The really good news from Newry Drama Festival is that local group Newpoint (who presented the excellent ‘Dancing at Lughnasa’) is through to the Ulster Finals at the Theatre at the Mill in Newtownabbey in a month’s time.
Where there are winners, there are losers and sadly it is at the expense of the excellent Bart who amused us highly last evening with Noel Coward’s Present Laughter.
There were few surprises from adjudicator Tony Rushforth who shared all the major honours between The Palace Players, Fermoy (winners with Doubt – A Parable) and Prosperous Dramatic Society, Naas (runners-up with November). The latter play won the audience award (they got my vote too).
Here are the winners:
1 Fermoy with ‘Doubt- a Parable’
2 Naas with ‘November’
3 Holywood with ‘Absurd Person Singular’
4 Rosemary with ‘Glorious’
Most ambitious choice: November
Best Producer: November
Best Actor: Fr Flynn in Doubt
Best Actress Noelle Clarke as Sr Aloysius in Doubt
Best Supporting Actor Fergal Crehan as Archer Brown (Presidential sidekick) in November
Best Supporting Actress Anne Nixon as Marion (wife of the banker) in Absurd Person Singular
Best Young Actress Jelvan Doran as Mrs Muller (mother of young ‘abused’ boy in Doubt
Bart took Best Stage Manager and Best Costumes
Decor went to Naas : Lighting to Lifford with Our Town
Best Moment went to Hollywood: Music and Sound to Rosemary
and the lovely Corrina Cunningham of Newpoint won a Scholarship, presented by the Festival Committee.
My congratulations go to all the most worthy winners.
I was pleasantly heartened and uplifted to hear several members of the Newpoint troupe plan how they will use the next four weeks working on their individual performances, taking on board many useful pointers from Mr Rushforth’s adjudication. It is no more than I would expect from the excellent team and I shall resolve to travel the long distance to see the finished product.
I thank the non-thespian element of Journal’s readership for their forbearance while I indulged one of my favourite hobbies these last few weeks, and I assure you that normal service will resume immediately.