THE Mountmellick Drama Festival concluded on Friday March 15 with Camross Drama Group and Brian Friel’s “The Loves of Cass McGuire” followed by the awards cermony.
Chairman of the Mountmellick drama festival and MC for the evening Shay Flannery, thanked all those most sincerely for making the 2013 festival such a success, including main sponsors Mountmellick Credit Union, all other generous sponsors, and SuperValu Mountmellick who donated the audience prize which was won by local man Jimmy Farrell from Drinagh, Mountmellick.
He also expressed gratitude to students and teachers who took part in the school arts competition which was co-ordinated by the Laois County Council Arts Office, Portlaoise Accordian Band who played on the opening and closing nights, members of Mountmellick CCE, Flaherty family Portarlington, and local band who entertained patrons each night of the festival, Mountmellick Community Arts Centre Committee, and finally Ron Lalor, the centre’s caretaker who assisted the groups each day of the festival.
Shay thanked the loyal and generous patrons who attended the performances and hoped that they enjoyed the eight nights of drama and a special word of appreciation to the students who attended Sive on March 12 – a full house. He also thanked the festival committee who helped make the week a success.
The festival was launched on March 8 by GAA President, Liam O’Neill and Kilmuckridge Drama Group with JB Keane’s ‘Sharon’s Grove’ the first play to hit the stage.
Patrick Sutton – director of The Gaiety School of Acting, announced the all important results with groups eager to obtain the important points to earn a place in the All-Ireland Confined Finals in Rossmore, Cork which takes place from April 19 to 27 and the All-Ireland Open Finals in Athlone which takes place from May 2 to May 11.
The winners in the open section included 1st place - Ballyduff Drama Group with “Dancing at Lughnasa”, 2nd place - Shoestring Theatre Society with “Eden”, 3rd place - Prosperous Dramatic Society with “The Goat or who is Sylvia”.
Best Actor was David McElgunn as Chris Keller in “All my Sons” - Thurles Drama Group and Best Actress was Katie Holly as Breda in “Eden” - Shoestring Drama Group. Best Director was Ger Canning - Ballyduff Drama Group (Dancing at Lughnasa). In the confined section, 1st place went to Moyne Drama Group with “Sive”, 2nd place was Skibbereen Theatre Society with “The Hen Night Epiphany” and 3rd place went to Kilmuckridge Drama Group with “Sharon’s Grave”. Best Actor was John Quinlan as Thomasheen Sean Rua in “Sive”, and Best Actress was Sarah Murphy as Kelly in “The Hen Night Epiphany”. The Best Director in the confined section was Susan Troy - Moyne Drama Group with (Sive).
The adudicators award went to Cathal McElgunn as Bert in “All My Sons” while the Best Set award went to Skibbereen Theatre Society - “The Hen Night Epiphany”.
Fr McNamara officially closed the 2013 festival. The 2014 Mountmellick Drama Festival dates were announced on the night as well and it will run from Friday March 7 to Friday March 14.