By Guest Blogger
The audience was all present and correct at 2pm for the 3rd session of the All Ireland One Act Plays. Despite the late night at the splendid Festival Club at the Old Ground Hotel, the drama afficionados were all set. The foyer chatter was about adjudicator Anna Walker and speculation as to how she would mark the overall competition.
Master of Ceremonies John Finn has by now cemented his reputation as one of the out-of-competition stars of the weekend. His serial jokes about Maria Moloney's mobile phone are delivered to comic perfection. I like his brief vignettes where he recoounts his backstage conversation with each company.
First up was locals Corofin Dramatic Society with 'What's For Pudding' by David Tristram. This was a suburban comedy much in the style of the Terry & June TV sitcom of the 70's /80's, complete with drinks trolley. The play was directed by Eileen Lahiffe and she did a fine job in creating a very funny comedy. The plotline is about a bored married, couple Jack (Peter Daffy) and Mary (Sandra Cox), who interrupted on a Saturday evening by their friends Ted (Kevin Glynn) and Maureen (Maria McCahill) and Denis (Pat O'Reilly) and what follows is a number of gags that lead to thawing in the relationship. Maria McCahill was the stand out character with a great sense of comic timing that wrung every bit of humour from the script. The set was terrific and could be any suburban sitting room. The audience with lots of home town support loved this show and hooted with laughter at the many scripted and visual jokes. A well delivered farce.
The TV series Early Doors with its pathos and Northern bluntness. The set design was by Pat Finneran, lighting and sound by Paddy Martin with Bernie Naughton responsible for stage management and costumes. Two's production and acting will surely be in the frame when the gongs are handed out. Bravo!
The third play this afternoon was The Donahue Sisters by Geraldine Aron which was directed by Dermot Hession. The company was the Compántas Lír from Claregalway. The three actresses in the play were; Mary McCarthy, Breda Hannon and Mary Killackey and they formed a fine ensemble. The story is of three middle aged women gathering in their parents' attic to relive memories. Their lives and loves have developed in different ways but they quickly reconnect and we get a scene of sisters with an indelible bond. However this is a strange bond as a memory is recalled and we see them recreate a terror. The crime scene was compelling and I liked the changes in delivery as each spoke the voice of the victim.
A fine piece of work very well produced.