Attendances at the 62nd Ballyshannon Drama Festival were up on previous years as the popularity of amateur drama grows.
“We had a really good festival, good groups presenting a very wide variety of plays, and luckily for us we have very loyal season ticket holders and many night by night attendees,” John Travers, Festival Director said as he reflected back on nine great nights of entertainment.
Adjudicator Tom Byrne, told his final night audience on Sunday that he was heartened and impressed by the high standard of performances by the groups and added: “Credit also must go to the organisers of this festival, they clearly have vast experience and the town is lucky to have so many people willing to give up their time to ensure this festival runs year on year.
“Ballyshannon Drama Festival has a wonderful reputation nationwide for presenting a well run festival and I have experienced it as an actor on stage and as an adjudicator, so I applaud them for the professional way in which they go about the business of making this happen.”
Speaking on stage on the final night, chairman of the Ballyshannon Drama Society, Betty McIntyre thanked all who helped or supported them in particular their main sponsors, Celtic Weave.
The Blue Riband was won by Kildare Group, Bradán Players, with their presentation of ‘Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf’. Local group Letterkenny were placed second, a good result that helps them in their quest to make Athlone and the finals.
Dedication to Catherine
Ballyshannon Drama society paid tribute to the late Catherine Breslin during the 62nd annual drama festival held at the Abbey Arts Centre for nine nights, concluding on Sunday night last.
On the Friday night in the Centre, as part of a very special dedication, Catherine’s close friend, Trisha Keane, delivered an outstanding speech where she gave great detail regarding Catherine’s lifelong contribution to drama in particular, but the community of Ballyshannon in general.
There was a very large attendance at the dedication prior to the play with Gordon Walsh, President of Ballyshannon Drama Society, unveiling a special plaque in Catherine’s memory which will remain on display at the Centre.
Meanwhile, the festival itself was an outstanding success, providing hugely different types of plays over nine nights with the Bradán Players from Kildare winning the Blue Riband while Chronicles of Long Kesh, presented by Letterkenny Music and Drama Group came second in the Open section with Ballyshannon’s Paddy Campbell an onstage member of that production. FULL LIST OF RESULTS:
Patsy Croal Blue Riband (Sponsored by Celtic Weave Ltd.): Bradán Players for ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’
The Maureen Gallagher Award for the Winner of the Open Section: Bradán Players for ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ Second Place Open The C.J. King Award for Second Place in the Open Section: Letterkenny Music and Drama Society for ‘The Chronicles of Long Kesh’; The Jim Flynn Award for Third Place in the Open Section: Corn Mill Theatre for ‘The Devil’s Ceilí’; The John Stephens Cup for the Best Producer in the Open Section: Jenny Ní Lúcáis for ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ (Bradán Players) (Nominations: Ronan Ward, Pluincéad O’Fearraigh, Jennie Lucas); The Eoin Carney Award for the Best Actress in the Open Section: Helena Stout for Marsha in ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ (Nominations: Eva Flanagan, Elaine Gillespie, Helena Stout); The H.J. Travers Award for the Best Actor in the Open Section: George Hogan as George in ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’ (Nominations: Eddie Gallagher, Kevin Kelly); First Place Confined The Commercial Hotel Cup for First Place in the Confined Section: Phoenix Players for ‘The Wood of the Whispering’; Second Place Confined The Catherine Breslin Award for Second Place in the Confined Section: Pomeroy Players for ‘Portia Coughlan’; Third Place in the Confined Section: DADS, ‘On Such As We’. Best Producer Confined The Hugh & Mary Daly Cup for Best Producer in the Confined Section: Peter Davey, ‘Wood of the Whispering’ (Phoenix Players); Kathleen Fagan Award for the Best Actress in the Confined Section: Mairead Eastwood as Portia Coughlan in ‘Portia Coughlan’ (Nominations: Margaret Gilcoyne, Orla Togher); The Saimer Cup/Paddy McLoone Award for the Best Actor in the Confined Section: Maurice Keogh as Sanbatch in ‘The Wood of the Whispering’ (Phoenix Players) (Nominations: Maurice Keogh, Ollie Turner, Denis Devlin); The Phil McLoone Award for Outstanding Achievement by a Young Person: Kate Gilmartin for Sheila in ‘The Wood of The Whispering’;
Adjudicator’s Awards: Supporting Actors: Pat Feely and Eamon Gallagher in ‘Wood of the Whispering’; Versatile Acting: Eoin Mc Ghiolla Bride for Toot and Others in ‘The Chronicles of Long Kesh’; Michelle Reade as Honey in ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’; The Margaret McGinley Award for Best Lighting: Philip Mc Intyre ‘The Devil’s Ceilí’ (Nominations: Devil’s Ceili, Chronicles of Long Kesh, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf); The Maureen Kane Award for Best Stage Manager: JC Bonnar for ‘Parlour Song’ (Butt Drama Circle); The Mary Monaghan Award for Best Set: Jonathan Finnegan for ‘The Devil’s Ceilí‘ (Nominations: Devil’s Ceili , Parlour Song, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf); The Billy Myles Audience Award: Corn Mill Theatre Company ‘The Devil’s Ceilí’.