The full programme for the 62nd annual RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival was announced last weekend.
Once again the All Ireland finals will take place in the Dean Crowe Theatre, Athlone between May 1-9.
Representing all four provinces of Ireland, the nine groups have emerged from a gruelling six weeks of intensive competition at various festivals dispersed across the 32 counties of Ireland, with the cream of the crop making it to Athlone, once again.
The draw to determine the dates of the plays to be staged in Athlone was undertaken by the chairman of the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland Brendan McGowan and RTÉ’s Karina Buckley. Speaking at the draw, the festival director Joe MacCarrick congratulated the nine groups who made it through and in particular the directors, all of whom travelled to Athlone to be present for the draw.
Seven of the nine plays are directed by women, while two prominent groups of the past are notable absentees, being Silken Thomas Players of Kildare and Kilmeen Drama Group of Cork. Given that Kilmeen Drama Group were winners of the festival trophy for the past three years, 2014 will see the crowning of a new champion in the world of amateur drama opening up the competition in a way that the festival has not seen for many years.
The programme is as follows: May 1, Ballyduff Drama Group, Curse Of The Starving Class; May 2, Ballyshannon Drama Society, The Gingerbread Lady; May 3, Corn Mill Theatre Company, The Devil’s Ceili; May 4, Nenagh Players, The Outgoing Tide; May 5, The Moat Club, Naas, The Steward Of Christendom; May 6, Thurles Drama Group, A View From The Bridge; May 7, Bradán Players, Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf; May 8, Prosperous Dramatic Society, Boeing Boeing; and May 9, Wexford Drama Group, Other Desert Cities.
The final awards ceremony will take place on Saturday May 10 in the Radisson blu at 9pm, admission is by ticket only which are available from the Dean Crowe during the festival.
Tickets go on sale today, Friday April 11 at 10.30am and will be available online or by contacting the Dean Crowe Theatre box office on (090 ) 6492129.