After a number of years of consistently earning a place in All-Ireland finals, but not quite managing to win the top prize, Prosperous Drama Society finally won an All-Ireland on Sunday, December 11.
In the Waterford town of Ballyduff, the group beat off stiff competition to win the final of the All-Ireland One Act Drama Festival with their production of David Mamet’s ‘Bobby Gould in Hell’.
“We’ve been to five All-Ireland’s in six years,” the play’s director TJ Duggan explained.
“I’m ecstatic - it’s better than I would have dreamed,” he told the Leinster Leader.
“It’s amazing for the group more so than me.
“There was a huge amount of work in this. It was a huge ensemble piece. It was very involved, tehcnically, with lighting and sound. This involved the whole group working together with people on and off stage.
“This is the hardest working group in the country. And that’s what won it for us. It was a culmination of all the hard work coming together,” Mr. Duggan explained.
This is the group’s first All-Ireland since 1995 when they won with John Mac Kenna’s ‘Faint Voices’.
Husband and wife team TJ and his wife Lurlene have been at the helm of all of the All-Ireland appearances.
And in a number of week’s time the group will begin rehearsing its next entry to the three act festival circuit, the controversial ‘The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?’ by Edward Albee, which will be directed by Lurlene.
“We’re going for the double!” TJ joked.
The group came second in the same finals last year with Horton Foote’s ‘The Man who Climbed Pecan Trees’. That was Mr. Duggan’s first outing as a director.
The group has spend the past few years exploring the best that American theatre has to offer. ‘Bobby Gould in Hell’ is the third Mamet play performed by them and follows on from ‘November’ and ‘The Shawl’.
The play, which is probably best described as a surreal and hilarious morality tale sees Bobby Gould, a character from another Mamet play, being plopped into the waiting room of hell where he is to be interviewed by the devil.
The problem is that the interview interrupts the devil’s fishing trip, much to his annoyance.
The subject of the interrogation is Bobby’s past sins, but Bobby argues that he’s not such a bad guy.
When Glenna, a ditzy woman who feels she was mistreated by Bobby, pops in, Bobby and the devil end up bonding over their utter bafflement at women.
On the festival circuit the play won three festivals, Dundrum, Dunmore, Galway Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo and came second in Manor Hamilton, Leitrim.
Meanwhile all of the actors in the piece, Robert Massey, Zita McGarry Kelly, Fergal Crehan and Aisling O’Neilll were nominated for acting awards with Mr. Massey taking all best actor awards in every festival.