String of awards for Lislea Dramatic Players
March 16, 2010
The 29th Lislea Drama Festival came to a close on Saturday night after Creggan Drama Circle, Co. Tyrone presented their production of “Be My Baby” by Amanda Whittington. This was preceded by a very successful range of plays over the past few weeks. Last Wednesday Lislea Dramatic Players performed “The Freedom of the City” by Brian Friel to a packed hall. This production was Brian Friel’s dramatic response to the horrific events of Bloody Sunday in 1972. This play is set two years earlier in 1970 and it tells the story of three Derry residents who in advertently find themselves seeking sanctuary in the city’s Guildhall while fleeing from the madness and the violence which erupts in the wake of a banned Civil Rights March. The situation quickly spirals out of control when reports and rumours spread of armed occupation motion which leads almost inevitably toward Friel’s magnificently tragic end.
The adjudicator Mr. Tom Doherty had experience of directing this play in the Guild Hall in Derry therefore he knew how difficult it was to stage and he felt that this was “admirably overcome” by the effectiveness of the set. He said that it was “a replica of the Mayor’s Parlour in the Guild Hall” and that the attention to detail gave a sense of “reality and authenticity” to the play. He gave particular reference to the panelling and the stained glass window. With regard to the technical aspects of the play he felt that the sound, lighting and costumes were at a “high standard” and that they contributed to the feeling of “authenticity” of the play. Mr. Doherty congratulated the Director Kerry Rooney on the “seamless flow” between the scenes, the creation of atmosphere with the crowd scene and concluded by saying that it was the culmination of “effective teamwork led by a talented director”. Skinner played also by Kerry Rooney was applauded on his “assured delivery” with an attitude of a rebel and that his performance had a lot of “texture” and drive. Lily who was played by Anne Garvey performed with“warmth” and “was effectively engaged and had the essence and drive of the part”. Aidan McParland played Michael who was the “voice of reason” gave a “very convincing and sincere performance” as a young man totally absorbed by his beliefs. The Judge played by Pius Tierney “caught the necessary air of authority and gravitas” and gave the impression he was thoroughly interrogating the evidence.
Mr. John Campbell thanked the adjudicator, the main festival sponsor LENCO Construction Ltd, all the other sponsors, the festival patrons and the committee for making the 29th Drama Festival a success. Mr. Tom Doherty was delighted to adjudicate a “great festival” with what he thought were “two main contenders for the All-Ireland Finals”. He then gave the following awards:
Premier Award- Lislea Dramatic Players, Co. Armagh with THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY
Runners Up- Pomeroy Players, Co. Tyrone with ALL MY SONS
Best Actor- Aidan McParland as Michael in THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY by Lislea Dramatic Players, Co. Armagh
Best Actress – Mairead Eastwood as Kete Keller in ALL MY SONS by Pomeroy Players, Co. Tyrone
Best Producer- Kerry Rooney THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY by Lislea Dramatic Players, Co. Armagh
Most Challenging Play-John Goodfellow with ALL MY SONS by Pomeroy Players, Co. Tyrone
Best Set Design- John McElroy, Aidan McParland, Joe Murphy, Pius Tierney, Paul Tierney,Gerry McParland, Vincy Boyle, John Quigg, Ryan Quigg with THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY by Lislea Dramatic Players, Co. Armagh
Best Supporting Actor –Pius Tierney as Judge in THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY by Lislea Dramatic Players, Co. Armagh
Best Supporting Actress –Shauna Gourley as Ann Deever in ALL MY SONS by Pomeroy Players, Co. Tyrone
Best Character Portrayal- Anne Garvey as Lily in THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY by Lislea Dramatic Players, Co. Armagh
Best Moment of Theatre – Maggie Enright as Bridie in THY WILL BE DONE by Ardagh Drama Group, Co. Limerick.
Audience Award- THY WILL BE DONE by Ardagh Drama Group, Co. Limerick.
Best Lighting – Gerard O’ Donnell in THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY by Lislea Dramatic Players, Co. Armagh
Stage Management- Jenny Gray with ECLIPSED by Rath Players, Rathangan, Co. Kildare.
Stage-Aid Trophy (Best Young Actor/Actress)- Elaine Coyle as Mary in BE MY BABY by Creggan Drama Circle, Co. Tyrone.
Set Award – John Goodfellow for ALL MY SONS by Pomeroy Players, Co. Tyrone
Acting award – John Campbell as Dr. Dobbs in THE FREEDOM OF THE CITY by Lislea Dramatic Players, Co. Armagh
Lislea Dramatic Players also found out later on Saturday night that they had also won the following awards in Castleblayney Drama Festival.
Best Actor – Kerry Rooney as Skinner,
Best Actress – Anne Garvey,
You can get a chance to see this award winning play when the players put in on in aid of the Hospice on Friday 26th March and Saturday 27th March at 8pm in The Old School House Theatre.
See Gallery for all the Pictures