Amateur drama fans who have been starved of live performances for the past two years are set for a treat from tomorrow night (Friday March 11 ) when a selection of the country’s top groups compete in the Claregalway Festival of Drama.
Fetsival director Dermot Hession is delighted see groups returning to the stage after two years.
“A huge effort has been made to ensure that this festival can return bigger and better than ever. This festival is something that people have always set their calendars for as the start of the spring/ summer festival season in Galway and we’re delighted to be able to bring the best of am-dram back to Galway for the 39th year.
“We’re really excited about the line up this year. We have some real classics like Sive and The Beauty Queen of Leenane, mixed in with some plays that we haven’t seen very often if at all in Galway.
“We have a Sarah Rulh play, Eurydice, which promises to be a visual masterpiece and Harold Pinter’s Betrayal is a really exciting production.
All together it’s a bit of everything for our audiences. We are closing the festival with a brand new comedy, Dramatuers, which promises to bring the festival to a close with a great laugh.
He said that the Festival has been surprised by the enthusiasm of groups to trurn to touring this year, so soon after restrictions were eased.
“We were afraid that there might not be an appetite from travelling groups to bring plays this year, but we have been overwhelmed by the applications.
“It’s a testament to how highly these groups think of the venue and the festival overall. They always comment on how much they enjoy performing in Claregalway as we will always guarantee them a large crowd. Hopefully this year will be no different,” he said.
Mr Hession added that health and safety has been paramount in the preparation.
“Despite the lifting of restrictions, we have taken all possible precautions this year. All our staff will be masked up and sanitisation stations will be in place. We’ve introduced a cashless ticketing system this year too so audiences can pay by cash or card. Of course, our complimentary teas and coffees will still be available each night along with our raffle.
“The festival is only possible because of the support of audiences and sponsors and this year is no different. We’ve received unbelievable support from our sponsors and Galway County Council this year,” he said.
March 11th to 19th 2022.
Bookings 0873810579 — Tickets €12 Season tickets €60
March 11 The Good Father
BY CHRISTIAN O’REILLY - Bunclody-Kilmyshall DG
The play is a heartfelt comic and moving drama that charts a journey of love, loss and redemption.
March 12 Chapatti
BY CHRISTIAN O’REILLY - Palace Players
Romance is a distant memory for two lonely animal-lovers living in Dublin. Please note the play contains or references sensitive issues.
March 13 Betrayal
BY HAROLD PINTER - Corofin DS
Setting: London and Venice, from 1968 to 1977 (in reverse chronology )
A sharp look into the nature of romantic relationships, Harold Pinter’s Betrayal starts in 1977 when long time lovers Jerry and Emma meet after her marriage to her husband Robert dissolves, and then backtracks all the way to 1968 when their affair first began.
March 14 The Beauty Queen of Leenane
BY MARTIN McDONAGH - Ray Leonard Players
Set in the mountains of Connemara, the play centres around Maureen Folan, a plain and lonely woman in her early 40s, and Mag, her manipulative, aging mother.
March 16 Sive
BY JOHN B. KEANE - Clann Machua DG
Sive is one of John B Keane’s best known plays and has been a favourite with audiences for many years.
March 17 Eurydice
BY SARAH RUHL - Dalkey Players
‘Eurydice’ is in love with Orpheus. Her dead father has advice for her wedding but his letters can’t get through to the land of the living. At last one does. With her father’s words in her hand, she crashes down a flight of stairs and wakes in the underworld, her memory wiped. How will she ever get home?
March 18 The Cripple of Inishmaan
BY MARTIN McDONAGH - Glenamaddy Players
Set on a remote island off the West of Ireland in 1934. The Cripple of Inishmaan is a strange comic tale in the great tradition of Irish storytelling.
March 19 Dramatuers
BY KIERAN KELLY - Letterkenny DG
Dramateurs is a hilarious, brand new comedy by LMDG group member Kieran Kelly (“Beneath an Irish Sky” – All Ireland Finalists 2018 ) that is an unabashed love letter to the world of Irish Am-Dram and the redemptive power of local theatre.