Bridge Drama crowned All-Ireland champions
Bridge Drama from Castlebridge have been crowned RTÉ All Ireland Drama Champions with their powerful production of 'Lost in Yonkers' at the Gala Awards ceremony in Athlone's Radisson Blu Hotel on Saturday (May 7).
Neil Simon's play is directed by Pat Whelan, who also won the Best Director award and is the first time for Bridge Drama to win the perpetual trophy.
Also taking the award for Best Stage Setting, the adjudicator Padraig McIntyre described the Bridge Drama performance as a 'powerful production' which took place in the Dean Crowe Theatre Athlone a week earlier.
'It's hard to believe.. it's only just sinking in now,' Pat Whelan told this newspaper.
'It was a fabulous occasion from start to finish.. one of those years when everything seems to go right for you,' he said.
Founded in 1998, Bridge Drama started competing on the Amateur Drama Circuit in 2002 winning the Confined All Ireland with Geraldine Aron's 'Same Old Moon' in 2009.
'Lost in Yonkers' by Neil Simon is a dark comedy set in 1942 over a candy store in Yonkers, New York, with the theme of family running throughout. The play first opened in North Carolina in 1990 and Broadway the following year, starring Kevin Spacey. It won a Pulitzer prize for drama and a Tony award for Best Play in 1991.
Festival Director Joe Mac Carrick remarked on the success of the festival with nine superb productions on stage, a lively and entertaining Festival Club, an absorbing Fringe and a town that looked its best with themed window displays, flags and flower arrangements.
Joe also expressed his sincere gratitude to main sponsors RTÉ for their continued support of the festival.