11 plays over 11 nights

Posted on: 10th March, 2014

Category: Arts & Entertainment

Contributor: West Cork People

And they’re off! The 53rd West Cork Drama Festival opens in the theatre Rossmore on Friday, March 7 and runs until St Patrick’s night Monday March 17.  While racegoers might have their eyes fixed on the Cheltenham festival, drama enthusiasts will be trotting on down to experience the variety of nightly entertainment on offer. And the going will be good to very good indeed!

The ‘form’ on show includes some audience favourites such as JB Keane’s ‘Big Maggie’. on Saturday, March 8, presented by Wexford’s Bridge Drama Group, as well as Billy Roche’s ‘The Calvacaders’ on Sunday, March 16 by Doonbeg Drama Group from Clare. Blending comedy and music, this memory play is always a popular production. However, like any good champion hurdle, you also need to keep your eye out for the not-so-well-known plays, the promising newcomers, especially when in successful experienced directorial hands. Indeed this year’s festival stands out for the number of plays new to the festival in Rossmore.

Coming from the heart of Irish racing in Naas, Co. Kildare, the Moat Club might well be compared to the successful jockey Ruby Walsh. Like him they have taken the championship cup at several past All-Ireland finals. This year they present the critically acclaimed ‘The Steward of Christendom’ by Sebastian Barry on Saturday, March 15. This would undoubtedly be a bookie’s favourite with its lyrical language and King Lear like leading character. However, while on the racecourse Ruby is nearly always head to head with Barry Geraghty and Davy Russell (amongst others), on the drama circuit, being All Ireland champions, the Kilmeen and Ballyduff Drama Groups must be strong favourites too.

On Tuesday, March 11, the local Kilmeen group stage Enda Walsh’s compelling and darkly humorous ‘The Walworth Farce’ about a Cork family in London. Following them on Wednesday, March 12 Ballyduff present another dark comedy, Sam Shepard’s ‘The Curse of the Starving Class’. This American play about a dysfunctional family will also no doubt shock, amuse and provoke the audience.

As racegoers know only too well though, there are always dark horses and hungry jockeys who might sprint the final furlong to win by a nose or a length. And so it is with drama festivals too. From the thoroughbred breeding heartland of Fermoy, Palace players may well be one to watch with their production of Vern Thiessen’s ‘Einstein’s Gift’ on Sunda, March 9.  This intriguing play explores the moral impact of scientific developments and could well be surprisingly explosive. You’ll be glad to know a science degree is not needed to enjoy it!  Another one to watch is Brideview drama group from East Cork who stage the hilarious frolic ‘13 Rue de L’Amour’ by Mawby Green and Ed Feilbert on Thursday, March 13. On the following night, Friday, March 14, Nenagh Players take to the boards with Bruce Graham’s touching and darkly humorous ‘The Outgoing Tide’. This play about dementia and a family was a popular success in Galway in 2012 when John Mahony (the father in Frasier) took the lead in it.

Punters in Cheltenham are known for backing any strong local horse and West Cork horses like ‘Imperial Call’, ‘Whyso Mayo’ and ‘Newmill’ have all taken pride of place in the winners enclosure there. So may it be in Rossmore for the West Cork groups like Skibbereen and Schull and the local Kilmeen Group. On the opening night, Friday, March 7, Skibbereen drama group present Nancy Harris’s contemporary tender and funny Irish play ‘No Romance’. Due its adult themes including eroticism is recommended for over 16s. On Monday, March 10, Schull present Sam Shepard’s ‘Buried Child’. Focusing on family secrets and dynamics this iconic play is sure to be enthralling and is also recommended for over 16s. Closing the festival on St Patrick’s night is the Holycross/Ballycahill Drama Group’s production of Richard Harris’s  gripping thriller ‘Dead Guilty’. This tense ‘comedy of awkwardness’, like any good horse race, may well have the audience biting their nails and at the edge of their seats up to the very end.

The adjudicator, Patrick Sutton, makes a welcome return to Rossmore having adjudicated here previously in 1997 and 2003. Patrick is director of The Gaiety School of Acting, The National Theatre School of Ireland, Smock Alley Theatre, 1662 and of Communicate — a communications company working at a senior level in industry politics and the arts. He will be adjudicating the All Ireland (Confined) Finals in 2015.

All plays start at 8pm and tickets (€12) can be booked from the Festival Booking Office at 023-8838526 or 086-4481086 from Monday, March 3, 12 noon-7 pm.

Please consult www.rossmoretheatre.com for online booking and the festival programme.

The Festival Committee would like to thank all the festival sponsors and supporters.

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This Saturday the 10th March, will see some magically curious activity as local Bandon national schools compete in a Wizarding Harry Potter Quiz. The prize will be the beautiful Bandon Banshee Perpetual Cup.

As any Harry Potter enthusiast knows, Bandon has the unique honour of having a character named after the town. The Bandon Banshee, was referred to as the nemesis of Gilderoy Lockhart in the Chamber of Secrets. The book grossed €60 million in sales and was the 7th highest earning film of all time.

Locals, looking to enhance the town for young people, saw the quiz as an ideal way promote the connection. The universally absorbing book series brings young readers on a huge adventure of magic, adversity and triumph. It is also an exploration of loyalty and friendship, good and evil – so it is not only popular way to engage young people, it is a hugely positive connection.

Zoe Tennyson, one of the organisers said they were delighted with the response from schools who ran a qualifying quiz as part of World Book Day. On Saturday Bandon Town Hall will be transformed into Hogwarts Great Hall, with proceeds going Bandon Playground Group, and to cover costs of the event.

Bandon Books will be rewarding the winning team with vouchers to each of the five members. The Bandon Banshee, or Bean-sidhe na Bandaan Perpetual Cup will be hotly contested – but which school will the Banshee go to??

If you have any questions please call Marguerite McQuaid on 087 900 9494
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8th March, 2018  ·  

Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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20th February, 2018  ·  

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Main course

17th February, 2018  ·  

Check out this new upbeat indie-folk track Edges, released today from Inni-K with a video by Myles O'Reilly. Inni-K will be performing at Levis’, Ballydehob on Saturday 24th February, with support from Sam Clague.

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16th February, 2018  ·  

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