John McCullagh May 8, 2012

Ed and Bria Herron, Newry teachers by profession and, long into their well-deserved retirement teachers still at Newry U3A, are among the most popular and the best-esteemed of that august body of lovely people.  Indeed they continue to this day to invest enormous energy and enthusiasm into their work, so much so that their French […]

John McCullagh April 1, 2012

The opinion of the Adjudicator seldom tallies with my own – and so it is again.  I will report however, without comment, the final results from the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Newry Drama Festival. Premier Award : Rosemary Drama Group, Belfast : When we are married Runners-up: Ballyduff, Waterford: The Crucible Third: Silken Thomas: Jerusalem Fourth: […]

John McCullagh March 31, 2012

To write a New Age English allegorical drama so radical as Jerusalem – as Jez Butterworth has done – with a degenerate drug dealer as hero and with all its attendant  violence and foul language, and almost instantly enjoy huge success with it in New York and London, and have it acclaimed as a modern […]

John McCullagh March 30, 2012

There was high praise indeed, and rightly so, last evening from our adjudicator Walter Ewart for Newpoint’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane.  I believe he was greatly impressed with every aspect of this interpretation, from the stage crew to the set, to the lighting, sound script, props, costume, the directing and most especially the acting […]

John McCullagh March 29, 2012

I know you really will want to go to the Town Hall tonight at 8.00 pm to support our local Newpoint Players who are performing Martin McDonagh’s Beauty Queen of Leenane.   Eithne Bell and Patricia McCoy have already shared the “Best Actress” award for their roles and Sean Treanor has won a Best Producer […]

John McCullagh March 27, 2012

So how do I spend my time in retirement, you ask?  Very pleasantly, on the whole.  Some days indeed, I am so occupied I cannot get in all the jobs I have engaged myself to do. I play the organ in church.  Somewhat like myself, it is ancient and unpredictable.  Between Masses, benediction services, novenas, […]

John McCullagh March 26, 2012

Since man first turned the soil with his crude spade, revolutionary changes have merged into a progress which has created new worlds above the soil.  But it is still the same soil, and generally speaking producing the same foodstuffs for generally the same purpose. As each scrape rises, turns and is folded over by the […]

John McCullagh March 26, 2012

How time flies!  Already we have seen one third of all the plays in the 2012 Newry Drama Festival! Bart’s opening on Friday night was competent, distracting and pleasant:  I expect no kudos to come their way though. Ballyduff (Saturday) and Nenagh (Sunday) were both outstanding in their own different ways:  Waterford displayed an exceptionally […]

John McCullagh March 25, 2012

Moving slowly over the crest of a gentle hill, man, horse and plough are silhouetted against the evening sky.  They seem like shadowy ghosts from a dim era that have returned as a quiet reminder to a world dominated by and crazed about speed. We cannot put back the clock: but it does seem wrong […]

John McCullagh March 24, 2012

Tonight, Saturday it’s the turn of Waterford’s Ballyduff with the classic ‘The Crucible’ by Arthur Millar. The classic parable of mass hysteria draws a chilling parallel between the Salem witch hunt and the McCartheyism of ’50s America. The play is a savage attack on the evils of mindless persecution and the terrifying power of false […]