Here's to you Mrs Robinson
mrs Robinson took to the stage with aplomb at the weekend, in the third production of the 2016 Wexford Drama Festival, 'The Graduate' by Terry Johnson.
Chilly Wexford was transformed into steamy California in the 1960s by Dungarvan's Curtain Call Productions, in the first showing of the play on the festival circuit. It was just as well, with Kris Cowming playing Benjamin Braddock revealing all in a brief full frontal. Is this a first for the Dun Mhuire?
Made into a classic film starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, it tells the story of recently graduated student Braddock who returns home to California, where his proud parents are throwing him a party. Benjamin has excellent grades and a very bright future. But his encounter with family friend, Mrs. Robinson threatens all that. What begins as a fun tryst turns rather complicated when he falls for the one woman Mrs. Robinson demanded he stay away from… her daughter, Elaine.
The first play in this year's festival was Ferns Dramatic Society's production of 'Steel Magnolias' by Robert Harling.
Set in North Louisiana in the 1980s. Shelby's wedding day to fiancé Jackson in the Chinquapin at Truvy's in-home beauty parlour where the women regularly gather. It covers events over the next three years with Shelby's Type 1 diabetes and how the women interact at times with conflict but in the end remain friends: Although the main storyline involves Shelby, her mother M'Lynn, and Shelby's medical battles, the underlying group-friendship among all six women is prominent throughout the drama.
It was a quick switch from the USA to London on Friday night when Holycross-Ballycahill Drama Group performed 'The Thrill of Love' by Amanda Whittington.
In the 1950s, London was swinging after the difficult war years. Men frequented exclusive clubs for fun, and the women there looked after them, in a variety of ways. Those women looking for even more fun, and a way to make themselves known, frequented the 'Camera Club' where they could have their picture taken, in a variety of poses.
A divorcee with a young child to care for, Ruth Ellis does both. Having had her pictures taken in the 'Camera Club' she moves on. She works in the kind of nightclubs where there's more than just a drink on offer. The girls work hard and play hard, and dream of a movie-star life.
Then Ruth meets the wealthy David, a racing driver with whom she becomes obsessed. Fame comes, but not in the way Ruth could ever imagine. Their relationship ends in murder with Ruth pleading not guilty but while she offers no defense, neither does she show remorse.
The 'Thrill of Love' dramatises the true story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain, and takes a fresh look at the woman behind the headlines.
The Open Section got under way last night (Monday) with the 2015 All Ireland Confined winners Kilrush Drama Group performance of 'The Far Off Hills'. This will be followed by three nights of Open Section productions, 'Moonshine' which will be performed by Bunclody/Kilmyshall Drama Group on Tuesday (March 8), 'Lost in Yonkers,' performed by Bridge Drama on Wednesday (March 9) and 'Where he Lies' performed by Kilmuckridge Drama Group on Thursday (March 10). The festival will close on Friday (March 11) with Ballycogley Players production of 'The Cripple of Inishmaan' by Martin McDonagh.
Award-winning actor and director Jim Wolstencroft is the adjudicator for the festival this year. The awards ceremony and results of the 53rd Annual Wexford Drama Festival will be announced by Jim directly after Ballycogley's performance on Friday.
Festival Chair Aoife Byrne said many groups have already been placed in festivals, 'so we congratulate them on those results and wish them every success here in Wexford and on the remainder of the festival circuit'.
'We are thrilled to welcome Curtain Call Productions.. as well as welcoming the other groups back to the Dun Mhuire for the 53rd Annual Wexford Drama Festival. All groups have being working hard for the past number of months, rehearsing, set building, making costumes, planning make-up and ensuring they have sufficient funds in place to compete on the festival circuit,' said Aoife.