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Eoin O'Hagan and Tom Hanley with the Alan Sparling Perpetual Trophy at the conclusion of The Clare Drama Radio Play Festival.

Honours list revealed for outstanding radio plays

AWARD winners have been revealed in the very first Clare Drama Radio Play Festival which concluded its hugely successful run on Easter Sunday night.

The initiative involved groups from around the country sending their pre-recorded short dramas to Scariff Bay Community Radio (SBCR) who broadcast a feast of radio plays in collaboration with Clare Drama Festival.

Ranked in first place for their production of When I Was God was the Kilmeen Drama Group, who received the The Alan Sparling Perpetual Trophy. The Clonakilty-based group beat off stiff competition from six other short-listed companies, including the Doonbeg Drama Group and the Sliabh Aughty Drama Group. The award for direction also went to Kilmeen with Denis O’Sullivan taking that prize.

The title of Best Actress went to Muriel Caslin O’Hagan from Balally Players, for her role as Marion in Pizzazz, while Best Supporting Actress went to Lasairfhíona Kennedy for her role as Tríona in Manic Monday with the Sliabh Aughty Drama Group.

Best Actor was Brian McCarthy who played the referee in When I was God, while Best Supporting Actor went to Ken Blowers from Doonbeg Drama Group for his role as Eamonn in Where is this Malabar?

The Adjudicator Award for Sound Effects went to Jerome Boss of Full Moon Theatre from West Clare for their production of The Colleen Bawn. The award for Sound Design and Technical Production went to John Beresford and Chris McCann of Theatre 3 from County Antrim.

“We are truly delighted to post these [awards] and thank sincerely the 20 drama groups who supported our innovative festival in these Covid times,” said PRO of SBCR, Eoin O’Hagan. “The technical challenges of recording a play during lockdown were overcome by the groups with the use of social media like Zoom, Whatsapp, Facebook, Facetime, Texts and even landline phone calls. Sound recordists and directors used many different techniques to try match sounds and make their soundscapes even. We take our hats off to Ken Blowers from Doonbeg Drama though who advised the actors to wrap pillows around their heads to deaden the sound as they recorded their pieces. It worked.

“We hope that the Drama Groups, from all over Ireland, who entered the festival enjoyed this different outlet for their craft. We haven’t re-invented the wheel with the inaugural Clare Drama Radio Play Festival, but amateur drama in Ireland certainly put its shoulder to it.”

Mr O’Hagan thanked all the actors, directors, writers, sound recordists and editors, sponsors – who included Clare County Council and Derg Credit Unio – and adjudicator Paul Brennan of the Amateur Drama Association (ADA)

Among the local drama groups to take part in this year’s event were Oakhill Drama Group, Knockerra; Doonbeg Drama Group; Tulla Drama Drama Group; Full Moon Theatre Company; Corofin Dramatic Society; Ennis Players; The Sliabh Aughty Drama Group and Bualadh Bos, Oranmore.

Podcasts of many of the entries are still available via the Facebook page of Scariff Bay Community Radio.


About Fiona McGarry

Fiona McGarry joined The Clare Champion as a reporter after a four-year stint as producer of Morning Focus on Clare FM. Prior to that she worked for various radio, print and online titles, including Newstalk, Maximum Media and The Tuam Herald. Fiona’s media career began in her native Mayo when she joined Midwest Radio. She is the maker of a number of radio documentaries, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI). She has also availed of the Simon Cumbers Media Fund to report on development issues supported by Irish Aid in Haiti. She won a Justice Media Award for a short radio series on the work of Bedford Row Project, which supports prisoners and families in the Mid-West. Fiona also teaches on the Journalism programmes at NUI Galway. If you have a story and would like to get in touch with Fiona you can email her at fmcgarry@clarechampion.ie or telephone 065 6864146.

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