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Elizabeth Weir in twenties garb at the launch of the Drama At Ennis One Act Festival in the Old Ground Hotel. Photograph by John Kelly

Play time as glór welcomes one-act drama extravaganza

A HUNDRED years ago the world came out of the darkness of World War One and Prohibition and celebrated in style in the Golden years of the 1920s.
Now, as the entertainment industry and theatre in particular emerges from the confines of Covid, Ennis Players will celebrate the All-Ireland drama finals in the manner of the Roaring 20s.
‘Drama at Ennis’, the 2021 All-Ireland One Act finals will be staged in glór from December 3 to the 5.
“The finals have been postponed from 2020 and now it is time to celebrate and embrace a wonderful weekend of amateur drama,” said Bernie Harten of the Ennis Players.
“Participating groups and their supporters will be welcomed to glór, where they will play to an appreciative audience, deprived of theatre for too long,” she added.
The All-Ireland One Act drama circuit is a 32-county competition with the top 11 groups in the country qualifying for the finals.
Many amateur groups never get the opportunity to perform in a state-of-the-art theatre, so performing in glór to capacity audiences will be a treat.
Tickets for each session are almost sold out and it is expected the event will bring over 600 visitors to the town, with some hotels already fully booked.
The one-act circuit is also an opportunity for new writers to showcase their material and a special playwrighting competition takes place in conjunction with the festival.
This year a total of 32 original works have been entered in the competition and the winner will be announced on the final night in glór.
The 11 productions will be staged over four sessions; Friday night, Saturday night, Sunday afternoon and Sunday night.
After the performances each night, adjudicator Geoff O’Keeffe will share his public critique of the productions with the audience.
Geoff is a critically acclaimed professional director and actor, who started out on the amateur circuit and is looking forward to adjudicating the best of Irish amateur productions.
Geoff will announce his results on Sunday night as part of the Grand Finale of Drama at Ennis.
Trips to Bunratty, the Cliffs of Moher and walking tours of the town are just some of the fringe events planned to introduce visitors to the charms of the county and encourage them to extend their stay or return at a future date.
Traditional music sessions, jazz sessions as well as a performance by the Ennis Brass Band will all add to the festival atmosphere and ensure visitors leave with fond memories of their trip to our beautiful town and county.
Visitors will also have ample opportunity to shop in the boutique capital of Ireland and sample the local hostelries, with many restaurants and hotels offering special pre-theatre menus for the occassion.
“Ennis Players are especially indebted to Clare County Council for their patronage and for recognising the importance of amateur drama to the wellbeing of local communities, as well as the economic value of the drama Finals to the town and county,” said Bernie.
“The Players also acknowledge the financial support and encouragement of Creative Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Ennis Municipal District.
“The support of the Drama League of Ireland and the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland has also been crucial and Ennis Players are delighted to host the finals on their behalf,” she said.
“Drama at Ennis promises to be a hugely successful and exciting weekend for visitors and locals alike and Ennis Players look forward to welcoming live theatre back to the Roaring 20s,” she concluded.

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