Compántas Lir gets ready for All-Ireland tilt with two-night run in Town Hall Theatre this week

Mary McCarthy and John Heneghan in a scene from I Do Not Like Thee, Dr Fell which has a two-night run in the Town Hall Theatre this weekend.

Mary McCarthy and John Heneghan in a scene from I Do Not Like Thee, Dr Fell which has a two-night run in the Town Hall Theatre this weekend.

Claregalway-based drama group Compántas Lir will prepare for the All-Ireland confined drama finals when they stage a two-night run of their award-winning production of I Do Not Like Thee, Dr Fell, at the Town Hall Theatre, Galway this Friday and Saturday (March 26-27 )

The group who missed the confined title by just two points when they finished second in last year's finals, secured their place in the All-Ireland by winning three drama festivals this month and securing sufficient additional points to make their participation at the April finals a certainty during their first week on the road. The All-Ireland Confined drama finals are being held in Glenamaddy next month and will feature the top nine groups on the amateur drama confined circuit.

The cast of Dr Fell, which has already won a horde of acting prizes so far this year, features Ruth O’Driscoll as the therapist Suzy, Dermot Hession as Joe, and Paddy Greaney, Vincent Moran, John Heneghan, Mary McCarthy, and Liz Hession making up the remainder of the troupe.

The play, written by Bernard Farrell, but directed for Compántas by Philip Cribbin, is a black comedy that deals with the happenings at an all-night group encounter where Suzy, the American group co-ordinator, and her clients spend the night, in her own words, “in search of inner knowledge, of ourselves, and of others.”

Joe Fell, a member of the group, thwarts her efforts at every opportunity and in the process he mercilessly exposes the foibles of his fellow clients. Roger, a narcissian artist, is a veteran of encounter sessions in Berlin, London, Paris, and Oslo, as part of his “odyssey of self-discovery.”

Peter, a builder of select bungalows, is attending ostensibly because his wife, Maureen, is “highly strung.” He has some unresolved issues while Maureen, and while he initially appears docile and subservient, he comes into his own as the action unfolds.

Rita, a hypochondriac cat-lover, is wrapped up in her own world with memories of her imaginary husband. Finally there is Paddy, the group attendant, who represents normality and considers the various clients who attend those sessions to be “weirdos.”

Tickets for the Town Hall Theatre performances are selling fast and can be booked through the theatre box office at 091 569777. They are priced €15 and €12. Patrons are advised to book early to avoid disappointment as this will be Compantas' last Galway performance before the All-Ireland finals.

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