Qualifying Stages to Reach 2018 RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival Finals Begins
With the 2018 drama festival circuit about to begin in three weeks’ time the Athlone Committee of the RTE All Ireland Drama Festival are busy making plans for the finals which take place at the Dean Crowe Theatre, Athlone next May.
The Festival promises to produce a wide variety of plays including a mixture of well-known classics with a few contemporary works thrown in. Corrofin Drama Group will be a serious contender with John B Keane’s “Big Maggie” while Bunclody/Kilmyshall Drama Group will be touring the country with “Rumours” by the American king of comedy Neil Simon.
Prosperous Dramatic Society never to cease to surprise and their festival play is the quirky “Sylvia” by the US playwright A.R Gurney. Meanwhile Bradan Players will present Irish Author Michael West’s 2014 play “Conservatory” which got rave reviews when it ran in the Abbey Theatre some years ago.
The Athlone Festival will also have a packed programme of fringe events including the now traditional arts and food fair. As is customary there will also be a range of art exhibitions, concerts, theatre performances (and a few surprises thrown in!).
The fifth Annual Schools Playwright competition is well underway with a record 231 entries this year from TY students from 13 different counties. This competition is growing into one of the flagship events of the festival and we are delighted with the level of interest by young people in drama that it demonstrates.
The Athlone finals take place from Thursday 3rd to Friday 11th May with the Awards presentation taking place on Saturday 12th May. The final line-up will be known after the draw which takes place on Easter Monday 2nd of April and booking will open at the Dean Crowe Theatre Box Office from Thursday 12th April.
Further information on the Festival’s events and activities will be published in the coming months. In the meantime Season Ticket holders may wish to view this year’s season ticket policy which is available on the festival’s website on the following page:
Exciting Fringe Programme announced for 2017 RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival
Last week details were released of the 2017 RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival (see festival web site www.dramafestival.ie). With the nine nights of the festival plays in the Dean Crowe Theatre fast selling out, Festival Director Joe MacCarrick reminded drama enthusiasts not to forget the curtain raiser to this year’s festival which will see the winners of the All-Ireland confined festival (to be announced) take to the stage at the Dean Crowe Theatre on Wednesday 3 May at 8pm. Tickets €10 can be purchased from the theatre box office at 090-6492129.
The 2017 Fringe programme will provide the public another opportunity to access entertainment, activities, culture and fun! Highlights of the Fringe this year include “Howie The Rookie”. Fresh from his hugely successful run in the Midlands, local actor Jude McLynn will give an “electrifying performance” in Athlone Little Theatre Friday 5 May 3.00 pm in Mark O’Rowe’s urban classic which is set against the backdrop of Dublin’s gangland (€5 – over 18s). It’s the story of Howie, then Rookie, both characters played by McLynn following O’Rowe’s specially adapted production for Tom Vaughan-Lawlor (RTÉ’s Love/Hate). With strong language, audiences are brought on a roller-coaster journey through west-Dublin with hilarious and, at times, heart-breaking consequences.
Another Fringe favorite the Sheraton Miscellany Sunday returns after a break on 7 May at 12.00 Noon (Admission Free). An entertaining assortment of music, readings and video showcasing new and emerging talent from Athlone and its environs is promised. The hour-long medley includes contributions from playwright Jean Farrell, historian Gearóid O’Brien, poet and fiction writer Paul McCarrick, film maker David Toolan, musicians Moate All Whites Junior Ballad Group and All Ireland Scór-na-nÓg champions St Dominic’s Léiriú, Knochcroghery.
Tickets for all fringe events will be available at the Festival Hub, Radisson Blu Hotel from Thursday 4 to Friday 12 May between 12 – 3pm daily. Admission tickets to some Fringe events are required and are available for purchase at the Hub. While many Fringe events are free some such events require pre-booked tickets. Tickets will also be available at all fringe events and as usual will be subject to availability. The Festival App is now available free of charge for download and contains details of all festival plays and fringe events.
Westmeath County Council and Athlone Tidy Towns have been at the forefront in preparing Athlone for this year’s festival. A strong and lasting partnership has developed between the festival committee with many local organisations providing essential support in building a strong festival. Local businesses also offer their support by way of sponsorship and this too is a vital component in ensuring that Athlone remains the location of choice in Ireland for one of the most reputed drama festivals in Europe.