27th February 2017

Qualifying Stages to Reach RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival Finals Begins

The 2017 network of drama festivals has just got underway as all roads lead to the RTÉ All Ireland Open Finals which takes place at the Dean Crowe Theatre, Athlone next May.
Some thirty-six qualifying festivals will take place over the coming weeks in which 30 amateur drama groups from all over Ireland vie for a place at the All Ireland Finals. Groups can gather valuable points depending on their placings at these festivals, but only the top nine will qualify for Athlone.

The programme of plays being presented is, as in recent years, an eclectic mix of classic and contemporary work by Irish and international authors performed by well-seasoned groups, many of whom are ‘regulars’ at the Athlone festival.

Reigning champions, Bridge Drama from Co. Wexford, are performing An Inspector Calls by JB Priestly, a classic from the 1940s and which has just had a hugely successful revival in London’s West End. Last year’s Confined winners, Compántas Lir from Co. Galway will be bidding for their place with Conor McPherson’s The Birds while Bradán Players from Leixlip are running with Blackbird, David Harrower’s critically acclaimed and engaging work.

The full list of plays and festivals are available on the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland website: www.adci.ie. Meanwhile drama enthusiasts may wish to check out the local festivals at Roscommon, which begins on Friday March 4th, as does Mountmellick which runs from the same date. Glenamaddy Drama Festival starts on March 23rd.

Meanwhile, the local organising committee is busy making the preparations for what will be another bumper event with an entertaining Fringe programme planned. PRO Majella O’Dea said “we are delighted that our fringe grows from strength to strength in parallel with the festival. This year there will be a great choice of everything from plays, art exhibitions to musical performances to keep the public entertained.”

The Athlone finals take place from Thursday 4th to Friday 12 May with the Awards presentation taking place on Saturday 13th May. Booking at the Dean Crowe Theatre will open from Thursday 20th April when the final line-up will be known.

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