Friday 26 April 2019

Curtain comes down on 67th North Cork Drama Festival

Michael McGrath

The 67th North Cork Drama Festival ended on last Friday night with wins for Doonbeg, Co. Clare drama group in the open category and for Skibbereen Theatre Society in the confined section.

Presenting the awards, adjudicator Pat Nolan said they had been treated to a great selection of plays over the previous ten nights and he thanked the groups who had come from many counties in Ireland to participate and entertain the appreciative audiences.

Groups from Cork, Clare, Waterford, Kerry, Wicklow, and Tipperary performed at the festival which, 67 years on, has lost none of its allure for competing groups. 

The Doonbeg team won the open section for their presentation of Sam Shepard's 'Fool For Love' and Ann Marie Doyle, who played May in the play, won the best actress award. Kilrush Drama Group, Co. Wicklow were second with 'The Steward of Christendom' by Sebastian Barry.

Ballyduff Drama Group was in third place with Philip Goulding's 'A Bright Day Today.'  County Cork's Skibbereen won the confined category with their presentation of Martin McDonough's 'The Beauty Queen of Leenane,' with John B. Keane's 'Sive' produced by the Sliabh Aughty Drama Group from Clare second, and Kilworth Drama Group were in third place with 'Unforgiven' by John McDwyer. 

Kevin Walsh, who played Mikey Cleary in the Nenagh presentation of 'What Happened to Bridgie Cleary', won the best actor award in the open section, while Noel Hogan of the Slieve Aughty Players won best actor in the confined for his playing of Thomasheen Sean Rua in their production of 'Sive.'  

Mary O'Driscoll from the Skibbereen group won the best actress award here for her portrayal of Maureen in the 'Beauty Queen of Leenane'.

Ger Canning of Ballyduff won the Walker Sculpture for best producer in the open section, while Alan Sparling from the Sliabh Aughty group won the corresponding award in the confined section. They also won the award for the most entertaining production. 

Corofin, Co. Clare won the John Meade Memorial Trophy for best set and presentation as well as the Fr. Murphy Rose Bowl for lighting and sound for their production of 'Life Sucks.' 

The Claude Gough Trophy for an outstanding moment of theatre was won by Nial Kehoe of Kilrush and the most promising young actor award was won by Josh Campbell of Skibbereen. 

The best supporting actor in the confined category was won by Skibbereen's Kevin Cadogan and the best actress was won by Patricia Coughlan of the Kilworth Drama Group for her role as Mary in 'Unforgiven'.