independent

Thursday 21 March 2019

Ross drama festival to deliver Godot and much more

Adjudicator Pat Nolan
Adjudicator Pat Nolan

David Looby

Plays never before performed in New Ross, including Waiting for Godot, will be the entertainment on offer during this year's New Ross Drama Festival.

The festival line-up has just been announced and it features a heady mixture of Irish and international plays and an array of genres, from comedy to tragedy - performed by festival stalwarts, but, mainly by groups who are threading the boards in New Ross for the first time.

The curtain will rise on the 2019 festival on Wednesday, March 20, with the Samuel Beckett play Waiting for Godot by the Newpoint Players from Newry. This will be followed on Thursday, March 21, by It's the Real McCoy (a play by Tommy Marren), performed by the Wexford based Wayside Players.

Unforgiven by John McDwyer is the play being performed by Kilworth Drama Group (Co Cork) on Friday, March 22.

The drama continues on Monday, March 25, with Eclipsed by Tinahely Drama Group, followed by The Lonesome West by Mullingar Theatre Lab the following night.

A Fine Bright Day is the Philip Goulding offering, performed by Co Waterford based Ballyduff Drama Group on Wednesday, March 27, and Push Up (a play by Toland Goulding), will be performed by The Moat Club, Co Kildare on Thursday, March 28.

Finishing off this year's festival will be the Sebastian Barry play, The Steward of Christendom, on Friday, March 29, performed by Kilrush Drama Group from Co Wexford.

The adjudicators is Pat Nolan (who played the put-upon teacher Barry in Fair City).

Waiting for Godot

'Nothing happens, nobody comes, nobody goes, it's awful. This immortal line from the play was adopted by Jean Anouih to characterise the first production of Waiting for Godot in 1953. He went on to predict that the play would, in time, represent the most important première to be staged in Paris for forty years. Nobody acquainted with Beckett's masterly black comedy would now question this prescient recognition of a classic of 20th century literature.

The Real McCoy

It's The Real McCoy involves two love stories. A strong willed, jilted wife, a timid husband, a confused curate, a gormless postman, two pedigree gossips all combine in this light-hearted comedy set in rural Ireland in 1964.

Unforgiven

Unforgiven is a real circus of as play. A laugh a minute exposition of Irish rural life where nothing is ever as it seems. PJ awaits the death of his father so he can marry his neighbour, Mary and live happily ever after. His brother, Seamie, holds a watching brief while Mary seems unaware of PJ's plans for her. When the father dies another brother arrives home from America and a colony of cats land among her pigeons in an uproarious comedy.

Eclipsed

Eclipsed is an all female play set in one of the Magdalene Laundries about how they cope with the lives of drudgery they live in the shadow of the outside world.

The Lonesome West

The Lonesome West concerns Valene and Coleman, two brothers living alone in their father's house after his recent death. They find it impossible to exist without engaging in violent disputes over the most mundane and innocent of topics. Only Fr Welsh, the local young priest, is prepared to try to reconcile the two before their petty squabbling spirals into vicious and bloody carnage.

A Fine Bright Day

A Fine Bright Day revolves around protagonist Margaret Harvey, who has lived with her daughter Rebecca in a small cottage ever since the death of her husband 30 years previously.

Rebecca is moving out to live with her boyfriend, so when she meets Milton Farnsworth, an American painter visiting the area to paint the landscape, she invites him to lodge with Margaret during his stay. Margaret has become increasingly set in her ways over the years, dependent on ritual and superstition, but with patience, humour and cheap wine, Milton gradually encourages her to relinquish her hold on control. The play has been described as warm, funny and moving.

Push Up

Push Up's characters are all vying to nab the executive suite in a hotel. Everyone wants the Delhi job. Everyone wants sex and everyone wants love. So they push for it. Set in a world of work, the play has won rave reviews for its comedy.

The Steward of Christendom

The Steward of Christendom is set in the County Home in Baltinglass, Co Dublin, in around 1932. The play sees Lear-like Thomas Dunne, an ex-chief superintendent of the Dublin Metropolitan Police, trying to break free of history and from himself.

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