2007 Drama Festival begins

Newry Drama Festival is now well under way and it’s time I brought you up to date.

There have been three productions to date: on Friday the Festival opened with Belvoir Players offering Arthur Millar’s ‘All My Sons’. I missed this – and Saturday night’s Christina Reid’s play ‘Tea in a China Cup’, because I was at Tara Welsh’s wedding in Lusty Beg Island. More of that later.

Anyway my spies tell me the latter was thoroughly enjoyable and well-played. Reservations though were expressed about the Belvoir offering. We’ll see.

I was suffering somewhat from the weekend’s over-indulgence when I attended A Woman of No Importance last evening. It does tend to blur one’s vision and I tired quickly of Oscar Wilde’s ‘staged’ epigrams – you know many of them: the description of fox-hunters as ‘the unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable’ and ‘nothing succeeds like excess’. There are hundreds of these and instead of elucidating the playwright’s acclaimed intention of satirising the upper-crust society of the day, they merely tend to obfuscate. One is so busy trying to interpret the clever word-play that the social commentary is lost.

Having said that, the excellent Holywood Players excelled themselves and were duly rewarded with words of praise from this year’s adjudicator Scott Marshall. He has clearly already established a rapport with the Newry audience and his comments were fair and balanced. He also began by setting the play in context and commenting on Wilde’s own role in the London society of the day – much of the play, he felt, was auto-biographical.

Anyway, more of Scott and the other plays, as the week advances. 

Don’t forget Newpoint’s Macbeth on Wednesday night. I challenged Sean Treanor a few seasons ago to attempt a Shakespeare and here it is. I look forward with great expectation to a brilliant interpretation!

Tonight it’s Misery. You’ve seen the film – now see it on stage, with the Bart Players.

More of all this later.

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