Drama group celebrates with weekend production

Roscommon Drama Group is currently in the midst of its silver jubilee celebrations and this week the group’s production of ‘Love Begins at Fifty’ is ongoing at Roscommon Arts Centre.   The production, which is directed by Noreen Hawkins, runs from (tonight) Thursday, April 19th to Saturday, April 21st. Described as a ‘funny, fast-action farce’, cast members include Mairead Nally, Bernie Maher, Catriona Duignan, Dympna Naughten, Brigeen Fitzmaurice, Margaret Madden, Con Connolly, Kieran Madden and Paul Keane.   The play is just one element of the celebrations to mark the 25th anniversary. On Sunday, May 6th, a booklet celebrating 25 years of Roscommon Drama Group will be launched in the Abbey Hotel. Prior to the launch, members of the drama group are endeavouring to contact all past members of the group with a view to inviting them to the celebrations, so if your are a member of the group and haven’t yet heard from them, then contact a member of the local committee or get yourself along to the Abbey Hotel on Sunday, May 6th. In total, approximately 160 people have been contacted to date.   A second 2007 production is also planned for later this year and this will form the final stage of the 25th anniversary celebrations.   Kieran Madden is PRO of Roscommon Drama Group and he related details of the group’s foundation, ‘Originally the group was pulled together by Bill Cunningham, under the Comhaltas heading. The first production was a fund-raiser. They did ‘The Chastitute’ in Rockfords. Following on from that, people interested in drama formed Roscommon Drama Group and we still have four of the original members – Brigeen Fitzmaurice, Phil Gallagher, Martina Mulligan and Margaret Madden.   ‘After ‘The Chastitute’, in the early years, they moved to the Abbey Hotel and we would like to thank Tommy and Anya Grealy who gave us the facility at a very good rate for all those years. We stayed in the Abbey Hotel until the arts centre was built.   ‘There was one production per year up until the last ten years and then we started to have two productions per year. In that time we would have done the festival circuit once, with ‘Moll’ in the mid 80s.   ‘At the moment there would be about 40 active members and there would have been 170 people who would have appeared on programmes and would have been part of the team, front stage or back stage, over the years.’ Apart from the annual productions, the group also has a social aspect, going to different plays in the region and organising an annual summer barbecue.   This week the celebrations continue with ‘Love Begins at Fifty’. Anita and Clive have been married for 28 years and have led an uneventful life but all that is about to change! Although in a loveless marriage, Clive has never been unfaithful. However, as preparations for his fiftieth birthday are underway, Clive feels that life is passing him by and has a yearning for a final fling. To this end, he chooses three prospective partners from the ‘lonely hearts’ column in the local paper and things get a little complicated, to say the least. Contact the box office on (090) 66 25824.