Drama Festival playing to full houses!

Roscommon Drama Festival Committee members pictured with 2023 Adjudicator Anna Walker and 2022 Adjudicator Geoff O’Keeffe at the opening night of the Drama Festival on Friday evening in the Roscommon Arts Centre. Pic: Michelle Hughes Walsh

Roscommon Drama Festival officially opened last Friday night in the Arts Centre, Roscommon. The Festival, which will run for eight nights before ‘full houses’, was launched by Geoff O’Keeffe, a former adjudicator at the festival and a very well-known and respected figure in Irish Drama.

Mary Finn, Chairperson of the Festival Committee, welcomed all present at the opening night launch, adding that the hosts were delighted to “bring you some of the best amateur drama from across out island”.

Ms. Finn went on to say: “Our governing body, the ADCI, celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. The organisation brought the festivals together 70 years ago to create the competition – and I’m sure you will all join with me in wishing them a very happy birthday and many more years of success”.

Mary then introduced Ms. Anna Walker, who is adjudicating the 2023 Festival. Anna has been a member of the Association of Drama Adjudicators since 2018 and is proud to have had the opportunity of adjudicating the One Act Drama Finals in Ennis 2011, the Confined Finals in Castleblaney 2016 and the All Ireland Drama Finals in Athlone 2018. She has won many Best Acting Awards and worked on stage, screen and television.

Mary also welcomed Geoff O’Keeffe, who is a theatre director, actor, drama adjudicator and visual artist and a member of the Association of Drama Adjudicators. This year he will be adjudicating the Confined All Ireland in Glenamaddy.

Geoff extolled the merits of the Drama Festival by reciting a dramatic monologue which opened with “It’s a singular honour and a moment of pride”. This monologue, which encapsulated all the positive aspects of the Festival, was greeted with a warm standing ovation from the full auditorium, and was described afterwards by members of the audience as a “tour de force”.

This was followed by the opening play of the Festival ‘By the Bog of Cats’ written by Marina Carr and portrayed wonderfully by The Dalkey Players. The production was a truly wonderful introduction to what promises to be a great drama festival. It drew a richly deserved standing ovation from the appreciative audience.

The Festival continues until Saturday, 11th of March when the awards in the various categories will be announced.