It’s ‘All The Way Back’ in Lismore next week
Fishamble brings ‘Wheelchair’ to Friars’ Gate
The comedy, ‘A Wake In The West’ in Anglesboro
Later start time for Frankie Gavin
All roads lead to Ballyduff as festival 2013 kicks off!
‘Tailor’ – highlight of 2013 theatre year
The Barrymore Players ‘Too Close To Home’
Curtain comes down on Aladdin panto in Fermoy
‘The Tailor of Inverness’ for Friars’ Gate Theatre
‘Dancing at Lughnasa’ from Ballyduff Drama Group
32nd West Waterford Drama Festival
Adjudicator, David Vince, a member of the British Guild of Drama Adjudicators, in his summary of this year’s West Waterford Drama Festival, said that the standard throughout was never less than very good and was, at times, outstanding. In particular he said that the standards of production and acting were excellent and were comparable with what one might expect from the professional theatre. However, he did feel that lack of attention to detail in aspects of presentation - especially sets, lighting and costume - took a little from the positive overall impact.
Many of the shows were memorable pieces of theatre and would remain in his memory and indeed that of the audience long after the Festival was over. He was full of praise for the Ballyduff venue and the organising committee as well as for the audiences who filled the venue each night and gave wonderful support to the stagecraft being displayed.
The competition was fierce, especially in the open section, but it was no surprise when the first two places were taken in that competition by Silken Thomas from Kildare and Kilmeen from West Cork and indeed when Kilrush from Wexford won the confined section. The open competition was dominated by two of the current big hitters on the amateur drama scene and with totally different pieces from the theatrical spectrum. Silken Thomas were winning their fifth festival of the year with Philip Ridley’s ‘Mercury Fur’ a modern tale of post-apocalyptic London and current All-Ireland champions, Kilmeen, were taking the points for second place with Synge’s Irish classic ‘The Playboy Of The Western World’. They will battle it out again in the All-Ireland finals in Athlone. In the Confined section, Kilrush had a great win with ‘Our Town’ and this win should see then through to the Confined All-Ireland finals in April.
Open Competition Results
Best Play: ‘Mercury Fur’ (Philip Ridley) – Silken Thomas Players. Best Producer: Sean Judge - Silken Thomas Players. Best Actor: Paul Walsh as Michael in Wexford's ‘Moonshine’. Best Actress: Nora Scannell as the Widow Quinn in Kilmeen’s ‘Playboy’. Best Supporting Actor: Donie Walsh as Shawn Keogh in Kilmeen’s 'Playboy'. Best Supporting Actress: Ellen Quirke as Tara/Sharon/Junkie in Brideview’s ‘From These Green Heights'.
Confined Competition Results
Best Play: ‘Our Town’ (Thornton Wilder) – Kilrush Drama Group. Best Producer: Michael Byrne – Kilrush Drama Group. Best Actor: Michael Dunbar as the Narrator in Kilrush's ‘Our Town’. Best Actress: Carmel O'Driscoll in Skibbereen's ‘Hen Night Epiphany’. Best Supporting Actor: Seamus Burnell as Constable Warren in Kilrush's ‘Our Town’. Best Supporting Actress: Caitriona Howard as Girleen in Conna's ‘The Lonesome West’.
Best Set: Kilmeen (Playboy). Best Presentation: Kilrush (Our Town). Best Lighting: Wexford (Moonshine). Most Entertaining Play: Haulbowline (Not Now, Darling). Golden Moment of Theatre: Conna (for the Exploding Stove).
Adjudicator’s Awards: Ballyduff for ensemble playing and Ellen Quirke for the playing of multiple awards. Seamus Aherne Memorial Award: Eithne Coleman, for her contribution to West Waterford Drama Festival over more than thirty years.
Summing up this year's event Richie Walshe of Ballyduff Drama Group said it was "a hectic, very exhausting, very demanding and very fulfilling 10 days." It was also "hugely entertaining" he said. "When times get a bit tough I think people go the way of making their own entertainment. The culture and community of drama is as strong as ever," he commented.