John McCullagh March 22, 2006
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We are looking forward in excited anticipation to what promises to be an exceptional Amateur Drama Festival, starting on Friday evening with Sundrive’s interpretation of the Sean O’Casey classic, Juno and the Paycock.

This is the first time I’ve ever known a deceased person to be listed as Director. The fabulously talented Una Parker was for forty years producer and director of this top amateur troupe. She was already working on this production when she passed away earlier this year. Expect something special as her late colleagues pay this final tribute to her memory.

Belvoir of Belfast bring youth on stage on Saturday night. Kindertransport by Diane Samuels refers to the transport for safety’s sake during the last (world) war of some 10,000 Jewish children from Germany to Britain. Nine years old Eva ends up with a Gentile foster family and when her natural parents fail to escape she begins an extended process of denial of her roots. It is only when her own daughter discovers some old letters that Eva is forced to confront the truth about her past.

There is a cast of six players on stage on Sunday evening in Ballymoney’s Humble Boy by Charlotte Jones. ‘All is not well in the Humble hive. Thirty five year old Felix Humble is a Cambridge astro-physicist in search of a unified field theory. Following the sudden death of his father he returns to his Middle England home and his difficult and demanding mother. He soon realises that his search for unity must include his own chaotic home life.

Rosemary Drama Group of Belfast give us their interpretation of the Daphne du Maurier classic Rebecca on Monday evening. I’m missing my Bridge for this so it better be good!

Rebecca tells the story of Maxim de Winter’s second wife slowly piecing together her husband’s tragic and unhappy past married to the beautiful but treacherous Rebecca, whose presence hangs over everything. The characters are all strongly drawn, none more so than the obsessed and malicious housekeeper Mrs Danvers who is determined to ensure that the second Mrs de Winter does not become the mistress at Manderley.

Of course, Newpoint are on stage on Tuesday evening. More of that later!!

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