2016 Festival


2016 County Tipperary Drama  Festival  Holycross

Adjudicator : Pat Nolan A.D.A.

No booking : Nightly Admission €12 : Concession €8 Season Ticket Available €60

Information: (086) 257 51 59


                 Friday 11th  to  Saturday 19th March 2015




(P) HANNIFIN CUP (Entertaining Play) “Blithe Spirit” Listowel D.G.

(A) GALLAGHER AWARD for most promising actor/actress – Joanne O’Neill – Holycross/Ballycahill

(P) DR.MORRIS MEMORIAL CUP [ Tipperary Group) “Miracle Worker” Nenagh D.G.

(A) BEST SET OVERALL[Josie Slattery Perptual Trophy] The Far Off Hills / Kilrush D.G.

(C) 1st ADJUDICATOR AWARD: Dan & Breda Gallagher for Attendance

(C) 2nd ADJUDICATOR AWARD :Greta Murphy- Thurles D.G.



(A) BEST ACTOR : Kris Cowming-“The Graduate” Curtain Call Productions- Dungarvan

(A) BEST ACTRESS .. Trisha Lowry-“The Thrill of Love” – Holycross/Ballycahill

(B) BEST SUPP.ACTOR: Kevin Barry “BlitheSpirit” Listowel D.G.

(B) BEST SUPP. ACTRESS: Imelda Dowling Garvey “Blithe Spirit” – Listowel D.G.

3rd “The Graduate” – Curtain Call Productions – Dungarvan

2nd “Blithe Spirit” – Listowel D.G.

(P) 1st Tipperary Star Cup “The Thrill of Love” Holycross/Ballycahill D.G.

(A) BEST PRODUCER : Claire Ryan “ The Thrill of Love” – Holycross/Ballycahill D.G.



(A& P) BEST ACTOR (Matthew Bourke) ) Sean Aherne as JPW King /The Gigli Concert/Palace T.G.

(A) BEST ACTRESS . Kirsty Burns as Annie Sullivan / The Miracle Worker / Nenagh D.G. Players

(B) BEST SUPP.ACTOR – : Brendan Dunlea as Irishman / The Gigli Concert / Palace T.G,

(B) BEST SUPP.ACTRESS.. Denise O’Brien as Angela /The Belfry / Brideview D.G.

3rd “The Miracle Worker” Nenagh Players

2nd “The Far Off Hills” Kilrush D.G.

(P) 1st TIPP FM TROPHY “The Gigli Concert” Palace T.G.

(A) BEST PRODUCER: (Frank Gleeson Award) Liam Howard “The Gigli Concert “ Palace T.G.

Schools Drama:WINNER :Presentation Convent,Thurles : Bog Oak-Scoil Na Trioda Naofa,Doon


                                           Plays For 2016


Friday 11th  March (Confined)  

Separate Beds  By Sam Cree  :  Mullagh  Entire D.G.  Co. Clare

Brief History of the Group:

Mullagh  Entire Drama  Group  was  founded in 2001. This is our  15 th  production .  We have performed plays  by  John B Keane  Jimmy Keary , Brian Friel, Michael Joe Ginnelly , Bernard  Farrell and Sam Cree We  have been on the circuit  for the past 4 years

Synopsis of the Play:

 A romantic comedy set in the home of  Arthur Marshall whose  daughter  is about to get married it explores the world of  love and divorce


Saturday 12th  March   (Open)  

The Far Off Hills By Lennox Robinson  :  Kilrush D.G, Wexford

Brief History of the Group:

 Kilrush Drama Group celebrated their 50th Anniversary in 2014 with current director, Mick Byrne who was the founding member of the group still at the helm. During the 51 years of Kilrush DG, they have produced over 70 plays and appeared in the 3 Act Confined All Ireland Finals on 17 occasions. The group finally won the Premier Award in the 2015 Confined All Ireland with their production of ‘Poor Beast in the Rain’. In August 2015, Kilrush DG presented a summer play for the first time, performing ‘Our Day Out’. 

Synopsis of the Play:

Set in a sleepy town in rural Ireland, where the far off hills are green, everything is set to change in the lives of Patrick Clancy and his three daughters, Marian, Ducky and Pet. The oldest daughter, Marian, feels duty bound to postpone her entry to the convent until her father has his long-awaited cataract operation. Marian rules the household strictly, much to the dismay of Patrick and her more fun-loving younger sisters Pet and Ducky. Harold Mahony, one of the greatest moaners in Ireland has his sights set on the blissfully unaware oldest daughter. All is set to change however, with the arrival of the energetic young and devilishly handsome, Pierce Hegarty. Feeling left out in the cold by Marian’s admirers, the two younger girls hatch a plan to get rid of their older sister which ends with unexpected results.


Sunday 13th  March  (Confined)

 The Graduate  By Terry Johnson  :  Curtain Call Productions , Dungarvan


Brief History of the Group :

CurtainCall Productions Dungarvan was founded in April 2014. Our first production was “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest , followed by “Steel Magnolias” I October 2015 we staged theIrish Premier of “The Graduate” for six nights in Dubgarvan , followed by three nights in Garter Lane, Waterford.

In our first three productions we have introduced sixteen new people to performing in drama.


Synopsis of the Play :

A cult novel;a classic film ; a quintessential hit of the 60’s. Benjamin Braddock has just finished college in New York , and has just returned to his parents house in California. He has excellent grades, very proud parents,and, since he helped Mrs. Robinson with her zipper, a very bright future….behind him. What began as fun tryst turns rather complicated when he falls for the one woman Mrs. Robinson demanded he stay away from…her daughter Elaine.


Monday 14th  March    (Confined)

 Blyth Spirit  By Noel Coward  :  Listowel D.G.


Brief History of the Group:

 Listowel Drama Group was founded in 1944 by Bryan MacMahon, who joined forces with Michael Kennelly and Paddy O Connor, with “the objective to discover talent in our town and to make patent that which is latent and to offer our citizens something of which they may grow proud”. Now 71 years in existence, we are one of the oldest drama groups in Ireland and remain true to our motto, “The stage will never die”. Past highlights for the group have been winning the All Ireland One Act Competition in 1954 with George Fitzmaurice’s The Magic Glasses and winning the All Ireland Three Act Competition and the Esso Trophy in Athlone in 1959 with the world premiere of Sive by John B. Keane. Over the intervening years, true to our objective, we have directed and performed plays written by our own members, including Bryan MacMahon’s The Bugle in the Blood, The Honeyspike and The Master, and John B. Keane’s Sive and The Field, among others. We return to the drama festival circuit this year following a 36-year gap.


Synopsis of the Play:

This smash comedy hit of the London and Broadway stage offers up fussy, cantankerous novelist Charles Condomine, remarried but haunted (literally) by the ghost of his late first wife, the clever and insistent Elvira, who is called up by a visiting “happy medium”, one Madame Arcati. As the (worldly and un-worldy) personalities clash, Charles’ current wife Ruth is accidentally killed, “passes over”, joins Elvira and the two “blithe spirits” haunt the hapless Charles into perpetuity.


Tuesday 15th March  (Open)

Belfry  By Billy RocheBrideview D.G.


Brief History of the Group:

 Brideview Drama began competing in the both the One-Act and Three-Act All Ireland Festival Circuit in the early 90’s beginning with ‘The Year of the Hiker’ by J.B.Keane. They went from strength to strength, winning the Confined Three-Act All-Ireland in 2005 with ‘Moonshine’ by Jim Nolan. Competing in the Open Section since 2006 they have won a number of festivals and awards, coming close to qualifying for the All-Ireland Final with ‘Pied a Tierre’ in 2010 and with ‘Same Old Moon’ in 2012.

Synopsis of the Play:Belfry’ is an intense emotional production which centres around Artie O’Leary, a bell-ringing sacristan who has, in a sense, shut down from the world around him. The local priest, Father Pat, is having serious doubts about his vocation and finds pitiful solace in alcohol, while the young altar boy craves security and love.

Artie is filled with turbulent passion and emotion for the first time in his life when he finds love with a married woman. The break-up of this affair sends this meek and mild man spinning into a brutal rage.

A striking, dramatic piece of theatre by Billy Roche where every character is in search of something, all trying desperately to find their way in life.


Wednesday 16th March  (Open)

The Miracle Worker  By William Gibson  :  Nenagh D.G. Co.Tipperary

History of the Group:

The Nenagh Players group was founded in 1943 and has been very active every year since. They won the All Ireland Confined Finals in 1998 with “Flight to Grosse Ile “ by Jim Minogue and again in 2000 with “April Bright “ by Dermot Bolger. They moved into the Open section in 2002 and have won many individual awards since then. They have qualified for the Athlone finals on seven occasions, most recently with their production of “The Outgoing Tide” by Bruce Graham.


Brief Synopsis:

In Tuscumbia, Alabama,1880’s,  an illness renders infant Helen Keller blind, deaf, and consequently mute. Pitied and badly spoiled by her parents, Helen is taught no discipline and grows into a wild, angry, tantrum-throwing child in control of the household. Desperate, the Kellers hire Anne Sullivan to serve as governess and teacher for their daughter. After several fierce battles with Helen, Anne convinces the Kellers that she needs two weeks alone with Helen in order to achieve any progress in the girl’s education. In that time, Annie teaches Helen discipline through persistence and consistency and language through hand signals, a double breakthrough that changes Helen’s life and has a direct effect on the lives of everyone in the family. This play is based on actual events.


Thursday 17th March (Open)

Portia Coughlan  :  Thurles D.G. , Co.Tipperary

Short History of Group

Thurles Drama Group has been competing on the festival circuit since 1987. They have reached the All- Ireland finals in Athlone on numerous occasions: Prisoner of Second Avenue :  Neil Simon (1988), Dancing at Lughnasa : Brian Friel (1996), Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me :  Frank Mc Guinness (1997), Faith Healer :  Brian Friel (1998), The Enemy Within :  Brian Friel (2003),  The Seafarer:   Conor Mc Pherson (2012),  All My Sons :  Arthur Miller (2013), A View from the Bridge: Arthur Miller (2014). As well as a festival production the group presents an Autumn play in November and a soiree of theatre pieces in May at the Source Arts Centre in Thurles.

Brief Synopsis:

Haunted by the singing ghost of her dead twin brother fifteen years previously, Portia Coughlan remains at odds with the world around her.  She is on the road to self – destruction.  Portia despises her husband Raphael and is not a natural mother to her three young children whom she cannot trust herself to care for.  She feels the life being sucked from her by her dysfunctional family and the society that she lives in.

The play is set in the Irish Midlands in the 1990’s and is populated by uncivilised characters.  Portia’s sexually charged relationships leave her cold.  Her life has been rendered incomplete by her twin’s drowning in the local Belmont River and she is consequently obsessed with him.  A figure of mythic force, Portia drinks too much and displays the hallmarks of depression.

The play is a study of Portia Coughlan’s severe disturbance.  It highlights the “unhappy, unholy family” in the process of tearing itself to pieces.  It is a brutal and passionate drama of  family relationships, damaged people and personal disintegration.

N.B.  This play is not suitable for children.


Friday 18th March (Confined)

The Thrill of Love  By Amanda whittington  :  Holycross/Ballycahill D.G.


The Group

Holycross-Ballycahill Drama Group are in existence for almost fifty years. They are based inthe picturesque village of Holycross, alongside the well know Holycross Abbey.

The group have reached the All-Ireland Confined finals on many occasions, and have won numerous acting, directing and set awards, not only in the country’s festivals, but also in the All-Ireland itself.

“Sive” by John B. Keane; “Run for Your Wife” by Ray Cooney; “Woman and Scarecrow” by Marina Carr and T.S. Eliot’s “Murder in the Cathedral” are among the great variety of critically acclaimed productions that the group have performed around the country. We have even travelled to Germany, by special invitation from the American forces based there, to stage our award winning play, “The Beauty Queen of Leenane” by Martin McDonagh.



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 word 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 defence, neither does she show remorse.

 The Thrill of Love dramatizes 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.


Saturday 19th March (Open) @ 8.00PM

The Gigli Concert  By Tom Murphy  :  Palace T.G., Fermoy , Co.Cork

History of the Group.

The Palace Players first took to to the festival circuit in 1989 with Bernard Farrell’s I do not Like Thee Dr.Fell,winning all three festivals entered in Ballyduff, Charleville and Castleisland.They have contested the festival circuit every year since, moving up to the Open section after winning the Confined All Ireland in Enniscorthy in 1994 with “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. Having contested the All Ireland finals in Athlone on a number of occasions, 2015 brought them the ultimatehonours, winning the RTE trophy with Tom Murphy’s “Conversations of A Homecoming”. This year they bring another Tom Murphy masterpiece to the festival circuit in the “Gigli Concert”.

Synopsis of play

J.P.W. King is holed up in his Dublin office cum living quarters.He is in prsctice as a Dynamatologist, offering his services as a practitioner promising spiritual healing  and “the ultimate is self realization”. For King, the recurring question is how is he going to get through each day. There is a knock on the door – he has a client – an Irishman who wants to sing like the Italian tenor, Gigli. While we only get to hear of Helen, the unattainable love of his life, we do get to meet Mona his mistress.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *