It’s been a busy and productive year for Ballybofey’s Butt Drama Circle. Their production of Brian Friel’s Translations augmented its festival circuit commitments with a very successful 4 night run at The Balor in February and that was followed by a two week sell out run of Grease The Musical in August.
Rehearsals are already well under way for Cinderella – the traditional Christmas Panto which will have it’s own two week run at The Balor from November 26th to December 29th. And next week, sandwiched between those two mammoth undertakings, is the Susan Doherty directed production of John B Keane’s Many Young Men Of Twenty which opens at The Balor, Ballybofey next Tuesday.
The play, considered by many to be one of his finest, takes a look, at times hilarious, other times heart wrenching, at emigration in 1950’s rural Ireland. The late ‘50’s, of course, was an extremely bleak time in rural Ireland. Lack of jobs and opportunity forced many young people to take the boat to England in search of work. The struggles, character and humour of this period is shown through the eyes of Danger Mullaly played by Seamus McCrudden.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. While thought provoking and poignant the play is also steeped in classic John B Keane humour. It’s at times a raucously funny piece filled with great characters and comic moments. There’s also live traditional music featured which adds enormously to the recreation of the chaotic, irreverent atmosphere of your typical 50’s pub.
The play features a popular local cast including Dairine Laverty and Mickey McMahon – both most recently on The Balor stage in Oliver The Musical – as Peg Finnerty and Tom Hannigan respectively. There’s also a debut outing for Niall McGonagle (well known throughout the county for his work with the Finn Valley Athletic Centre) in the role of Kevin and, in a case of art imitating life, his on stage mother is played by his real life mother Rosaleen.
The Butt Drama Circle present John B Keane’s Many young Men Of Twenty from Tuesday October 25th to Thursday October 27th at The Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey at 8pm nightly. Tickets are priced at €12 (€10 concession) and are available from The Balor Box Office on 0749131840 or online at www.balorartscentre.com.