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.

Many thanks to Newtownstewart Drama Group for opening our festival with their fantastic production of John B. Keane’s ‘Sive’. Photos courtesy of John Fallon.

IMG-20190310-WA0011The weekend proved to be very successful for our production of ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, with results announced from our first three festivals. We’re delighted to report that the show placed in all three, winning First Place & Best Production in Castleblayney, and Third Place in both Kiltyclogher and Tubbercurry. In addition, there were several awards and nominations in the acting categories, as well as for light, sound and costumes.

It’s onwards and upwards from here! This week, ‘Earnest’ travels to the Ardhowen in Enniskillen on Thursday night, before returning to the Abbey Arts Centre on Saturday night.


Awards from the Castleblayney Drama Festival

  • Best Production
  • First Place
  • Best Actor Female – Rachel O’Connor as Lady Bracknell
  • The Nancy McArdle Award for Costumes

Awards from the Western Drama Festival, Tubbercurry

  • Third Place
  • Best Supporting Actress – Trish Keane as Miss Prism
  • Best Characterisation – Rachel O’Connor as Lady Bracknell
  • Stage Presentation
  • Best Lighting – Mark Fearon & Chris Dykes, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’
  • Best Sound

Awards from the Kiltyclogher Drama Festival

  • Third Place
  • Best Actor – Sean Donegan as Algernon Moncrieff
  • Best Actress – Rachel O’Connor as Lady Bracknell