Stage is set in Tubber
All roads lead to Tubbercurry this week as the All Ireland (Confined) Drama Festival Finals kicks off to a flying start.
Last Friday night (21 April) Drama lovers from around the country all gathered in anticipation of the opening night in Tubbercurry.
The buzz around the town was hard to beat and businesses in the town were booming as theatre and drama lovers made their way to St. Brigids Hall Theatre.
With the top nine groups in the country qualifying there will a high standard of plays: from comedies, romances, tragic stories there and some classic Irish plays, this is something for everyone. But be quick, as tickets are selling fast.
It has been 15 years since the festival was last held in Tubbercurry.
Eileen Davey, PRO of the Western Drama Festival was delighted with the opening weekend: "There has been a great atmosphere over the weekend that we hope to carry through for the week and everything is going brilliantly."
There is a Festival Club taking place every night after the play in Killorans which provides entertainment for all involved: from poetry readings, singing and drama performances as well as food and drink.
Jackie Scanlon, Chairperson of the Drama League of Ireland said the festival is a great way to involve every aspect of the community:
"It is always great fun here, there is great community spirit and on top of that marvellous fun particularly after the show Tubbercurry has a good reputation for an enjoyable night for everyone.
"The main factor of the week is that the local community will be entertained: people who are interested in drama will travel near and far but it is very important to get the local community on the scene."
Performing on the opening night was Take 5 Drama Group with their comedy play 'The Telephone Exchange' written by Niamh Gleeson.
Nerves were expected from the Cork based drama group who were setting the scene for the rest of the week and they raised the bar for all other performances with their hilarious production.
Noelle Clarke, Director of Take 5 said starting the festival with a comedy is always good as it 'rejuvenates everyone and gets them in the mood.'
Out of the 9 drama groups who are taking part in the festival, 6 of them are new to the St Brigid's Hall Theatre.
Winners of the Confined Drama Finals will be invited to take part in the Open Finals in Athlone on Wednesday May 4th as an opening act for the festival.
Billy Kilgannon, Chairman of the Western Drama Festival said the festival would not have been possible without the support that the local communities and businesses have shown.
"It is a fantastic occasion for Tubbercurry especially at the start of the tourist season to host the annual gathering of the clans of drama. There was tremendous effort made by people preparing, painting, and cleaning from the area. It a wonderful community effort and it is great to see it all coming together."
Plays are nightly from 8.00pm and the final night play will take place on Saturday the 29th at 7.00pm. For more information or for tickets see: www.westerndramafestival.com