Wednesday 24 January 2018

Phoenix Players delight audiences on circuit with 'Third Policeman'

Excitement in the South Sligo town of Tubbercurry is at fever pitch in anticipation of the All-Ireland Confined Finals being staged in St Brigid's Hall under the auspices of the Western Drama Festival from the 21st April to the 29th April inclusive.

However, prior to the commencement of the festival, the local Group, the Phoenix Players, present their final performance of their award winning play, 'The Third Policeman' by Flann O'Brien in St Brigid's Hall Tubbercurry on the 14th April (Good Friday) at 8.30p.m.

In conversation with Eamonn Gallagher, Chairman of The Phoenix Players, he stated that the Group had hoped that they would qualify for the All-Ireland Finals which are to be staged in Tubbercurry but unfortunately that results did not go their way. The Group had adapted Flann O'Brien's thought provoking comic masterpiece, 'The Third Policeman', for the stage and Eamonn indicated that it had been a wonderful journey for the Group in bringing this matter from "page to stage".

On the festival circuit, it had divided audiences and adjudicators alike but interestingly met with great acclaim from the vast majority of the audiences who had seen the piece. Eamonn was particularly proud that the group, which is one of the oldest drama groups in Ireland, had the vision and foresight to take on such a challenging piece and were able to produce what has been described as "a tremendous night's drama".

They were placed in a number of festivals but unfortunately 2nds and 3rds are no good when you need to qualify and this time around you would have needed a minimum of two 1st places to qualify for the finals.

Peter Davey, Director of the play, said that he was particularly satisfied with the fact that they were able to introduce new talent into the group, some of whom were making their debut on stage in significant parts and all of them had performed admirably.

It was also very rewarding for the group to open up to themselves and audiences the vista of Flann O'Brien's comic genius. Unbelievably Brian O'Nolan (aka Flann O'Brien) (aka Myles na gCopaleen) died in 1966 and it is often said that he was a man before his time.

Unbelievably, if you look at his writings, even now in 2017, over fifty years after his death, he could still probably be described as a man before his time.

The Phoenix Players present their final performance of 'The Third Policeman' in St Brigid's Hall Tubbercurry at 8.30p.m. on Good Friday the 14th April and, if you have not seen this production thus far, or indeed if you have already seen it, you are guaranteed a night of thought provoking entertainment.

Sligo Champion

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