Friday 23 March 2018

Drama group to stage Dr Fell play

Deborah Coleman

Masquerade Drama Group members are in final rehearsals ahead of their production of 'I do not like thee Dr Fell' in Arklow later this month.

The group will bring the Bernard Farrell play to the stage in the Arklow Pipe Band Hall in Castlepark from Tuesday, May 23, to Friday, May 26, at 8 p.m. each night.

The first (and considered by some as his best) play by the Irish playwright, 'Dr Fell' is a gripping black comedy with strong elements of drama and mystery. Written in 1979, it pokes fun at the whole concept of therapy groups, which had thrived in the preceding years, and centres around a group therapy session involving six people.

There is Suzy, the American group co-ordinator, whose remedy for any problem is to 'relax, relate, communicate'; Roger, an intellectual snob, who has dedicated his life to attending sessions around the world and thus knows the 'modus operandi'; builder Peter and his wife Maureen are there because Maureen is highly strung (according to Peter); and Rita speaks of nothing else but her twelve cats and her husband who died three years previously.

Then there's the mysterious Joe - the Dr Fell of the title - whose presence and behaviour act as a catalyst, which turns the session into a roller coaster ride for the other participants. And finally then there's Paddy, the group attendant, an outsider looking in who views the participants as weirdos.

Masquerade has assembled a strong cast for this production, including Tom Fanthom (Paddy), Vincent Morley (Joe), Brenda Donoghue (Suzy), Robert Holden (Roger), Gavin D'Arcy (Peter), Julie Kennedy (Maureen) and Marie Milligan (Rita).

The play is directed by Maggie Murphy who is ably assisted by Marian O'Regan.

The curtain raises at 8 p.m. each night and admission will be €12. For reservations, call Masquerade on 086 3259780.

The last occasion this play was produced in Arklow was by Arklow Parish Drama group in the early 1980s.

Wicklow People