Ballina has a long history of drama and theatre, and the welcome return of the fifth annual Ballina One Act Drama Festival from Friday November 1st to Sunday November 3rd in the beautiful Ballina Arts Centre will be one of the highlights of the year.
A one-act play is a play that has only one act, as distinct from plays that occur over several acts. One-act plays may consist of one or more scenes. This niche festival has really grown in popularity since its inception by Eugene Loftus in 2015 with most nights selling out, and together with his committee Eugene looks forward to extending a warm Ballina welcome to new and returning patrons.
With three plays nightly, audiences at Ballina Arts Centre can look forward to variety and fine hospitality in the comfort of this modern 220-seater theatre where director Sean Walsh and his team work side by side with the festival crew to ensure a seamless event.
Hue and Cry by Deirdre Kinahan – The Wilde River Drama Group – Ballinrobe – Confined
Two cousins are reunited on the eve of a family funeral in a highly charged encounter full of denial, disillusion and dark laughter.
The Wilde River Drama Group was founded in 2016. The group are based in Ballinrobe, Co. Mayo and welcome members from surrounding areas. They have performed numerous plays in their hometown and last year was their first year on the One Act circuit during which they picked up a few awards! They also performed a piece for the Claremorris Fringe Festival. This is a growing, dynamic drama group thriving in the West of Ireland.
Red Cross by Sam Shepherd Martello Productions – Shankhill, Co. Dublin – Confined
Set in a remote cabin, Red Cross dissects the infectious nature of personal fears: Carol is terrified her head might explode; Jim is convinced he is plagued by insects draining his life; and the maid is scared of drowning. This Obie Award Winning play explores the vampire quality of language, the power it conveys and the treachery it entails.
Martello Productions was founded in Dun Laoghaire in 1974 but are now based in Rathmichael Parish National School in Shankill where they rehearse and perform. There are usually two productions each year; a full length play in the Spring and a one act play which in recent years has been taken on the One Act Festival Circuit. Martello has performed in The Wakefield Drama Festival in Yorkshire on six occasions and on 26 occasions in the Isle of Man Manx Easter Festival of Plays, in addition to numerous festivals in Ireland. Martello have won the Manx Festival on four occasions, most recently this year, with Portia Coughlan.
Trapa Tony by Padraic Neary – The Phoenix Players -Tubbercurry- Confined
This play is set in Ireland circa 2010. An Attempted robbery sees an old Italian man tied up and beaten. He lives in an isolated house and the phone line has been cut. Will he make it through the night? And what will happen to his assailants?
The Phoenix Players were established in 1945 and will celebrate their 75th anniversary in the New Year. The group is community based and as well as doing one and three act plays, produce large shows on a regular basis, the most recent being The Sound of Music in April 2019. The group has members from age 8 to 80!
A Beginners Guide to Madness by Barry Mc Kinley – Coolgreany Drama, Co Wexford – Open
A Beginner’s Guide to Madness is a fast-paced absurdist comedy about modern life and relationships where all is definitely not as it seems. Is our hero, Josephine, really losing her mind? Does her therapist really have her best or breast interests at heart? Why does Josephine keep bumping into these weird people? Is there really a walrus called Toby in her apartment building? Can she live happily ever after?
Coolgreany Drama celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. This relatively small drama group, based in north Wexford , has regularly ‘punched above its weight’ in producing many high quality comedy and drama productions over the past decade. It has had considerable success on the All Ireland drama circuit, including an All Ireland One Act Confined win in 2017. Last year, Coolgreany qualified for the Open One-Act final on its first attempt with Mr Foot by Michael Frayn. Stretching themselves even further, Coolgreany have also competed on the confined three-act circuit.
From Under the Bed by Seamus O’Rourke – Palace Players, Kilworth, Co. Cork – Open
The play is set in 1979 in a tiny one and a half story cottage in County Leitrim, Ireland. Pat and Eugene McPartland are two brothers in their late sixties who have lived together and farmed their twenty three acres all their lives. Living conditions in the house are meagre, but not because of poverty. Any profits from their sixty years toil have been split down the middle and they now have the pension. Despite being brothers, they exist in singular isolation, where interaction and conversation are scarce.
Palace Players are based in Kilworth Co Cork and have been contesting festivals up and down the country since 1989. In 2015 Palace won the All-Ireland in Athlone with Tom Murphy’s ‘Conversations On A Homecoming’. In 2017, Palace took Malachy McKenna’s ‘The Quiet Land’, to All-Ireland One Act success. Last year, they had a credible second with ‘Where Is This Malabar’, penned by the group’s founder, Liam Howard. In this our 30th year, we are delighted to present Seamus O’Rourke’s ‘From Under The Bed’.
NINE by Jane Shepard – The Moat Club –Naas- Open
Two women held in a life-threatening situation and the mind games they play to keep one another alive. Held in a room and chained apart, their only currency is words, and balance of power is everything when a single word becomes the hanging point between life and death.
The Moat Club are based in Naas, at the Moat Theatre. They have been competing on the One Act and Three Act circuits since the late fifties. During that time they have been very successful winning One Act Open All Irelands in 1983, 1989, 1999, 2016 and 2018 and Three Act Open All Irelands in 1974, 1979 and 2000. As well as competing on the circuit the club produce up to five shows a year with a Panto in late November which has has been running for 35 years.
Wanda’s Visit by Christopher Durang – Ennis Players – Open
Jim and Marsha are feeling a little bored and unhappy in their marriage. Wanda, Jim’s old girlfriend shows up for a visit and becomes the guest from hell.
Ennis Players have been competing on both the 1-Act and 3-Act festival circuits for many years and regularly qualified for the finals. In November of each year the group performs a number of 1-Act plays for Supper Theatre in the Old Ground hotel and performs a full length play in spring in the beautiful Glór Theatre in Ennis.
Birds of a Feather by John Francis Oswald – Clann Machua-Kiltimagh – Confined
A wayside Welsh comedy set on a roadside in rural Wales at 10 o’ clock at night sometime between 1910-1920.
Clann Machua Kiltimagh has had a long tradition of Amateur Dramatics and, until the mid-1990’s, there were various active groups within the community. Clann Machua Drama Group was formed in 2010 in order to revive this tradition in Kiltimagh. The Group host our annual ADCI one act festival in Kiltimagh in November each year and for the past number of years have been on the one act circuit. In 2017 the group embarked on the full-length circuit for the first time.
27 Wagons Full of Cotton by Tennessee Williams – Roscommon Drama Group – Confined
When Jake burns down a neighbor’s competing gin, he warns Flora to say he never left the house that night. The neighbor, an outsider named Silva Vaccaro, then shows up with 27 wagons full of cotton for ginning. Jake is delighted to have the business but Silva will have his revenge through the seduction of the innocent Flora. Who is the winner in this well written, engaging story and do 2 wrongs ever make a right?
Roscommon Drama Group, founded in 1980 Roscommon drama group is a vibrant, progressive and all inclusive drama group. Based in Roscommon Town the group perform a 3 act production annually in November and sometimes also in April. With a group membership of approximately 50, many members have been active in the group since its foundation. This is the groups 3rd successive year to participate in the 1 Act Circuit. We have collected several awards on our journey, narrowly missing out on qualifying for the 2018 All Ireland Finals. We are delighted this year to bring ’27 Wagons full of Cotton from the pen of one of the best American playwrights ever, Tennessee Williams.
– Doors open nightly at 6:45 for curtain up at 7:30pm sharp. Sunday start time: 7 pm
– Tickets €10 per sitting or season ticket priced at €25 (3 nights)
Patrons are encouraged to join the committee and the contesting groups nightly for the Festival Club at the refurbished and luxurious “Shambles Bar” at the Ballina Manor Hotel.
Avail of discounted overnight rates at Ballina Manor by quoting the DRAMA FESTIVAL code.
Visit their Facebook page: Ballina-ONE-ACT-Drama-Festival