Wednesday 16 October 2019

Banteer drama group back treading the boards

Maureen O’Brien, Marie Bourke and Sinéad Guiney. Photo: John Tarrant
Maureen O’Brien, Marie Bourke and Sinéad Guiney. Photo: John Tarrant
Cast members of the Banteer Drama Group’s production of the John B Keane ‘s’Sive’, Séan O’Riordan, Nicky McAulliffe, Dan Joe O Keeffe, Diarmuid Cronin, Pat O’Brien and Con Hartnett.

Bill Browne

The Glen Theatre Dram Group will swing back into action at the Banteer venue this weekend for the first of four performances of their eagerly anticipated winter season offering.

Since its establishment more than a quarter of a century ago the group has evolved into one of the most highly regarded of its kind in the county, regularly selling out shows at the Glen Theatre and at venues across the country.

By any standards it has been a busy year for the group, who kicked off 2018 with their production of Derek Benfield's much-loved farce 'Off The Hook'.

Their spring production saw the group make their first foray into the world of musicals, with their acclaimed production of Cork writer John Twohig's  'Life - The Gift That Keeps On Giving', followed by their version of Ray Cooney's classic comedy 'It Runs in the Family'.  They subsequently took the latter play on tour, playing nights at Dublin's Olympia Theatre, The Market Place in Armagh and Cork's Everyman Palace. 

For their latest production the group has once again turned to the creative genius of the late, great John B Keane with the curtain set to come up on their version of arguably one his greatest works 'Sive' at the Glen Theatre on Sunday night. 

The talented ensemble, under the direction of Tadgh O'Keeffe and Mary Ellis, will bring to life Keane's starkly humorous portrayal of harsh rural life in 1950's Ireland.  The play tells the story of Sive, a young and beautiful orphan who lives with her uncle Mike, his wife Mena and his mother Nanna. While Nanna dotes on her orphaned granddaughter, Mena plots with the local matchmaker Thomasheen Séan Rua to marry the young girl off to an old local farmer Séan Dóta for the promise of land and a chance to escape from poverty.

An Irish classic and one of the nation's best loved plays, 'Sive' is a story about a battle of generations, exploitation, greed, love and tragedy all told with John B's lyrical dialogue and great Irish humour. Tickets for the production, which will also run over the following Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from the Glen Theatre box office on 029 56239.