49th Claremorris Drama & Fringe Festival 2019



Under the auspices of ADCI

Adjudicator Alan Haslett ADA GODA


Official Opening with Prosecco Reception: Thursday 14th 7.00pm

Opening by Senator Marie-Louise O’Donnell 7.30pm

Curtain up at 8.00pm


Thursday 14th March

“On Broken Wings”  By Dermot Healy

 Cornmill Theatre Group (Open)

The 49th Festival opens with the Cornmill Theatre Group Carrigallen, Co. Leitrim with their production of Dermot Healy’s  “On Broken Wings”.

“On Broken Wings” opens in a cottage on the Mullet Peninsula. Timothy Lavelle sits by the hearth in a cottage in contemporary Ireland. The fireplace opens and in stride his parents and his younger self. We follow Timmy from childhood, including times potato picking in Scotland, wall-building with his father, and as an elevator man in America, before returning to the cottage where he was born.


Friday 15th March

“Someone Who’ll Watch over Me” by Frank McGuinness

Butt Drama Circle  (Open)

We welcome back Butt Drama Circle, from Ballybofey, to Claremorris. Someone Who’ll Watch over Me is a play written by Irish dramatist Frank McGuinness. The play focuses on the trials and tribulations of an Irishman, an Englishman and an American (Edward, Michael, and Adam) who are kidnapped and held hostage by unseen Arabs in Lebanon. As the three men strive for survival they also strive to overcome their personal and nationalistic differences. Related to this is each individual’s own attempt to maintain sanity under the watchful eye of both captors and supposed comrades. At times very dramatic.


Saturday 16th March

”The Loves of Cass Maguire” by Brian Friel

 Clann Machua Kiltimagh (Confined)

If you missed this play on its last production in Claremorris don’t miss it this time. Humorous yet moving.  For more than fifty years Cass McGuire has worked a block from Skid Row, among deadbeats and washouts — people who live in the past. This play deals with her return to Ireland and her genteel family’s rejection of her. It follows her lonely struggle to re-discover the home she’s dreamt of all her life and her eventual surrender to the make believe of Eden House. Clann Machua are sure to give us a great night’s entertainment.


Sunday 17th March

Moonglow” by Kim Carney

Bunclody/Killmyshall Drama Group (Open)

The Bunclody/Killmyshall Group return to us in 2019 with a Play that is new to the Festival. This Comedy/Drama is about Maxine, a feisty, bitter Alzheimer’s victim, who doesn’t want to move into a nursing facility. But when she meets Joe, a widower who shares her love for dance, her outlook begins to change. Although the two clash when lucid, their hazy memories overlap, and they begin an affair that rejuvenates and fulfils them. But can these lovers — played simultaneously by an elderly twosome and a young, vivacious couple — stay together despite their families’ wishes and their fading vitality?


Monday 18th March

Life Sucks” by  Aaron Posner

Corofin Dramatic Society (Open)

Last year Corofin brought us a terrific production of John B Keane’s “Big Maggie”, this year something much different. In this brash reworking of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, a group of old friends, ex-lovers, estranged in-laws, and lifelong enemies gather to grapple with life’s thorniest questions – and each other. What could possibly go wrong?  Life Sucks is altogether wise, profoundly humane, hilarious, quirky, endearing and, in countless clever ways, brilliantly faithful to its source. Posner sticks lovingly close to Chekhov’s plot … [He] gives huge and equal bear-hugs to Chekhov’s absurd comedy and touching pathos, while leaving room to banter with the audience … sassy yet heartfelt…” – The Washington Post. “… very smart and self-aware … a light and airy conversation-starter of a show that’s just satirical enough to fulfill those who’d rather sit in traffic than watch anything by Chekhov, and clever and accurately Chekhovian enough to pleasure those who love the source play … hugely enjoyable … The play defies traditional categories like ‘comedy’ or ‘drama,’ so let’s just settle for calling it ‘fantastic.’” – Time Out Chicago. “Comic gold … Filled with laughs and anarchic asides … Posner’s ear for comedy is reminiscent of Mel Brooks in his prime.”

Tuesday 19th March

Same Old Moon” by Geraldine Aron

Compántas Lir Claregalway (Open)

Last Year’s winners with “The Glass Menagerie”, by Tennessee Williams, return with a play last seen in the festival in 2006. Same Old Moon. by Geraldine Aron.  A Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy . “It is funny, moving and seriously entertaining … The audience loved it. Same Old Moon creates scenes from the life of aspiring writer Brenda Barnes. From age nine into her forties, she is seen through the eyes of her eccentric and sometimes fiery family, particularly her wilfully self-descriptive father and her put-upon and sometimes hot-tempered mum. Hilarious scrapes erupt when Brenda’s imagination and intelligence bump against the restrictions of Irish and English customs and society.


Wednesday 20th March

I Do Not like Thee Dr Fell   by Bernard Farrell

Cloonacool Players (Confined)

It was in 2010 that we had the last production of “I Do Not Like Thee Dr Fell” by Compántas Lir. Cloonacool Players return after an absence of a few years, they have been winners in the past.     Half a dozen disparate souls gather for group therapy “that promises to probe their lives”. Yikes, that’s bound to be painful. A wild card amongst them upends the confidentiality that binds the encounters and the games begin: “The session does not go as planned and they get more than they bargained for when one of their number savagely exposes their real social and sexual secrets”.  Savage and funny in cyclical meter for this intensely physical play.


Thursday 21st March

The Factory Girls”by Frank McGuinness

DADS Dunmore (Confined)

Our second Frank McGuinness play brings back the award-winning Dunmore Amateur Drama Society. This is the first production of “The Factory Girls” in Claremorris. Set in a shirt factory in Donegal, The Factory Girls tells the story of five women facing the threat of redundancy, who stage a lock-in in a shirt factory in Co. Donegal. As their protest continues the woman learn more about each other and themselves as they explore their anger, courage and compassion. WIDELY regarded as one of Ireland’s greatest living playwrights, Frank McGuinness feels that his 1982 debut play, The Factory Girls, is still relevant.  Set during recessionary times, with industrial unrest at the core of the play, “it shows that you need to be able to stand on your own feet and take on whatever confronts you. Sometimes, you’d be confronted from within as much as from without.”

Saturday 23rd March

Sive”  By John B Keane

Sliabh Aughty Drama Group (Confined)

Sliabh Aughty Drama Group, Co. Clare bring us one of John B Keane’s greatest plays. Keane chose to use the name “Sive” for the play in honour of his sister, Shiela, using the Irish-Gaelic form of the name. The story is centred on a young eighteen-year-old girl, Sive, who is illegitimate. She lives with her uncle Mike, his wife Mena, and Nanna who is Mike’s mother. A local matchmaker Thomasheen Sean Rua decides that Sive should marry an old man called Seán Dota.  Seán is rich but old and haggard. Thomasheen convinces Mena to organise the marriage of Sive to Seán Dota. She and her husband will receive a sum of two hundred pounds as soon as Sive marries Seán Dota. Mike is originally unwilling to have Sive married to a man so much older than her, but Mena convinces him otherwise. Sive however is in love with a young man by the name of Liam Scuab.


Closing Night of The Fringe Festival in The Studio


Sunday 24th March

Fool For Love” by Sam Shepard

Doonbeg Drama Group (Open)

We welcome back the Doonbeg Drama Group after a year out and winning the Confined All-Ireland in 2017.  Fool for Love is a play written by American playwright and actor Sam Shepard. The play focuses on May and Eddie, former lovers who have met again in a motel.

Through searing truth and dark humour, Fool for Love shows the story of two people who just can’t live without each other whether they like it or not. May is hiding out at an old motel in the Mojave Desert. Eddie, an old flame and childhood friend, finds her there and threatens to drag her back into the life from which she had fled. Reality and dream; truth and lies; past and present mingle in an explosive, emotional experience.

Followed by Final adjudication and Presentation of Prizes for both Fringe and Full Length Festival









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