John McCullagh March 30, 2006
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‘Fools rush in’, they say, and here’s this fool rushing in again with his predictions for the Amateur Drama Festival, despite the fact that we have not yet seen Phoenix (tonight with ‘Da’), Bart (tomorrow with Lady in the Van), or Lurig (Blood Brothers).

I fully expect excellent performances from all of the above – but I suspect we have already seen the best. Unless I’m greatly mistaken, Newpoint, Dundalk and Sundrive will share the top honours.

If I were the adjudicator, I’d be hard-pressed to choose between Newry and Dundalk, two vastly different and contrasting performances. Even attempting to suppress my natural inclination to favour the (more!) local group, I consider Sean Treanor’s Newpoint most deserving of this triumph.

If ‘Blood Brothers’ – a perennial favourite – is well-performed, it may take the Audience Award. Newpoint might too, though it’s a difficult and demanding play (no less so of the audience!) and especially so where the acoustics left many unable to follow the plot. My own choice for this award would be Dundalk‘s The Drawer Boy.

I expect Newry to pick up several notable awards, but I think Stephen Burns or Tim Ahern (Dundalk) should get Best Actor.

Beyond doubt, Newpoint will win the Best Music Award. I’ve never heard a better choral performance in our Cathedral! Congratulations to Mary McManus and her team.

Only 70 hours until I’m proved right or wrong!

I was right last year.

Could I be that lucky again?


Addition!!

Phoenix’s version of Hugh Leonard’s Da was very competent and enjoyable.  Bart’s Lady in the Van was a step above that, with the Lady herself in line for Best Actress award tomorrow night.  This play I predict for fourth place.  Otherwise, no change from the above!

Yet Lurig’s Blood Brothers – tomorrow night – might change all that!  We’ll soon see!

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