NEWS

Memories from the old Butt Hall return to Ballybofey

Dreamers and Dancers enjoys a great opening night

Connie Duffy

Reporter:

Connie Duffy

Email:

connie.duffy@donegaldemocrat.ie

Memories from the old Butt Hall  return to  Ballybofey

A scene from Dreamers and Dancers which runs at the Balor Arts Centre until Friday night

Audiences have been raving about the fabulous opening as Donegal's most famous ballroom came back to life on Tuesday night when the acclaimed 'Dreamers and Dancers - The Story of the Butt Hall' made its long overdue return to the Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey.

Penned by Susan Doherty, the play (with music) was first performed to packed houses at the Balor ten years ago to mark what was the 50th anniversary of the award-winning Butt Drama Circle.

The old Butt Hall in Ballybofey

Back in June 2006 - Ms Doherty stood, along with a hundred or more onlookers, on the pavement outside the old Isaac Butt Memorial Hall. Seated inside at a table were the members of the Butt Hall Committee and various dignitaries. The final contract was signed. The old Butt Hall would be demolished before the end of the week to make way for the new Butt Hall Centre, which would also house a purpose-built Balor Arts Centre.

It struck Susan at the time that, in a few days, the much-loved Butt Hall would be gone forever. So, she set about writing the original script for Dreamers and Dancers. To say the show was well received when it was first staged in 2009 would be an understatement - it played to packed houses for two full weeks.

Ladies night at the old Butt Hall

Recently adapted and directed by Monica Doherty, audiences from all over Donegal and beyond will this week be given an opportunity to take another trip down memory lane to when it all began over 100 years ago. From drama productions to silent films, court cases to card games, an educational facility to a library, we celebrate the many ways in which the history of the Butt Hall is woven into the fabric of this community.

Above all there’s the music. For all its myriad activities and uses down through the years, it’s as a Dance Hall that the Butt Hall is most famously and fondly remembered - one of the true Ballrooms of Romance.

A scene from last night's Dreamers and Dancers which runs at the Balor until Friday night

Starring, amongst others, 'Mad Marcus (Mark McIntyre), Fergus Cleary, Mary Laverty, Darieen McMeniman, Brian Duffy and Frankie Quinn, Dreamers and Dancers will run at the Balor until Friday October 18.

But, be warned, tickets are selling fast.

For bookings, contact the Balor Box Office on (074) 9131840 or log on to www.balorartscentre.com