Friday 20 April 2018

All eyes on Tubber as drama finals edge closer

The CAIRDE volunteers
The CAIRDE volunteers

Preparations are now in full swing for the All Ireland (Confined) Drama Finals which will be hosted by the Western Drama Festival and taking place over nine nights from the 21st to 29th April 2017 in St. Brigid's Hall Theatre Tubbercurry.

All eyes are on the Amateur Drama Council website to observe how the groups in the confined section are getting on as they perform in the festivals all around Ireland.

Bookings for the All Ireland (Confined) Finals 2017 are being handled by the Hawk's Well Theatre, Sligo and both season tickets and individual night tickets are available.

Season tickets cost €100 and individual nights are priced at €15 including booking fees. There is also an option to purchase an eight night season ticket (opening night Fri. 21st excluded) for €85. Phone the Hawkswell at 071 9161518 Fri. 10 am to 5.30 pm or Sat. 2pm to 5pm.

The Western Drama Festival (WDF) have launched a website Online tickets can be also be purchased using credit/debit card on that site.

Together with the WDF committee, nine dedicated drama enthusiasts will act as group liaison persons before and during the festival to assist the groups who have qualified for the finals.

The draw on the 8th of April is a special day for the qualifying groups who find out which night they will perform their play.

They will be eager to meet the experienced technical team Benny Henry and Sean Johnston, their advance preparation work in the theatre for the last few months is key to all running smooth.

Committee members are busy making plans for the Festival so it is a special event to remember.

Western Drama festival is renowned for its hospitality. The volunteers and liaison persons; aptly named CAIRDE the first point of contact person will assist the groups personally with their queries and ensure they have a really good experience of the festival!

CAIRDE are as follows: Jimmy Coleman (team leader) Loretta Neary, Mary Doohan, Debbie Feeney, Mary Molloy, Eileen Murtagh, P J Brennan, Ann Marie Hegarty and Mary Kelly.

On the 8th of April at the draw in Tubbercurry, the group will be introduced to their liaison person.

"We very much look forward to meeting all the groups on the day. We in WDF will ensure every groups experience in the festival is first rate. Mary Collins Mary Kelly and Mary Walsh will ensure everything runs like clockwork for the draw," said Eileen Davey, PRO.

"We know that the key focus for groups is performing their play in the All Ireland competition, and that focus is firmly on that.

"However, because this is a special occasion in our town, we have organised some fringe events in tandem with the finals. Ballina Drama Group, good friends and supporters of the WDF will do a play reading, a real fun piece on Saturday 22 April in Teach Laighne at 2 pm," she told The Sligo Champion.

An exhibition of art is also being facilitated by local Artist Claire Doohan. Claire's work with the residents of Baileys Nursing Home is a really unique project. The paintings will be exhibited in the local library in Tubbercurry, this would have been for most of those people their very first creative opportunity.

Claire and Rita Flannery are organising an exhibition by local artists which will run in St Brigid's Hall from the 21 to 29 April. On Saturday 29 April we have arranged a special Rugged Mystery Tour to meet outside St Brigid's Hall at 10:30 am.

On Saturday evening 29 April, at 4 pm in the Mayqueen Bar the renowned Walker Ewart has a special treat in store with his most thought provoking show' Your Life and Mine'.

Tubbercurry will be dramatically transformed for the festival with a theatrical ambience.

"For some weeks, before and during the week of the Finals the town will be bedecked in colour and interesting installations. The organising committee are deeply indebted to the Tubbercurry and District Credit Union for their support of this project. Ursula Brennan our ambassador is leading on this project meeting the businesses who are coming on board making their shop windows available to the Western Drama Festival where drama will centre stage," added Eileen.

Tubbercurry Chamber of Commerce and Tidy Towns committee are assisting with the committee's endeavours.

The renowned Western Drama Festival Club is a special experience each night of the finals in the welcoming Killorans Traditional Bar in Teeling St., organised by the gifted Peadar Conway.

Indeed Peadar who is famed for his approach to such entertainment sessions has already "put the word out" and some very special guests are bound to drop in.

At the drop of a hat stories and recitations are told, music is played and the "talk about the drama" will go on late into the night.

"Indeed a very exciting addition to our dramatic themed town is the new eye catching beautiful mural adjacent to St Brigid's hall of the founding members of our Drama Festival, painted by Damian Moran. It is fitting that they are centre stage as the amateur drama movement congregates in April 2017 for its Drama Finals confined section competition.

"Running the All Ireland Three Act confined Finals is very exciting for Tubbercurry and South Sligo as it is a very high profile event, which offers a wonderful opportunity to showcase Tubbercurry and its environs nationally, our excellent hospitality, and great drama culture," she added.

Sligo Champion