Curtains up for 14th South Wicklow Drama Festival

ST BRIGID'S HALL, Carnew, host to the South Wicklow Drama Finals.

AUDIO ADDITION; Eamon Doran, Chairman, and Mary Doran, PRO, endorse the 2019 drama festival

St. Brigid’s Hall, Carnew, is the venue for the 14th annual South Wexford Drama Festival which runs Friday to Saturday – nine nights – March 15-23th and features local groups from Wexford and Wicklow and visting groups from Armagh and Cork.
Festival details were revealed at a special launch night in Jim Byrne’s Lounge, Carnew, and the honour was bestowed on Breda Hayes, director of the Ballycogley Players 2018 play that won the All-Ireland Confined Drama in Carnew last April.
Line up of Plays Nightly at 8 pm except final night – 7.30 pm start.
Friday 15th : Tinahely Variety Group – Eclipsed by Patricia Burke Brogan
Synopsis of Play
Framed by a present-day prologue and epilogue, the play is set in 1963 in a convent laundry at St. Paul’s Home for Penitent Women in Killmacha, Ireland. Eclipsed explores the practice of making pregnant and unwed Irish mothers work as ‘penitents’ in church-run laundries. Supervised by nuns who regarded these women as mindless vessels of evil, the women were treated as virtual slaves and their infants were forcibly put up for adoption.
Saturday 16th: Wexford Drama Group – Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire
Becca and Howie Corbett have a picture perfect family life in the suburbs of New York until a random, tragic accident takes the life of their four-year old son. Soon after, Becca’s younger, irresponsible sister, Izzy, announces that she is pregnant: there will now be a new child … Rabbit Hole tells a simple yet rich story about a family overcoming the death of their child and includes comedy as well as tragedy
Sunday 17th: Skibbereen Theatre Society-The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh
The Beauty Queen of Leenane tells the darkly comic tale of Maureen Folan, a lonely woman in her early forties, and Mag, her manipulative and ageing mother. Mag’s interference in her daughter’s first and possibly final chance of a loving relationship sets in motion a train of events that lead inexorably towards the play’s inevitable denouement.
Monday 18th: Gorey Little Theatre Group – Bloomsday by Steven Dietz
Robert returns to Ireland after 35 years to meet Cait, the woman who in one day captured his heart during a James Joyce Ulysses walking tour. Dancing backwards through time, the older couple retrace their steps to look with hindsight at their younger selves. On that fateful day 35 years before, they found themselves at a fork in the road and now must reflect on the aftermath of the youthful decisions they made. This ‘time travel’ story explores their journey with love, wit, revelation and resignation.
Tuesday 19th: Kilmuckridge Drama Group – The Righteous are Bold by Frank Carney
The play opens with the abrupt return of Nora Geraty from war-torn England, to her home on Croagh Patrick, Co. Mayo. Her father, mother and brother are troubled that she has been incommunicado for some months. Ominously, they receive notice of Nora’s homecoming from an English priest who warns that she has been “unwell”. It becomes apparent that the nature of her “illness” is not physical; the struggle to “cure” Nora instigates a battle between pre-Christian, Christian and scientific belief systems.
Wednesday 20th: Kilrush Drama Group – The Steward of Christendom by Sebastian Barry
The Steward of Christendom is about one man’s journey to true freedom, many years after he rejected the freedom granted to the Irish Free State. Now a patient in a county home, Thomas Dunne, the last Chief Superintendent of the Dublin Metropolitan Police in 1922, looks back on his life as he tries to keep his memories and ghosts at bay.
Thursday 21st: Bunclody/Kilmyshal Drama Group – Moonglow by Kim Carney
Maxine, a feisty, bitter Alzheimer’s victim, doesn’t want to move into a nursing facility. But when she meets Joe, a widower who shares her love for dance, her outlook begins to change. Although the two clash when lucid, their hazy memories overlap, and they begin an affair that rejuvenates and fulfills them. But can these lovers – played simultaneously by an elderly twosome and a young, vivacious couple – stay together despite their families’ wishes and their fading vitality?
Friday 22nd: Bridge Drama Group – Brighton Beach Memoirs by Neil Simon
Set in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, New York, in September 1937 during The Great Depression this coming-of-age comedy focuses on Eugene Morris Jerome, a Polish-Jewish American teenager who experiences puberty, sexual awakening, and a search for identity as he tries to deal with his family, including his older brother Stanley, his parents Kate and Jack, Kate’s sister Blanche, and her two daughters, Nora and Laurie, who come to live there after their father’s death.
Saturday 23rd: Lislea Dramatic Players – Castles in the Air – by Martin Lynch
Mary Fullerton has been deserted by her drunken husband, and lives in a tower block, subsisting on Valium and Carlsberg Special. Her son Eddy is a joyrider, and only her daughter Pauline has the buoyancy to survive and save her family, but if she stays to do so she must abandon her own future.
Adjudicator: Ailbhe Garvey Hughes
This year’s adjudicator is Ailbhe Garvey Hughes who has been involved in theatre for most of her life. She has worked as a professional actor, director, adjudicator and teacher for over thirty years
Patrons tickets for the Festival are available from any of the Festival Committee, from Mark Kennedy in Hall’s Shop, Main Street, Carnew; Carnew Training & Development Centre and from Candy’s, Carnew. Purchasing a patron ticket enables you to see all nine of the following plays for just €45.

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