Bunclody/Kilmyshall Drama Group overall winner in Wexford Drama Festival

By Maria Pepper

A scene from Wexford Drama Group production of Marina Carr's 'Portia Coughlan'. The cast was Shonagh Lyons (as Portia Coughlan),Thomas O'Leary (as Raphael), Catherine Walsh (as Maggie May), Donal O'Brien (as Senthil), Alan Fitzhenry (as James), Jeanette Sidney Kelly (as Stacia), John Crosbie (as Fintan Golan), Louise Dillon (as Maria Anne), Eugene McLoughlin (as Sly Scully), Hilda Conway (as Blaise Scully) and Ronan Berry (as Gabrielle).
A scene from Wexford Drama Group production of Marina Carr's 'Portia Coughlan'. The cast was Shonagh Lyons (as Portia Coughlan),Thomas O'Leary (as Raphael), Catherine Walsh (as Maggie May), Donal O'Brien (as Senthil), Alan Fitzhenry (as James), Jeanette Sidney Kelly (as Stacia), John Crosbie (as Fintan Golan), Louise Dillon (as Maria Anne), Eugene McLoughlin (as Sly Scully), Hilda Conway (as Blaise Scully) and Ronan Berry (as Gabrielle).
A scene from Wexford Drama Group production of Marina Carr's 'Portia Coughlan'. The cast was Shonagh Lyons (as Portia Coughlan),Thomas O'Leary (as Raphael), Catherine Walsh (as Maggie May), Donal O'Brien (as Senthil), Alan Fitzhenry (as James), Jeanette Sidney Kelly (as Stacia), John Crosbie (as Fintan Golan), Louise Dillon (as Maria Anne), Eugene McLoughlin (as Sly Scully), Hilda Conway (as Blaise Scully) and Ronan Berry (as Gabrielle).
A scene from Wexford Drama Group production of Marina Carr's 'Portia Coughlan'.
Wexford Drama Festival prize winners with adjudicator Pauline Byrne and committee members.
The Wexford Drama Festival committee presenting a cheque for €1,000 to Wexford Hospice Homecare. From left: Rachel Murphy, Breda Hayes, Aoife Byrne, Moira Cowman of Wexford Hospice Homecare, Claire Larkin and Mairead Sinnott.
Bridge Drama's production of JB Priestley's 'An Inspector Calls'. The cast was George Percival (as Arthur Birling), Jacqui Whelan (as Sybil Birling), Mairead Ryan (as Shelia Berling), Brian Sheridan (as Eric Berling), Madeleine Flanagan (as Edna), Adrian Power (as Gerald Croft) and Paul Tobin (as Inspector Goole).
Bridge Drama's production of JB Priestley's 'An Inspector Calls'.
A scene from Wexford Drama Group's production of Marina Carr's play 'Portia Coughlan'.
Bunclody-Kilmyshall's production of John Pielmeler's play 'Agnes of God': Mairead Connaughton as Doctor Martha Livingstone, Josephine Byrne as Mother Miriam Ruth and Kate Power asAgnes.

Bunclody-Kilmyshall Drama Group are in celebratory mood after winning the overall award in the open section of the 54th Wexford Drama Festival, which finished on Friday night last after eight productions of top-class theatre.

Adjudicator Pauline Byrne declared Bunclody-Kilmyshall's presentation of 'Agnes of God' by John Pielmeier to be the best performance of the festival while Schull Drama Group came first in the confined section with 'Last of the Red Hot Lovers' by Neil Simon.

Runner-up in the open section were Kilrush Drama Group with 'Hedda Gabler' by Henrik Ibsen and in third place was Bridge Drama's production of 'An Inspector Calls' by JB Priestley.

Individual awards in the open category were won by Paul Tobin of Bridge Drama, Best Actor; Ellie Willoughby of Kilrush, Best Actress; Brian Sheridan, Bridge Drama, Best Actor in a Supporting Role; Jacqui Whelan, Bridge Drama, Best Actress in a supporting role; Kieran Tyrrell, Bunclody-Kilmyshall Drama Group, Best Director. The award for Best Set was won by Kilrush Drama Group.

Runnersup in the confined section was the Holycross-Ballycahill Drama Group production of 'Little Gem' by Elaine Murphy.

Individual prizes in the confined section went to Caleb Cairns. Schull Drama Group, Best Actor; Joanne O'Neill, Holycross-Ballycahill, Best Actress; Paddy McGuire, Ballycogley Players, Best Actor in a Supporting Role; Trisha Lowry, Holycross-Ballycahill, Best Actress in a Supporting Role; Edmund Krugel, Schull Drama Group, Best Director. The award for Best Set was won by Ballycogley Players.

Wexford Drama Festival chairperson Aoife Byrne congratulated all the winners and complimented director Paul Walsh and his crew from Wexford Drama Group who had the honour of presenting the final production, 'Portia Coughlan' by Marina Carr.

'I firmly believe the standard of amateur drama we witnessed this year has been the best we have seen in Wexford Drama Festival. I have no doubt we will see many of our groups in the All-Ireland Confined Drama Festival and the All-Ireland Open Drama Festival later this year.'

'We are very lucky to live in a county steeped in the arts. I am personally very proud to have beeh chairperson of an organisation that supports such artistic brilliance,' said Aoife, announcing her resignation as chairperson after six years at the helm.

She thanked Pauline Byrne for her 'fair, informed and interesting' adjudications each night, and called on Mairead Sinnott to present the adjudicator with a piece from Ballyelland Pottery.

She also thanked the festival sponsors, in particular the Riverbank House Hotel for their continued support, the festival club Simon's Place, the commmittee and staff of Dun Mhuire Theatre, the nightly volunteers and her own committee who worked so hard to organise the festival, and last but not least, the patrons and audience for their support.

Wexford People

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