Tubbercurry’s Western Drama Festival 2016

“A mood of great expectation is set for Tubbercurrys Western Drama Festival (4-12 Mar) as it launched its 73 rd Festival announcing its programme on Friday night 19 February. Ciarán McCauley of the Blue Raincoat Theatre Co was Western Drama Festivals honoured guest for the event. Patrons truly appreciated Ciarán profound insight into the plays. He focused on the story, and teased out the themes of each of the plays. Giving a unique perspective ‘on the meat and bones of each piece’, he definitely whetted patron’s appetite to experience the feast of drama chosen for them this season. There is something for everyone to enjoy in this year’s WDF programme; comedy, thrillers and very interesting dramas, this is an event to look forward to. Proceedings on launch night commenced as the Phoenix Players entertained a full house with their wonderful production of Neil Simon’s hilarious comedy ‘The Sunshine Boys’   produced by Ursula Brennan. Huge thanks to our most appreciative audience, some who travelled from abroad for the occasion. Their reaction was fantastic, well done to the cast who entertained from start to finish. We wish the Phoenix, Tom Walsh, Pat Feely, Colin Callanan, Nanette Mc Donagh, Mary Barry, Grainne Brennan, Michael Coleman and Conan Brennan and their supporting crew every success as they begin on the festival circuit, which kicks off for them in Enniskillen on 4 March.Patrons experienced a taste of the high standard expected from this year’s programme and it certainly set the mood for what is to come. Mini Programmes are available now with a synopsis of the plays, giving a brief glimpse of the treats in store. Back Stage theatre group from Longford open the festival on Friday March 4 with ‘Blithe Spirit’, a great classic comedy for all the family, you are fully guaranteed to leave the theatre in the highest of spirits! Tubbercurrys festival is among one of the finest in Ireland and always has the top groups in the country participating in it. It runs from the 4 to 12 March at 8pm. Amateur drama groups are currently in top flow in preparation for the Amateur Drama Festivals. John P Kelly adjudicating this year’s WDF will have the task in selecting plays to go forward. There are in all 38 regional festivals nominating participating plays to the final all Ireland Drama competitions. Reaching the All Ireland Drama Competitions is ‘the Holy Grail’ for every group participating! While the launch was definitely a real opportunity to find out about the plays, the actual event opens on Friday 4 March and runs for nine nights; feedback from patrons who attended the Festival Launch was they could not deny themselves the opportunity to experience nine nights of entertaining theatre on their doorstep in a thoroughly welcoming and pleasant environment. Festival Season tickets are €55 and with just a limited number left, we are anticipating a tremendous festival! Book 0719185679 Killorans. Teeling St.”

Backstage Theatre Group: Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward

Fri 4th Mar, 2016: Open – Comedy

  • This is great classic comedy which concerns a novelist who invites the eccentric medium and clairvoyant, Madame Arcati, to his house to conduct a séance. The scheme backfires when he is haunted by the ghost of his temperamental first wife, Elvira, after the séance who disrupts Charles’s marriage to his second wife, Ruth, who cannot see or hear the ghost. You will leave the Theatre in the highest of spirits!

Thurles Drama Group: Portia Coughlan by Marina Carr

Sat 5th Mar, 2016 Confined –Drama

  • Marina Carr creates the very interesting character, Portia Coughlan who is at odds with the world around her. She is on the road to self-destruction. She feels the life being sucked from her by her dysfunctional family and the society that she lives in. The play is a study of Portia Coughlan’s severe disturbance and any humour is black. This play is not suitable for children.

D.A.D.S., Dunmore: The Gigli Concert by Tom Murphy

Sun 6th Mar, 2016 Confined –Drama

  • The Gigli Concert deals with seven days in the relationship between JPW King, a quack self-help therapist living in Dublin and the mysterious Irishman, a construction millionaire who asks King to teach him how to sing like the Italian opera singer Beniamino Gigli. This play has magnificent language, ideas and stage trickery. Against the odds the main character, King finds his life rejuvenated by his bizarre and semi-comic relationship with his patient.

Phoenix Players, Tubbercurry: The Sunshine Boys by Neil Simon

Mon 7th Mar, 2016 Confined – Comedy

  • Ex-vaudevillians Willie Clark and Al Lewis reunite for a television special — in spite of the fact that they can’t stand each other. Over the course of forty-odd years, not only grew to hate each other but never spoke to each other off-stage throughout the final year of their act. The sharp humor is derived from efforts to get the two cantankerous actors into the same room for a rehearsal for the performance!

Compántas Lir: Proof by David Auburn

Tue 8th Mar, 2016 Confined – Drama

  • This is a fine drama with a really fascinating plot where the daughter of a brilliant but disturbed mathematician (recently deceased) tries to come to grips with her possible inheritance: his insanity! Hal shows up, one of her father’s ex-students and wants to search through his papers and estranged sister, Claire to help settle his affairs. Catherine gives them a notebook with the development of a unique mathematics theory that Catherine claims that she developed. Hal and Claire do not believe on her, until the truth is disclosed.

Sillan Players: Big Maggie by John B Keane

Wed 9th Mar, 2016 Open – Drama

Big Maggie is a riveting story of money, land and an Irish mother’s tough love…” Set in a small town in 1960s rural Ireland it is a brilliant dark comedy full of intrigue. It revolves around the struggles of a recently widowed woman to assert control over her family and indeed her own life. Big Maggie has acquired the strong traits… of newly awakened, powerful and liberated women!

Lifford Players: A Crucial Week in the Life of a Grocer’s Assistant by Tom Murphy

Thu 10th Mar, 2016 Open -Drama

  • This is a fascinating drama, with brilliant well drawn characters. It revolves around John Joe Moran life. He is 29 the son of the town gravedigger and a washerwoman, and the servant to a craw-thumping grocer who pays him low wages .John Joe has a girl and dreams of escape just like his brother, but his mother and her close ally the Parish Priest keep John Joe firmly in chains.

Ennis Players: The Loves of Cass Maguire by Brian Friel

Fri 11th Mar, 2016 Open –Drama

  • This is a great dramatic study of the life of Cass McGuire. She is a feisty old lady who worked for 50 years in Skid Row, among deadbeats and washouts. This play deals with her return to Ireland and her genteel family’s rejection of her. It follows the struggle to re-discover the home she’s dreamt of all her life and her eventual surrender to the make believe of Eden House.

Brideview Drama Group: The Belfry by Billy Roche

Sat 12th Mar, 2016: Open –Drama

  • A striking and most dramatic piece of theatre sees every character is in search of something. ‘Belfry’ centres on Artie O Leary, a bell ringing sacristan who lives in his own world and the local priest, Father Pat, who is having serious doubts about his vocation. Artie is filled with turbulent passion and emotion for the first time in his life when he finds love but with a married woman!