Glenamaddy Drama Festival gets underway

Ten nights of eclectic entertainment are promised as the 47 th annual Glenamaddy Drama Festival gets underway this week. The festival opens on Thursday 15th March with Thurles Drama Group and their production of ‘The Glass Menagerie’. In this Tennessee Williams classic, set in a St. Louis slum apartment, we meet Amanda Wingfield who dominates her children with her faded gentility and exaggerated tales of her southern belle past, her son Tom who spends every spare moment losing himself at the movies and her crippled daughter Laura. Amanda decides that the only future for Laura is to find a husband for her. The arrival of Tom’s friend as a potential suitor brings the family situation to crisis point. On Friday 16th, Ennis Players perform ‘The Way You look Tonight’ by Niall Williams. This play explores the differences between fantasy and reality, romance and real love, children and parents still connected by dreams and guilt and the invisible links of love. Saturday night’s ‘Da’ presented by Amphitheatre, Kilkee and written by Hugh Leonard, is set in Dublin in the 1960s and deals with the bittersweet relationship which existed between father and son and the poignant feelings which have reemerged on Charlie’s return to his childhood home after Da’s funeral. Wexford Drama Group on Sunday night, present ‘By The Bog of Cats’ by Marina Carr, which tells the tale of a moody Irish traveller Hester Swane, who has turned her back on her gypsy heritage and settled near a swamp called The Bog of Cats. Tormented by the memory of a mother who left her and a dark family secret she can’t escape, Hester is pushed to the brink of despair. Martin McDonagh’s ‘The Lonesome West’, performed on Monday night by Shoestring Theatre Co, Charleville, delves into the lives of two eccentric bachelor brothers, Coleman and Valene Connor. Coleman has murdered their father and passed it off as an accident, but Valene knows the truth and has blackmailed Coleman out of his inheritance. The local young priest intervenes in a violent quarrel between the brothers and attempts to reconcile the two. A new housekeeper is like a new moon and a new moon can bring anything from a tidal wave to an earthquake therein lies the story of ‘Moll’, written by John B. Keane ‘and presented by the Cloonacool players on Tuesday night. On Wednesday 21st, DAD, Dunmore perform ‘A Thief of a Christmas’ by Tom Murphy. Set in an impoverished rural Ireland just before Christmas, the locals gather for a drink in Mahony’s pub and are joined by a stranger who challenges the local ‘big man’ Costello, to a laughing competition. The results are at times hilarious, at times frighteningly black and ultimately tragic. Thursday night’s ‘Sive’ presented by Coolera Dramatic Society and written by John B. Keane tells the story of a promise of marriage of the young and beautiful Sive to an old man. Friday’s ‘Cambusdonald Royal’ written by James Scotland (author of The Sorcerer’s Tale) and performed by Compantas Lir, Claregalway is set in 1465 in Brother Barnabas’s cell in Clougher Abbey. The monks’ routine is disrupted when Mother Mary and fifty-seven nuns from the nearby convent, which has accidentally burnt, seek refuge in the monastery, with hilarious consequences. Please note that strobe lighting is used during this show. The festival culminates on Saturday night with The Palace Players, Fermoy and their production of Jimmy Murphy’s ‘The Kings of Kilburn High Road’, which deals with the issue of immigration to the UK in the mid 1970s and takes place in the back room of a bar in Kilburn.