Festival Review of Lislea Drama Festival

March 15, 2011

Kilrush Drama Group, all the way from Co. Wexford gave patrons a “wonderful” portrayal of ‘The Playboy of the Western World’ by J.M. Synge last Saturday. This is a story about a strange man who stumbles upon a shebeen and tells a tale of a dark deed.

When the community realise that it was only a petty squabble in a potato field they turn against him. It is a tale of romance and savagery. The adjudicator Kathleen Barrington congratulated the group on the “beautiful set which was immensely practical” and loved the detailed structure, backdrop, lighting and costumes. She also applauded the group on a number of lovely performances namely Alan O’Neill who played Shawn Keogh; Michael Dunbar who gave a “towering performance” of Old Mahon; Ellie Condren who gave a “feisty, fiery yet vulnerable” portrayal of Pegeen and Mark Doran who played Christy Mahon.

It was the turn of Pomeroy Players, Co. Tyrone on Sunday last with their performance of ‘A View from the Bridge’ by Arthur Millar. Pomeroy have performed in Lislea 16 times in the last thirty years and this year they did not disappoint with their story of the disintegration of Eddie Carbone because of his love for his niece that he couldn’t acknowledge to himself. The adjudicator felt that the producer John Goodfellow did a great job in direction as the play needed powerful direction. She also applauded the stage crew for their slick scene changes. The music set the scene for the cast. She congratulated the main actors for their “sympathetic portrayal” of this Arthur Millar Classic.

On Wednesday 9th March, Lislea Dramatic Players performed to a packed theatre, the Budd Schulberd play “On the Waterfront”. Kathleen Barrington described the performance as a “powerful piece of theatre…which is enormously difficult to play”. This is a dark tale of greed, corruption, love and murder on the brutal waterfront of New York City.   She applauded the “marvellous set” which was “superbly constructed” and also praised the director Kerry Rooney for his direction of the actors on the stage and in particular the “magnificent fight scene”. She also thanked him for his “very believable” performance as Terry Molly. Liam Hannaway played Johnny Friendly and gave “a superb performance” and had an “aura of menace” surrounding him which the adjudicator felt dominated the play. As there was such a large cast the adjudicator felt that the standard of acting was very good but particular note was given to Aidan McParland who played Charley the Gent, Big Mac played by Gerry McBrien, Edie Doyle played by Catherine Mallon, Fr. Barry played by Aengus Hannaway, Pop Doyle played by Joe Murphy, Runty Nolan by Walter Bradley and Mutt played by Pius Tierney.