Arts: Goresbridge One-Act drama festival

Preparations are well underway for the Goresbridge One-Act Drama Festival which runs from November 15-17 in Ionad Dara.

Preparations are well underway for the Goresbridge One-Act Drama Festival which runs from November 15-17 in Ionad Dara.

This is the third festival of its kind to be held in Co. Kilkenny and it is a great honour for Ionad Dara and the host group Kilcumney Players to have been accepted by the DLI (Drama League of Ireland). Goresbridge is one of 24 one-act festivals that are being staged around the 32 counties of Ireland between mid-October and late November this year. The festival has created a huge amount of interest in the area and great support has been offered by local people and businesses. The main sponsor of Goresbridge Drama Festival is Connolly’s Red Mills, Goresbridge.

The standard of entries has been extremely high in Goresbridge over the past two years and in both 2010 and 2011, the winners in Goresbridge went on to win the All Ireland title. Bradán Players from Leixlip, Co. Kildare won in 2010 and Kilmeen from West Cork took the title last year.

The Festival Committee members were delighted to receive 25 applications for Goresbridge Drama Festival. From the 25 applicants, 9 were selected and they will compete over the 3 nights. The competing groups will travel from counties Dublin, Waterford, Wicklow, Kildare and Cork. The adjudicator for the Festival will be Biddy White Lennon, ADA (Association of Drama Adjudicators).

The competition has two sections. Groups who have already won an All-Ireland will compete in the open section. Six groups will participate in the open competition in Goresbridge. The three remaining groups will compete in the confined competition. Confined groups have not yet won an All-Ireland or may be new to competition. The first play each night will take part in the confined section while the second and third plays will be open entrants. In One-Act festivals, plays must not exceed 55 minutes. Most of the plays in Goresbridge are 40-45 minutes in length. The winners in Goresbridge will go on to compete in the all Ireland finals in the Ballyduff, Co. Waterford in early December.

A wide range of plays will be presented from Irish, American and English playwrights. Thursday night will start with Coolgreany Amateur Dramatic Society and their production of The Trial by Anthony Booth in the confined section. Ballyduff Drama Group, Fermoy, Co Cork will present One for the Road by Harold Pinter. They will be followed by Martello Productions from Bray, Co. Wicklow with The Tinkers’ Wedding by J.M. Synge.

On Friday the programme will start at 8pm with Blue Hat Theatre Group from Whitechurch, Cork and their presentation of Workers’ Wishes by Sean Kelleher in the Confined competition. Second up on Friday night is the Haulbowline Theatre Group from Cobh, Co. Cork with The Stanley Parkers by Geraldine Aron in the open section. Finally Balally Players from Dublin will present Afterplay by Brian Friel also in the open section.

The evening’s entertainment will start at 7pm on Saturday with Camross Drama Group, Co. Wexford and their play Billy the Member, written by Des Waters, who is also the director. The second spot on Saturday will be filled by local group, New Heritage Theatre from Kilkenny with I Dream before I Take the Stand, an American play by Arlene Hutton. The final presentation in the festival will be Bradán Players from Leixlip , Co. Kildare with Some Kind of Love Story by Arthur Miller.

At the end of each night, adjudicator Biddy White Lennon will give a brief account of the three plays to the audience and a short analysis of each one. On the Saturday night this will be followed by an interval of 20 minutes before the winners are announced and the prizes are presented. Prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in the Open section. Prizes will also be awarded to First and Second places in the Confined section. The top award will be a perpetual cup for the overall winners (Best Play in the Festival) which will be the “Blue Riband” of Goresbridge Drama Festival. Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Director awards will be chosen from all nine entries. Finally, two further awards may be given at the Adjudicator’s discretion.

Several sponsors have already pledged their support for the festival. As part of offsetting the considerable costs involved in running a festival the organisers are inviting people and organisations in the community to become “Friends of the Festival” for a contribution of €25. A programme for the festival is being prepared and all “Friends of the Festival” and Sponsors will be fully acknowledged and will receive two complimentary tickets for each of the three festival nights. This offer is open until the programme is printed on November 8. Please contact (086) 0443152 if you would like to become Friend of the Festival.

To book seats for any of the evenings please phone or text (087) 4129215. Adult tickets are €10 per night or €25 for season ticket( all three nights). Senior Citizens and student tickets are €8 per night or €18 for season ticket with Children’s tickets at €5 per night or €12 for season ticket. Family tickets are available at €20 (two adults and two children).

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