THERE WAS laughter a plenty in the Mermaid Arts Centre last week as 14 groups took to the stage in the 36th Bray One-Act Drama Festival. Helping to lift those January blues, there was a lovely atmosphere of laughter and fun in this year's festival which even after 36 years continues to not only survive but keeps growing and growing now reaching even wider a field.
Two local groups swept the boards and were chosen by popular adjudicator Dara Carolan as the winners of the festival. Dalkey players, he said had blown him away with their performance of ' Two' a play by Jim Cartwright, with Tara Maguire and Alan Nuzum both claiming the Best Actress and Best Actor awards and Emer Casey the Best Director Award. Dalkey Players were then awarded the top award of the Festival, the Best Group award.
Celebrating their 10th Anniversary, Rathnew group Village Players decided to take part in the Festival for the first time ever, and couldn't believe it when, their first time in competitive performance, they scooped the runner-up group award and overall best comedy award with Pat Baker's play, 'Over My Dead Body'.
Their actors Shay Brennan and Marian Murphy were awarded Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress awards.
Popular local man, William Mansfield was award the Fred Lee Special Award for contribution to drama. Other winners on the night were Rathfarnham Theatre Group ( The Adjudicators award), St Patrick's Dramatic Society ( Lighting/ Design), Mark Aylward, St Patrick's Dramatic Society (Most Promising Young Actor).
Scooping Special Eecognition awards were Centre Stage Mallow, Delgany ICA, Ciara Fenton (Delgany Dramatic Society), Kathy Gallagher (Newtown Drama Group).