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Kildare drama groups dominate Athlone, but first place still eludes

Amanda Ryan, Nicola Coonan, Lurlene Duggan and Ashleigh O'Neill.

Amanda Ryan, Nicola Coonan, Lurlene Duggan and Ashleigh O'Neill.

Kildare drama groups pdominated the All-Ireland finals in Athlone last week, with three groups performing there and two of them making it to the podium - but the top prize once again eluded them.

In 2013, Prosperous and Silken Thomas took the second and third prizes and this year, Prosperous once again claimed third and Bradan Players, from Leixlip, came second.

They were pipped to the line by Cornmill Theatre Group from Carrigallen in Leitrim.

Prosperous Drama Group, who haven’t managed to aovid Athlone in several years brough their perfectly timed, produced, executed and acted farce, Boeing, Boeing.

“Farce requires an immense amount of skill and technique and is not a lower level of theatre. It requires an enormous amount of work, skill and technique. This Prosperous cast was on top form,” the adjudicator said.

Bradan Players brought ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’.

Those who saw it said it was a bracing performance and predicted that it would be hard to beat.

And Helena Stout won the Best Actress award for her performance as Martha. Adjudictor Philip Boyce described her as “sometimes soft, sometimes strong, sometimes snapping, and sometimes handling long monologues”.

“The direction was so well done that it was hardly noticed and that is the highest compliment I could pay to director Jenny Ni Lucais.” And he praised her for a very fine piece of orchestration.

The Moat Theatre’s ‘The Steward of Christendom’ produced the performance of the All Ireland Festival from Padraig Broe in the leading role.

And indeed he won the overall Best Actor Award. “Padraig Broe showed how it could be done. If he hadn’t held the audience’s attention, the play would have become pointless. Even in the monologues of a broken man which could have become so depressing, Broe held the audience. “It was a joy to see him,” Mr. Boyce noted.

Lurlene Nevin, director of Prosperous’s production said that group were delighted with the result - most particularly that they won ‘Best Set’ again. “Farce is tough to do in Athlone, so we knew that going there and we didn’t have huge expectations. “But we’re delighted with the feedback we received from audiences all around the country.”

 

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