Eight days of theatre to unfold on Laois stage at Mountmellick Drama Festival

Festival: Premier event in Midlands theatre comes to Mountmellick

Ryan Dunne

Reporter:

Ryan Dunne

Eight days of theatre to unfold on Laois stage at Mountmellick Drama Festival

Now in existence for over 30 years Mountmellick Drama Festival is firmly established as the premier event in the Laois and Midlands theatre calendar.

Running over eight nights, the festival has become a must include event in the diary of all lovers of live performance arts.

This year’s programme includes a mix of plays from both Irish and international playwrights covering a range of genres.

So, if comedy, tragedy, modern or classic appeals, there is a play to meet your preferences at this year’s festival which will run from March 6 to March 13.

The newly refurbished and up-graded Community Arts Centre will provide the perfect ambience and comfort to make the week a memorable experience.

The eight participating drama groups, hailing from Dublin, Galway, Cork, Kildare, Meath, Westmeath, Wexford and Mayo - making it a truly All Ireland event - will compete in hope of gaining enough points along their circuit journey to qualify for the RTE All Ireland Drama Finals in Athlone or The All Ireland Confined Finals in Ballyshannon.

The business end of the competition will be left in the capable hands of Mountmellick native Ms Paula Dempsey (ADA).

Palace Players make a return to the Mountmellick stage with Christian O’Reilly’s beautifully written and poignant ‘Chapatti’, as do Wexford DG with the modern and slick ‘Closer’ by Patrick Marber, suitable for an adult audience only.

Rugby fans will enjoy ‘Alone it Stands’ by John Breen retelling the tale of Munster’s historic win over the All Blacks with the cast of seven playing a total of 62 characters.

Always mindful of encouraging new writing the festival committee welcome Duleek Players for the first time to Mountmellick with their production of ‘The Blacksmith’, written and directed by Michael Ferguson, a non-stop comedy celebrating our unique Irish folklore heritage.

All the way from Mayo, Clann Machua bring their own interpretation of JB Keane’s ‘Sive’ which needs no introduction.

If abstract settings excite you don’t miss Dalkey Players ‘Eurydice’ by Sarah Ruhl which promises to enthralling.

Bookending the week are Mullingar Theatre Lab who will present ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ and Glenamaddy Players with Martin McDonagh’s ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’, both of which are already proving popular at the box office.

The festival launch night on Thursday, February 27 in the Balcony Theatre Mountmellick will incorporate a short one act play, ‘Professional Help’ by Ken Bourke presented by Mountmellick Drama Group. Patrons will have the opportunity to purchase season and nightly tickets and enjoy some light refreshments. All are welcome to attend.

Mountmellick Drama Festival is renowned nationally as the friendliest theatre event on the circuit. The hosting committee will greet you each evening and are available to attend to your every need.

You will have the opportunity to chat about the show over light refreshments and the interval and post show banter that takes place each night is theatre in itself. It is not unusual to see audiences, performers, adjudicator and festival staff submerged in discourse long after final curtain.

Ticketing is fully flexible and whether you are a seasoned theatre goer with the stamina to take in all eight nights, a short-term visitor with the need to fill just one night or anything in between, our box office will put together a value for money deal for you with concessions available for both season and single bookings.

Season tickets priced €60 (€35), nightly tickets €12 (€7) available on the door. Enquiries at 087 7942994 or 087 4121205.