The Dominican and Ignatian Dramatic Society (known as the D&I ) was set up by Fr Peadar Feeney SJ in the late 1950s. Most of the members were past pupils of St Ignatius’ College or The Dominican Convent, Taylor’s Hill. They staged a play every year for several years with any profits accruing going to the two school funds.
Fr Feeney placed a heavier emphasis on elocution than on acting. The cast rehearsed in the Sancta Maria Hotel and most of the productions were staged in the Rosary Hall and were reasonably successful, plays such as The Barretts of Wimpole Street, Macbeth, Murder in the Cathedral, Rebecca, The Admirable Crichton, A Man for All Seasons, etc.
When Fr Feeney was transferred from the Jes, members of the cast approached Fr Kieran Ward and asked him, because of his considerable experience with school plays, to take over as director. In spite of his age, he agreed and he produced two further plays, Professor Tim and The Country Boy. Both of these productions played to packed houses in the Columban Hall and The Country Boy was very successful on the amateur drama circuit and made it to the All-Ireland finals in Athlone.
Our photograph today is of the cast of The Admirable Crichton which ran from Thursday to Sunday in January 1963 with a matinee on Sunday (and a raffle for a £1 note at the interval ). They are, as they appeared on the programme: Joffre Briand who played Crichton; The Hon Ernest Wooley was Thomas Kenny; Colette Heaney played Lady Agatha Lasenby; Joan O’Keefe, Lady Catherine Lasenby; Rose Lee, Lady Mary Lasenby; Ivor Faulkner, The Rev John Treherne; Andrew Keogh, the Earl of Loam; Lord Brocklehurst, Kenneth Keane; Mrs Perkins, Olive Staunton; Monsieur Fleury, Padraig Lydon; Mr Rolleston, Donagh O’Donoghue; Mr Tompsett, Gerard O’Neill; Miss Fisher, Eileen Heffernan; Miss Simmons, Helen Flannery; Madamoisella Jeanne, Emer Tierney; John, Brian Colgan; Eliza, Mary O’Leary; A Naval Officer, Gerard O’Neill; and The Countess of Brocklehurst was played by Mary Quinn.
This photograph is one of many in The Jes, 150 Years of the Jesuits in Galway, 1862-2012 which was published by the school. It is a wonderful illustrated history of the school and should be in every past pupil’s library. In good bookshops and available from the school.