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Tag Archives: Clare Drama Festival

Festival organiser in RTÉ tribute to amateur drama

CLARE Drama Festival stalwart Tom Hanley is among 15 actors and organisers chosen by RTÉ to feature in a special short film to celebrate Ireland’s vibrant amateur drama circuit. While May is, ordinarily, the month when the RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival takes place in Athlone, the Dean Crowe Theatre will lie empty for a second year in a row due to pandemic restrictions. In existence since the early 1950s, the festival has been deferred to 2022. However, actors from a range of the regional festival locations, including Clare, have come together to mark what should have been the 69th RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival. Mr Hanley is among those to lend their voices and faces to a 2-minute film entitled ‘Interval’, a piece written by Joseph Hoban. Produced by RTÉ’s Tracey Diamond, the film focuses on the enforced ‘interval’ the pandemic created in the lives of people nationally and globally. It is a reflection on lockdown and the restrictions that have …

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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. …

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Radio play festival commended for boost to local drama circuit

A FESTIVAL of radio plays, hosted by Scariff Bay Community Radio (SBCR), has been lauded by one of the national amateur drama umbrella groups for finding keeping the flag flying for local theatre, in the teeth of the Level 5 lockdown. Joanne Keane, Chairperson of The Drama League of Ireland (DLI), described The Clare Drama Radio Play Festival, which runs at weekends until Easter Sunday night, April 4, as “hugely successful and innovative”. Ms Keane opened the festival earlier this month and will make a virtual presentation to the overall winners of the Alan Sparling Perpetual Trophy. While thousands of people across the country would normally be involved in the national festival circuit at this time of year, the pandemic put paid to that and caused deep disappointment across the amateur drama community. As a response to the restrictions, SBCR teamed up with the long-established Clare Drama Festival to provide an outlet for the drama groups and audiences who would …

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Amateur drama festival takes to the airwaves to beat lockdown restrictions

SATURDAY will see the start of the very first Clare Drama Radio Play Festival, which takes to the airwaves on Scariff Bay Community Radio (SBCR). The inaugural event brings the station together with the long-established Clare Drama Festival to ensure that actors and their audiences get to enjoy the finest local theatrical productions in their own homes. Proceedings kick off on the East Clare community radio station with a special festival programme hosted by Eoin O’Hagan at 8pm on Saturday next. Thereafter, the drama will continue on Saturdays, and Sundays, presented by Festival PRO Tom Hanley, from March 7 until the final night on Easter Sunday, April 4. “The Clare Drama Radio Play Festival is a perfect addition to the schedule of SBCR and an antidote to the continuing lockdown for both the listeners to the local station as well as the devotees of amateur drama throughout Ireland,” a spokesperson for the station said. “This brand new drama festival is …

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Drama on air as Scariff Bay gets set for feast of radio plays

WITH the normally vibrant amateur drama circuit among the casualties of pandemic restrictions, a new creative initiative aims to bring some of the best local acting, writing and directing talent to the airwaves early next year. Scariff Bay Community Radio together with The Clare Drama Festival have launched the inaugural Clare Drama Radio Play Festival, which will be broadcast on the community station in the spring. The station will also work with local national schools to bring short plays, written by pupils, to the airwaves. The Clare Drama Festival is one of the most popular and longest-running in Ireland and its loss, along with the cancellation of all other theatrical events, has been a huge loss to East Clare. “The amateur drama circuit like so many other cultural activities has been in hibernation since March this year,” said Eoin O’Hagan, PRO of Scariff Bay Community Radio. “Several festivals had been up and running and with the lockdown were forced to …

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East Clare inspiration for ‘Normal People’ actor Frank Blake

FOR a young actor, being in lock-down while some of your highest-profile work graces screens around the world, must be something of an anti-climax. For Frank Blake, the enforced isolation in his native Tuamgraney, during the height of the buzz around Normal People, is not without its advantages, however. Frank, who plays the complex character of Alan in the adaptation of the award-nominated novel by Sally Rooney, has been using the time to explore his own screen-writing abilities. Given that his great aunt, Edna O’Brien, is one of the country’s greatest living authors, it’s probably a safe bet that he has more than a little literary talent. Now based in Dublin, the actor has been clocking up significant screen and stage roles, including a part in Druid’s landmark production of Richard III. He returned to East Clare shortly before the lock-down was announced, and just as the BBC3’s Normal People, directed by Lenny Abrahamson, was set for a stratospheric launch. …

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Shane Kelly as Wan Word and Noel Hogan as PJ, during Sliabh Aughty Drama Group's rehearsal of Unforgiven in Mountshannon on Saturday.

Results are in from Clare Drama Festival

TOPPING the play bill at this year’s Clare Drama Festival in the confined section was Skibbereen Theatre Society’s production of No Romance, while Bradán Players performance of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf took first place in the open section. The results at the 67th annual Clare Drama Festival were revealed when the adjudicator, Tony Rushforth gave his views on the performances held in Scariff over the past two weeks. There were two Clare award winners in the confined section with second place going to the East Clare based Sliabh Aughty Drama Group for their production of Unforgiven by John McDwyer. Meanwhile Doonbeg Drama Group took the third spot with their performance of Cavalcaders by Billy Roche. Second place in the open competition went to Nenagh Players for their staging of The Outgoing Tide by Bruce Graham, while Kilmeen Drama Group took third place with the Enda Walsh play The Walworth Farce.

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There’s nothing but drama in Scariff

THE stage has been set for the 67th annual Clare Drama Festival, which gets underway in Scariff next week, showcasing some of the best amateur drama in Ireland. Founded in 1946 the festival has gone from strength to strength taking place over the course of ten nights from Thursday March 20 to Saturday March 29 at Scariff Community College Hall. Opening this year’s festival is Fr Brendan Quinlivan PP Scariff who is no stranger to the Scariff stage. Fr Quinlivan picked up a promising young actor award in his teenage years at the drama festival and has appeared on numerous occasions with the local Sliabh Aughty Drama Group. Festival chairman, Alan Sparling says this is a unique opportunity to enjoy ten very different plays, and this year promises the audience in Scariff eight completely new productions to this local stage. Opening night sees Sliabh Aughty Drama Group present Unforgiven by John McDwyer, which earned them their first win on this …

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