The 2015 RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival is building up to top all previous festivals with a fringe festival to match. The drama will once again take place in the auditorium of the Dean Crowe Theatre from April 30 - May 9 and will be matched with lots of varied and unusual fringe performances and events.
The fringe festival will see many changes which will be broadcast loud and clear across the town by a new town crier, especially commissioned for the RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival.
In medieval times the town crier was the greatest (and perhaps the only ) means of communicating news to the people of the town. Now in 2015 the town crier is making a comeback, dressed in appropriate garb and welcoming visitors to the festival.
Another new addition to festival is the craft fair with some 40 stalls setting up at John Count McCormack Square at noon on Saturday May 2. According to fringe organiser Billy Nott, the stalls will host a variety of artisan food and crafts set up by traders and artists from all over the Midlands. Entertainment including the Ravens Marching Band, street theatre with Tonnta, face painting and balloon making for children will run right through the event.
Commenting ahead of the launch of the 2015 festival, the festival director Joe MacCarrick thanked RTÉ, all the local festival sponsors, Westmeath County Council, Athlone Tidy Towns, and the many volunteers who are embarking to undertake this major national event in the town. The Athlone launch of this year’s festival takes place in the Shamrock Lodge Hotel on Monday April 20.