Summer Shakespeare in the Virtual Allingham Concert, July 16th

Image of the Summer Shakespeare Project

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.