'Fair City' star Pat Nolan will adjudicate this year's Festival

Co. Tipperary Open Drama Festival

'Fair City' star Pat Nolan will adjudicate this year's Festival

The annual County Tipperary Open Drama Festival will be held in Holycross Community Centre from Friday, March 11th to Saturday, March 19.

The Festival will take place at 8.30pm nightly and 8pm on final night, when results will be announced and prizes presented.

Groups will be bidding for the “Tipperary Star” Cup in the Confined Section and the Tipp FM Trophy in the Open Category.

There is a strong Tipperary interest in the festival, one of the longest -established in Ireland, which is invariably marked by high standards and wonderful entertainment.

The Tipp groups going for glory in this year’s festival are Nenagh Players with “The Miracle Worker” by William Gibson, Holycross/Ballycahill Drama Group with “The Thrill Of Love” by Amanda Whittington and Thurles Drama Group with “Portia Coghlan” by Marina Carr. All these highly talented groups have won many awards over the years at the prestigious Abbeyside festival and, indeed, on the national festival circuit.

And they are no strangers to the All-Ireland Finals at Athlone (Open) and elsewhere (Confined).

The adjudicator is Pat Nolan who used to play Barry in the hit RTE soap, ”Fair City”. He is wished a happy sojourn in the picturesque village. His presence in the village will undoubtedly revive many memories for both local folks and Festival visitors.

Plays and Players:

Fri. March 11th (Confined): “Separate Beds ”by Sam Cree”, (Entire Drama Group, County Clare); Sat. 12th (Open): “The Far Off Hills” by Lennox Robinson, (Kilrush DG, County Wexford); Sun. 13th (Confined): “”The Graduate” by Terry Johnson (Curtain Call Productions, Dungarvan); Mon. 14th (Confined: “ Blithe Spirit” by Noel Coward (Listowel DG); Tues 15th (Open): “Belfry” by Billy Roche (Brideview D.G); Wed. 16th, (Open) “The Miracle Worker” by William Gibson (Nenagh Players); Thur, 17th, (Open) “Portia Coghlan” by Marina Carr, (Thurles D.G); Fri, 18th (Confined), “The Thrill of Love” by Amanda Whittington (Holycross/Ballycahill Drama Group; Sat 19th (Open) , “The Gigli Concert ” by Tom Murphy (Palace Theatre Group, Fermoy).

The final adjudication and presentation of awards will take place on the final night.

Unique Schools Festival

The always entertaining Schools Drama Festival in Holycross, the only one of its kind in Ireland, will precede the main Festival and February 5th is the closing date for entries, said Mr Donal Duggan (Festival Director).

The schools traditionally participating include Ursuline Convent, Thurles; Presentation Secondary School, Ballingarry and St. Joseph’s, Doon, all of whom have a sparkling record in the schools Festival. This entertaining event always attracts huge crowds of young folks and is one of the great successes of the Festival Committee in Holycross.

That committee includes Festival Director, Mr Donal Duggan, who has been in this role for over 30 years and surely deserves some kind of accolade for his winning ways with audiences and groups over the decades. He is also the amiable and witty Master of Ceremonies nightly for the duration of the Festival. The other Officers and committee are: Father Tom Breen (President), Fr Celsius Tierney (Vice/President), Tommy Lanigan (Chairman), Derek Doherty (Vice/Chairman), Eibhlis Quirke (Secretary), Maudie Bourke (Treasurer), Claire Ryan (Assistant Secretary), Geraldine Henchion (PRO), Marian Gilmore (Sponsorship), Diane Lacey (Raffles Co-ordinator) and Andrew Slattery, Gerard O’Dwyer, Martin (“Marty”) O’Neill, Patrick Connolly, Peg Ryan .

There will, as usual, be a Festival Club at which an opportunity presents itself to meet and chat with Ireland’s leading amateur theatre folks. And, at the interval, teas and goodies are available for patrons in the theatre restaurant.