Festival committee members, Ian Weir; Adjudicator 2019 Jene Rooney; Matthew Dowling, Evangeline, and Chairman Gerard Fogarty, Anne Madden, Joe Connolly, pictured with Leinster Leader Cup
Waterford-based Brideview Drama Group were the big winners at Kildare Drama Festival. They scooped the Leinster Leader Perpetual Cup for best overall production with their staging of the Brian Friel classic Philadelphia, Here I Come, under the direction of Jack Aherne and assistant director Tomas Roche.
Open Winners, Brideview Drama Group, producer John Aherne receives the Leinster Leader Cup, presented by managing editor Laura Coates
The festival, now in its 61st year, ran for a week and a half at the CMWS in Kildare town, and featured a range of plays from across the country, with all participants hoping to qualify for the All Ireland Drama Final in Athlone this May. The festival also included a night of youth drama, featuring performances from Kildare Youth Theatre.
There was a strong showing also from the sole Kildare representative group at the festival, Prosperous Dramatic Society with their production of Henrik Ibsen’s Enemy of the People.
Prosperous, under the direction of TJ Duggan, took home the Runner Up Perpetual Trophy (Open Section); the Del Weld Trophy for best overall characterisation in the festival, which went to Gerard O’Shea for his portrayal of the character Aslaksen; the Playlight trophy for the best overall lighting and scenery; the Betty McConville Perpetual Trophy for best costume and design, which went to Jenni Hawkins; Best Actress, which went to Cyrena Hayes for her portrayal of of Catherine Stockman and Best Actor in a Supporting Role, which went to James Murphy for Hovstad.
The festival was adjudicated by Gene Rooney, who paid tribute to all of the productions and the hard work of the dedicated committee. Kildare Drama Festival secretary called for the establishment of a new Kildare town-based drama group to bring stage productions back to the town.