After an unsettled few months, Athlone’s Passionfruit Theatre is getting ready to reopen its doors to the public next week.
Members of the theatre company have signed a new lease on the premises, which has remained closed since the previous lease expired on Easter Saturday, April 11.
The keys were handed over to secretary of the Passionfruit Theatre Company, Fiona Ducke, last Thursday, and she was able to re-enter the 70-seater venue on Friday.
Ms Ducke said all those involved with the theatre were “thrilled” to be returning to the venue. “We are looking forward to the opening weekend, and are absolutely thrilled to be back in. We would like to thank our solicitors Anthony Barry and Owen Carty for all their help in making this possible. We received great support from the public and I would like to thank all those who helped us,” she said.
Ms Ducke expressed particular gratitude to the theatre’s sponsors, Spectrum Signs, and to management at a number of local venues, including Reeves Art Studio, the Palace Bar, and the Dean Crowe Theatre, who offered their facilities in recent months to stage a number of Passionfruit events.
Preparations are now under way for the first production to take place in the reopened venue on September 25, the comedy play Promises Promises by local playwright Margaret McKenna Mullan. Promises Promises will run on Friday and Saturday September 25 and 26, with all proceeds to go to Passionfruit Theatre.
Other events coming up this autumn include Julie Felix, on October 1, Clive Barnes on October 3, Pauline Scanlon and Eilis Kennedy with Lumiere on October 10, drama with We Once Sang Like Other Men by John McKenna on October 16 , Damien Dempsey on October 23, and Chris Newman and Maire Ni Chathasaigh on October 31.
Passionfruit Theatre will also host a free workshop on Thursday October 15, 6pm-8pm, for fifth and sixth year students. The workshop is organised by Ger Colleran and the focus will be on CAO forms, study skills, and applying for college courses. Places are limited to 55 students.
In addition, the group has organised a night of music in the Palace Loft, on Friday October 9, with Renegades of Funk, Bloody Mary, Eadain Casby, and Twisted Logic.
For all bookings phone (086 ) 3338457.