It’s that time of the year again, when ambitious local drama groups get ready to bring their latest productions out of rehearsal and onto the latest stage.
With the Silken Thomas group having made an auspicious start in recent weeks with their production of Mercury Fur, Prosperous Dramatic Society are set to build on their recent All-Ireland Success with ‘The Goat, or Who is Sylvia’ by Edward Albee, winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and the author of “Who’s afraid of Viginia Wolf”.
Directed by Lurlene Duggan the play focuses on a family in crisis and challenges the audience to deal with many social taboos and moral issues - except that it’s done through the darkest of dark comedy.
The story centres around the 50th birthday of award winning architect Martin Gray, who has really reached the pinnacle of success in life.
A man who has everything in life and who has just been chosen to design a major new project, he lives in a priceless New York penthouse apartment, happily married to his beautiful and intelligent wife and fiercely proud of his wonderful teenage son.
But a storm is raging under this perfect facade and Martin is about to confess to a transgression that is so far outside of the realm of normal relationship problems that it will plummet his family down a hole for which there is no bottom.
And much of the play is taken up with the discovery of that transgression by his wife.
The play asks some fundamental questions, such as why do we love whom we love? Why do we set boundaries on love? And why must the innocent always be sacrificed?
It sounds heavy, but the production, which has been called a ravaging masterpiece is actually hilarious throughout. It’s most tragic moments are also, often, it’s funniest.
It is at once perplexing, disturbing, frightening and funny.
The Leinster Leader saw a dress rehearsal on Sunday night and was struck most forcefully by how the actors, Robert Massey, Zita McGarry Kelly, Fergal Crehan and Karl Keogh have pushed themselves beyond the dizzy heights reached when they won the 2012 All Ireland One Act Drama Festival.
The set, which is of a beautiful New York apartment is also very good.
As a group, Prosperous Dramatic Society has gained an reputation for direction, production and technical detail, as well as acting ability.
Their approach to each production brings cast, technical crew, set builders, front of house and support staff together in a united effort to deliver the highest standard of theatre possible.
Their All-Ireland One-Act success came after a number of years of almost hitting the top spot in both One-Act and full length level.
The group will begin the Three Act Season with three home productions of the play in Prosperous Theatre starting this weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, February 22, 23 and 24 at 8.30pm each evening.
Tickets are available from the booking office — 085-1615590 — for €12. The nature of this production means that tickets are for over 16s only. For further details of upcoming events check out Prosperous Drama on Facebook.
- Conor McHugh