Well done to Richard Hurst on taking home the award for Best Actor in Bangor last night. In addition to that, the backstage crew and tech team finally got recognition for all their hard work and expertise with the award for Best Technical Excellence, which includes stage management and set changes. Rachel O’Connor received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. More results tonight from Cavan!
Results from Bangor
Congratulations to all our winners, and well done to all the groups who participated in this year’s festival. The standard across all nine nights of drama was exceptionally high, and our adjudicator Mr. Vince had some very tough decisions to make! (Photos: John Fallon).
Congratulations to John Fallon on being immortalised in the Ballyshannon Drama Society Hall of Fame at a ceremony in the Abbey Arts Centre last night. John has a long history of involvement in local drama, most recently acting as the resident festival photographer. We’re delighted to have this opportunity to honour all his contributions, accomplishments and achievements…and to get him in front of the camera for a change!
A native of Strokestown, Co. Roscommon, John came to the area in September 1980 to take up a teaching post in St. Macartan’s National School in Bundoran. He performed in a number of productions with the Bundoran Drama Group in the 1980s: ‘The Righteous Are Bold’, ‘Key For Two’, ‘Patrick Pierce Motel’, ‘See How They Run’ and ‘Fool’s Paradise’. In 1987, 1988 and 1999, three of these productions won the confined section in the Ballyshannon Drama Festival. John returned to the stage in 2016 as a cast member in the Ballyshannon Drama Society production of Thornton Wilder’s ‘Our Town’.
A multi-talented individual, John has acted as the sports co-ordinator in St. Macartan’s, ran the chess and draughts club, and enjoyed county, Ulster and All Ireland success in the Community Games. He is a member of the Wine Club, the Gourmet Club, the Badminton Club, the Photographic Club, and has still found the time to perform in four choirs: Bel Canto, Donegal Voices, the Bundoran Church Choir, and the Bundoran Remembered Choir.
On top of all this, John is an accomplished pianist and organist…and if that weren’t enough, he was also a member of the Long School of Dancing. John and his partner Catherine Breslin went on to win County, Ulster and All Ireland titles, so it seems fitting that John’s plaque will sit alongside his old dance partner’s in our Hall of Fame.
Closing the Ballyshannon Drama Festival this year we have Prosperous presenting Edward Albee’s ‘The Play About The Baby’.
Please note the earlier start time of 7.30pm to allow for the awards ceremony, which will begin shortly after the adjudication.
The play opens in a version of Eden, with the Boy and Girl. She is pregnant. The Girl gives birth to the baby. Soon, a middle aged couple, the Man and Woman appear…Witty, cryptic, part puzzle play, part vaudeville, the play is essential Albee, and shows the major American dramatist – now deceased – continuing a career of experimentation that has always been very European in its absurdist embrace and subsequent disregard for naturalism. This funny, harrowing dramatic fable, which features a four-member ensemble, is as explicit and concise a statement of what Mr. Albee believed as he is ever likely to deliver. It is presented in the form of what might be called a cosmic vaudeville, in which two old pros in this old world teach a pair of young adults just how bleak and dangerous the universe can be.
MAN – ROBERT MASSEY
WOMAN – AMANDA RYAN
BOY – JAMES MURPHY
GIRL – ASHLEIGH O’NEILL
DIRECTOR – LURLENE DUGGAN
Production Assistant: Siobhan Keogh; Stage Management: Siobhan Keogh; Set Design: Lurlene Duggan; Lights: Ciaran Healy, James Murphy, Jimmy Grace; Sound: Claire O’Neill; Set Construction: T. J. Duggan, Brian Moran, Malcom Taylor, Peter O’Neill; Backstage: Cyrena Hayes, Trish O’Neill.
‘The Play About The Baby’, the Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon, March 19th, 7.30pm.
Contact John on 0863743207 or the Abbey Arts Centre box office on 0719851375 to avoid disappointment.
Tonight we welcome Corn Mill back to Ballyshannon with ‘Philadelphia Here I Come’ by Brian Friel.
‘Philadelphia Here I Come’ is a 1964 play written by Brian Friel. It is set in the fictional town of Ballybeg. It centres around Garet (Gar) O’ Donnell’s proposed move to America. Gar is protrayed by two characters, Gar Public (the Gar that people see, talk to and talk about) and Gar Private (the unseen man, the man within, the conscience). It’s essentially about exile, the exile of emigration, the exile of emotional disconnect, the exile of choosing security over love and the exile of living fantasy rather than reality. The play is a tragic comedy with many comical scenes.