Tuesday 23 April 2019

Drama Workshop group through to all-Irelands!

Specter cast members Seona O’Connor and Edward Hayden, seated, with director Peggy Hussey
Specter cast members Seona O’Connor and Edward Hayden, seated, with director Peggy Hussey

David Looby

The New Ross Drama Workshop have become the first group in Ireland in either the open or confined categories to qualify for the All Ireland One Act Drama Festival Finals which take place in Kilmuckridge in early December.

Psychological thriller 'Specter' by Don Nigro, is directed by Peggy Hussey. The play a set in the front seat of a car and tells the story of what can happen to a man who picks up a stranger on the road in the middle of the night. It depicts how on a rainy night a young professor drives on a twisted road through the woods near Princeton, swerves into a ditch to avoid a girl in a white dress and finds himself stuck in his car with an outrageous and possibly demented young lady who might want to murder or make love to him, or both. This ancient ghost story is retold as a funny and frightening play about the relationship of desire to danger and the perils of relying on the kindness of strangers.

Actors Seona O'Connor, who plays Marla and Edward Hayden as Norris, were highly commended along the festival circuit as two very fine and capable actors. As well as winning three out of the five festivals (Goresbridge, Skerries and Kilmallock) they have already taken part in, Seona also picked up the award for best actress at Kilmallock Drama Festival and Peggy Hussey won best director.

Supported by the back stage team, led by Brid Walsh as stage manager, with Paul Walsh on sound, David Brydone on lighting, Kitty Warren on make-up and a stage crew consisting of Margaret Rossiter, Kate O'Keeffe, Carmel Furlong, Martina Kavanagh and Carol Stacey who have travelled with the play ensuring that every aspect of the play in terms of both acting, production, presentation and dramatic achievement were presented to the highest possible standards of drama.

Group chairperson Edward Hayden said: 'The group are absolutely thrilled with the success and wish to thank all those involved, especially the director Peggy Hussey who has worked tirelessly on the production for the last couple of months exploring the texts fully in an attempt to extrapolate the maximum in terms of characterisations and dramatic nuances. We will continue to rehearse and polish the play now ahead of it's All Ireland performance to ensure that the group discharges itself to the highest standards of professionalism at the finals.'

Although the group have the maximum points to qualify they will also travel to Ballymahon Drama Festival in Longford on November 16 to compete there also. 'Specter' will also be performed on this coming Friday night, November 9, in The Rower Hall as a fundraiser for the Rower GAA Club alongside two other plays; 'People Like Us' directed by Anne Kelly and 'The Death of Me' directed by Kate O'Keeffe. Tickets are €10 and available on the door on the night.

New Ross Standard