Nine nights of top drama start in Claregalway tonight

A scene from The Memory of Water which tonight opens the festival.

A scene from The Memory of Water which tonight opens the festival.

The finest amateur drama talent in the country will head to Claregalway from tonight (Thursday ) March 12 when the Claregalway Drama Festival gets under way at the local leisure centre. And with nine nights of drama available for amazing value, this is an one event that theatre fans cannot afford to miss.

The event which will run until Friday March 20, will see nine of the best amateur drama groups in Ireland take to the stage in the battle for points on the All-Ireland drama circuit.

The community centre in Claregalway was this week completely transformed into a comfortable theatre with tiered seating, free refreshments, and wonderful entertainment for the duration of the event.

Doors open at 7.30 pm nightly and show starts at 8pm. Tickets are €10 nightly and €50 for a season ticket which will gain entry for the full nine nights – excellent value. Complimentary refreshments are served at the interval and again after the play in the Festival Club. For more info contact me on 086 8981731, website is www.claregalwaydrama.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Here is the full line-up of plays:

Thurs 12: Compántas Lir – The Memory of Water by Shelagh Stephenson, directed by Dermot Hession

The nature of memory emerges starkly at the time of death because we want to remember people as they were when they were alive. All that remains of a person after their death are our memories of them and even these can be fabricated or false. A poignant and at times hilarious play.

Fri 13: Corofin Drama Group – The 39 Steps by Patrick Barlow, directed by John Clancy

Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have an intriguing, thrilling, riotous and unmissable comedy. The show hurtles a notorious fugitive and a spellbound blonde from a London music hall to Scotland’s most remote highlands. Will they save Britain from a den of devious spies?

Sat 14 Corn Mill Theatre Group – The Dead School by Pat McCabe, directed by Ronan Ward

Raphael Bell, the old-style national school teacher whose life is haunted by images and memories from his past, has devoted his life to upholding his school’s rigorous core curriculum.

Sun 15- The Moat Club Naas – Hedda Gabler adapted by Christopher Shinn, directed by David Cullinane

Neurotic newlywed Hedda Gabler appears to have all she needs to be content, yet feels trapped in a world without exhilaration and meaningful choice. Feeling no control over her life, she entertains herself by trying to control others.

Mon 16 – DADS – Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me by Frank McGuinness, directed by Philip McDonnell

The play focuses on the trials and tribulations of an Irishman, an Englishman and an American, who are kidnapped and held hostage by unseen Arabs in Lebanon.

Tues 17 – Glenamaddy Players – Stolen Child by Bairbre Ní Chaoimh and Yvonne Quinn, directed by Coman Keaveny

The touching tragedy of Peggy’s life unfolds before us while the search by Angela for identity, love and fulfilment encounters some harrowing experiences. The assistance of her private eye helps light the way.

Weds 18 – Doonbeg Drama Group – The Price by Arthur Miller, directed by Mary J Egan

This is a play about family dynamics, the price of furniture and the price of one’s decisions. Upon the death of their father, two brothers meet in order to go through their father's belongings.

Thurs 19 – Shoestring Theatre – Trad by Mark O Doherty, directed by Kevin O Shea

The unmarried son has just let it slip that, some 70 years earlier, there was an ‘incident’ that resulted in the birth of a child. And “Da” retracting one foot from the grave is determined to find his kin.

Fri 20 – Thurles Drama Group – Beyond the Brooklyn Sky by Michael Hilliard Mulcahy, directed by Margaret McCormack

It is the story of five forty-something friends who left the small fishing village of Brandon in Co Kerry in the 1980s in pursuit of their dreams in the States. It is now 2013, twenty years later and they are reunited in what was their local village dancehall to celebrate Jack's single-handed journey in a small plane across the Atlantic.

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