‘The Real Thing’ Opens Tonight at 8.30

‘The Real Thing’ – Opening Night Special €10

Ballyshannon Drama Society return to the Abbey Arts Centre tonight with Tom Stoppard’s startlingly funny and deeply moving ‘The Real Thing’, before taking the show out on the festival circuit. 

The play opens in the Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon, on Valentine’s Night, a fitting night for this enthralling, witty and insightful comedy about love and fidelity. 

Written by four-time Tony Award winner Tom Stoppard, ‘The Real Thing’ is a play set in 1980s London that examines the nature of honesty, love, and marriage. Featuring a play within a play, the production explores appearances versus reality through the relationship between Annie, an activist and actress, and Henry, a playwright.

First performed at London’s The Strand Theatre in 1982, ‘The Real Thing’ went on to win a Tony Award for Best Play in 1984, and another Tony in 2000 for Best Revival. Frank Rich of the New York Times called Stoppard’s ‘The Real Thing’ his “most moving play, but also the most bracing play that anyone has written about love and marriage in years.”

Directed by Christian Carbin, the cast includes Ballyshannon Drama regulars Trish Keane, Richard Hurst, Rachel O’Connor and Terence Mc Eneany, with relative newcomers Conor Friery, Simon Ferris and Louise Larkin.

Trish, Richard and Rachel have taken part in all of the circuit productions to date, including the last three which made it to the All Ireland Finals, and have accumulated more awards and trophies than they can remember! Terence is making a long overdue return to the circuit having starred in ‘The Memory of Water’, as well as ‘Widow’s Paradise’ and ‘A Wake in the West’ in the Abbey. Simon and Louise made their drama debuts earlier this year in ‘Our Town’, in which Louise played one of the lead roles, Emily. Conor Friery is well known as an actor around Donegal, having performed most recently as Johnny Pateen Mike in ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’. Director Christian is also well known locally, having performed in ‘Our Town’ and directed ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’ for the Donegal Drama Circle.

The play runs for four nights (Tues. 14th, Wed. 15th, Thurs. 16th and Sat. 17th) in the Abbey Arts Centre. 

 Following a short break the group will once again pack everything into the back of the van and hit the road for eight nights on the drama circuit.

 This will be the eighth time that Ballyshannon Drama Society have participated in the national drama competition, having made it to the All Ireland Final with the last three productions. 

The dates on the festival circuit are: Newtownstewart, March 3rd;

Enniskillen, March 7th; 

Kiltyclogher, March 8th; 

Castleblaney, March 9th; 

Cavan, March 19th; 

Bangor, March 24th; 

Carrickmore, March 28th; 

Newry, March 29th. 
Tickets for the Ballyshannon shows are available from the Abbey Arts Centre box office on 0719851375. All tickets on opening night (Feb. 14th) are €10, and €12 (€10 concessions) on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. Curtain is at 8.30pm nightly.

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