independent

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Stage is set for 70th birthday of drama festival

Published 22/01/2013 | 15:41

IT'S the oldest amateur Drama Festival in the country.

And, Tubbercurry's Western Drama Festival is all set for a major 70th birthday bash.

Druid Theatre founder and director Garry Hynes will open the annual three-act Festival.

This year's adjudicator is Pat Nolan, best known for his role as Barry O'Hanlon in Fair City.

John McDwyer of the Beezneez Theatre Company will officially launch the 2013 Festival with his new play ' Scorpion' on February 15th next.

And, with the Festival registered as an event in The Gathering, it's hoped both actors and audiences through the years will return

to the town from March 1st to March 9th.

The Festival Committee is also updating its history book for the event.

Chairman Billy Kilgannon, pictured, said :" We believe we have a very good programme with some of the best amateur dramatic talent on view."

When founding members Dr. John A. Flannery, Alfie Rochford, Sean O'Dowd, and Matt Devine set up the Festival in 1943 it was the first of its kind in the country.

It has since grown to become one of the most prestigious in Ireland.

The Western Drama Festival was also instrumental in the establishment of the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland in 1952

Billy said: "The people of South Sligo believe this area is the 'cultural capital' of the West of Ireland and we embrace our culture with pride."

Tubbercurry's own Phoenix Players will perform their production of Billy Roche's 'Poor Beast In The Rain' on opening night.

Other highlights include Coolera Dramatic Society's ' The Butteryfly of Killybegs' and Estuary Players Dublin ' The Boy Next Door.' For further information see: www.tubbercurry.ie

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