Awards galore for production of ‘The 39 Steps’

It has been success after success as the number of awards for the Letterkenny Music and Drama Group in the drama festivals in Ulster goes close to the number of steps portrayed in the title of a production that continues to win audience and adjudication acclaim on the circuit.

It has been success after success as the number of awards for the Letterkenny Music and Drama Group in the drama festivals in Ulster goes close to the number of steps portrayed in the title of a production that continues to win audience and adjudication acclaim on the circuit.

As of Sunday night’s results from the 60th Ballyshannon Drama Festival, where the show scooped five awards, the production has garnered an astonishing 27 awards in the various categories of the Confined Section.

The comedy production, based on the Hitchcock film of the same name, is understood to have received the first standing ovation in half a century at a staging in Portadown. And at least two adjudicators declared it was better than the professional production currently being staged in London.

“We’ve been absolutely delighted with the reaction so far from both audiences and judges,” said producer/director Pluincead O Fearraigh at the weekend.

“It’s a tribute to everybody involved in it – it has worked so well for us.”

The awards have embraced festivals in Castleblaney, Lislea and Derry and marks a production that is equally comical and clever in its conception.

It has already won a standing ovation at the An Grianan Theatre in Letterkenny before it was taken on the drama circuit. In a special fund-raiser for Scoil Mhuire gan Smal, it will be staged there again Tuesday night, April 17th.

The full list of awards at the respective festivals include:

Castleblayney Drama Festival: Best Production; Best Actor Female, Elaine Gillespie; Best Set, The Tommy Duffy Commemorative Award; Best Technical Award.

Lislea Drama Festival: Premier Award, Francis McParland Cup; Best Actor, Kieran Kelly, Forge Perpetual Cup; Best Actress, Elaine Gillespie, Mary O Hanlon Perpetual Cup; Best Producer, Pluincéad Ó Fearraigh, Malachy Hannaway Per Cup; Best Producer Challenging Play, Pluincéad Ó Fearraigh, Michael J McCann Cup; Best Supporting Actor, shared between John Ruddy and Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhrighde; Best Stage Manager, Fiona Mc Daid, William Mc Kay Cup; Audience Award, Laverty Eustace Per Cup .

City of Derry Drama Festival: Overall Festival Winner, Perpetual Trophy James Doherty Meats; Best Overall, Bobby Bell Trophy; Best Producer, Pluincéad Ó Fearraigh, Barney Toal Trophy; Best Actor, Kieran Kelly;

Best Actress, Elaine Gillespie; Best Supporting Actor, shared between John Ruddy and Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhrighde; Audience Award, Michael Gillen Trophy; Best Lighting, Annemarie Langan, S & W Faller Trophy; Best Stage Manager, Fiona Mc Daid, Stage Services North Trophy; Best Moment of Theatre, Moving knife in Annabella’s back, Diarmuid Mc Dermott Trophy.

Ballyshannon Drama Festival: Best Overall, Commercial Hotel Cup; Best Actress, Elaine Gillespie, Best Producer, Pluincéad Ó Fearraigh, Hugh and Mary Daly Cup.