John McCullagh February 10, 2004

From last year’s Newry Drama Festival programme, I note for the first time a warning of ‘plays that contain strong language’.  I think any one exposed to TV is by now inured to all that.  However if your sensibilities are easily injured you ought to know that Newpoint’s contribution this year (Festival begins on Friday 19 March) falls clearly into that category!

Your local director is again Sean Treanor, who carried last year’s Trojan Women by Euripides not just to provincial, but to national [international?] success when the group was offered a ‘wild card’ British national entry – and scored an outstanding success in England.  We are informed in the pre-production flier that Portia Coughlan has a ‘richly textured dialogue’.  That at least!

The perennial critics [I include myself!] who complain that the programme never includes a sufficient number of dramas by Irish authors will now be silenced.  Besides Newpoint’s Irish entry, there are works by G B Shaw [Arms and the Man, an early comedy] Hugh Leonard [The Poker Session and Love in the Title] and Brian Friel [The Loves of Cass McGuire].  Then there’s the N Ireland drama The Force of Change.  Other plays on offer in this nine-night feast of drama are My Three Angels (comedy), Ladies who Lunch (witty) and The Living Room.

As if all that were not enough, we have the All-Ireland One-Act Drama Finals in Warrenpoint from 23 April-1 May.  I need a lie-down just thinking about it all.

But we will be there, each and every night.  See you.

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