Six iconic movies and one tv series, ranging from The Field to The Snapper featured at a stunning 'Oskars' premier night hosted by the Aodh Ruadh GAA club on Saturday night. A fundraiser for the Ballyshannon club it caught the interest and imagination of so many who turned up in droves for what proved a fantastic night of entertainment and fun.
The red carpet, the cameras, the clinking of champagne glasses and the style was just something else. Everyone - and there were an estimated 700 people there - entered into the spirit of the evening with the magnificent venue at the Great Northern Hotel in Bundoran transformed into the Dolby Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard.
With the assistance of a professional film crew who worked with the actors, and the involvement of Kevin Rowe Events this was a very slick production on all levels.
The movies recreated were: The Field, The Snapper, Bridesmaids, The Hangover, Misery, The Shawshank Redemption and the tv series, Love/Hate.
The movies starring all local casts and shot in often stunning local locations were superb. The organising team opted to run The Field as the first of the seven ten minute shows where actors reprised some of the outstanding scenes from the original 1990 movie which was directed by Jim Sheridan and starred Richard Harris, John Hurt, Sean Bean, Brenda Fricker and Tom Berenger.
It was a good choice and proved an eventual winner, with Paul Tuohy as Bull McCabe outstanding. Paul last acted when he was in sixth class in an All Ireland winning play directed by Margaret McGinley, the mother of Hollywood star, Sean McGinley. 43 years later Tuohy's long-awaited comeback was memorable, and it was both inevitable and fitting that he would win 'Best Actor'.
Adapted from the 1965 John B. Keane play of the same name, it was a happy coincidence that many of the scenes seen on Saturday night were shot in The Thatch pub on Bishop Street which Keane visited when he was invited by the town's Premier Players to Ballyshannon to see their version of another Keane classic, Sharon's Grave. Keane, who had seen the Premier Players in the All Ireland drama finals, was so impressed with the standard of acting by the Ballyshannon actors that they were the only amateur group to get performing rights for the play.
Looking at many of those who starred in all seven movies on Saturday night there were drama connections going back through the decades, but the majority of those on screen in the Bundoran venue were total new comers to the craft and all of them excelled in their respective roles.
The mix of movies added to the entertainment. Who will ever forget Saturday night's version of the toilet scene in Bridesmaids or the cut of Eunan Doyle in his shiny tracksuit playing Dessie Curley as he threatened to 'snip snip' Georgie Burgess, played by Terry Hughes. That short but memorable scene, shot on Benildus Avenue as Doyle trimmed Josie Boyle's hedge, will live long in the memory. (Incidentally, like Paul Tuohy, Eunan Doyle was also part of that All Ireland winning cast directed by Mrs McGinley).
One of the many surprises of the night saw Ballintra's Seamus McHugh playing the very nasty Nigel 'Nidge' Delaney in Love/Hate. Seamus showed us a whole new side to his acting reach, a brilliant portrayal of a nasty buck...
Love/Hate also gave us the wonderful Caroline Roper whose stunning performance saw her win the 'Best Actress' award.
The night, at all levels was an outstanding success and great credit must go to everyone involved in making this a memorable event. It was a brave decision by the Aodh Ruadh club to take on such a big project but clearly their bravery was rewarded and from a fundraising viewpoint my understanding is that this was a spectacular success on that front also.
The award winners were as follows:
Best supporting actress - Cathy Mc Veigh - Bridesmaids
Best supporting actor - Jon Dunt - Misery
Highest grossing actor - Amanda Mahon (The Field)
Highest grossing film - The Snapper
Best scene - The Hangover
Best production - The Shawshank Redemption
Best actor - Paul Tuohy - The Field
Best actress - Caroline Roper Love/Hate
Best film - The Field
* The best dressed awards, judged by the Democrat's Matt Britton and sponsored by EJs of Sligo were won by Caroline Loughlin and Donald Hannigan (pictured below).
Actors in the seven shows, all of whom deserve an Oscar each were as follows:
Catherine Mc Kee
Diarmaid Mc Inerney
Eamonn Mc Grath
Chris Mc Hale
Kathy Mc Eniff
Aoife Mc Loone
Cathy Mc Veigh
Janette Mc Ternan
Gabby Mc Gloin
Seamus Mc Hugh
Diarmaid Mc Inerney
Ronan Mc Shea
Donagh Mc Inerney
Packie Mc Grath
Caroline Freeman Roper
Maria Mc Gee
Marie Mc Cready
** The pictures for this gallery are in the main from Matt Britton, there are additional pictures from Patricia McShea Hill and Teresa Davis Maguire. Should anyone wish to add to this picture gallery with images from last night, again, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org and they can be included