to sit by the hearth like his father and mother before him. Timothy Lavell is a stubborn survivor of another age.

Curtain at 8.15pm. Tickets available via Abbey Arts Centre box office, or on the door tonight. €15/€12.

Many thanks to DADS for bringing their production of ‘The Factory Girls’ by Frank Mc Guinness to the Abbey Centre last night! Here are some photos of the show, courtesy of John Fallon.


IMG_0014Scott Marshall is an actor, director, playwright, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He has adjudicated 33 full length or one-act finals throughout Ireland, the UK and Europe. These have included 7 British All-Winners Finals since 1985, 3 Athlone All-Ireland Finals and 6 Irish One-Act Finals.

Informing his adjudications is the experience he has gleaned from every aspect of theatre:

  • having acted for a number of years with many companies including the Lyric Theatre where he played the lead in plays as diverse as ‘The Voice of Shem’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘The Dybbuk’ and Val Iremonger’s ‘Wrap Up My Green Jacket’.
  • having directed a number of societies including the City of Derry Drama Club, 71 Players, the Club Players, the Ulster Operatic Society, twice winning the Producers Award at the Waterford International Festival of Light Opera.
  • having been Drama Critic for the Belfast Telegraph over a number of years and doing occasional art reviews for the BBC.
  • having been a lecturer in English Literature and achieveing a Masters degree in Elizabethan theatre.
  • having adjudicated in Europe and the Middle East and been one of two (the other a Canadian) invited to adjudicate the prestigious World Festival of Amateur Theatre held every 4 years in Monte Carlo, where 24 countries from 5 continents presented the cream of international amateur theatre.

    Scott has recently turned to playwriting and his first full length ‘Home Boy, Home’ was produced professionally by the Playhouse, Derry in 2009 and toured to a number of venues in the province. Scott writes: “It is always with the greatest pleasure and excitement that one comes to a festival, meeting so many fine actors, committed stage crew and imaginative directors, many of whom by now are familiar faces, and indeed friends, whom one has met at so many other festivals over the years. A few hairs may be greyer, a few waistlines wider, a few names harder to remember but the warmth of feeling and the thrill from the stage is always there. I look forward immensely to sharing with you the unique atmosphere of the festival circuit in the coming days.”

The festival continues with one of our regular competitions, Dunmore Amateur Dramatic Society (DADS) presenting Frank Mc Guinness’s ‘Factory Girls’.

The Factory Girls tells the story of five working women: hardy ringleader Ellen and factory veteran Una, sharp-tongued Vera, dark horse Rebecca and baby of the bunch, Rosemary. Under the threat of devastating job losses, the “girls” take matters in to their own hands. During the course of their adventure, they discover who and what really counts when the chips are down. Set in the recessionary early 80s, the play still resonates with so much of what affects us politically, socially, and personally: recession, redundancies, lay-offs and the power of collective action. The play was the stunning debut of Frank McGuinness, one of Ireland’s greatest living playwrights, and was first produced in 1982. ‘The Factory Girls’ will feature a superb ensemble cast who will deliver every ounce of wit and banter that gives this wonderful play its real joy. First performed at The Peacock Theatre, Dublin, March 11th 1982.

Curtain at 8.15pm. Tickets available via Abbey Centre box office, and also on the door. €15/€12.