The 29th annual Co Tipperary Drama Festival commences once again in the picturesque village of Holycross from March 18th - 26th with the fabulously renovated Community Centre all set to stage a feast of dramatic theatre. Last year the Festival opened in the magnificently renovated St Michael’s Community Centre to a warm and welcoming facility which received a much needed facelift. Indeed, visitors to the venue commented on how overjoyed they were to see how carefully and tastefully the hall has been modernised while at the same time remaining true to the character of the building which has been part and parcel of the parish of Holycross for many generations.
The Tipperary Drama Festival is one of the most eagerly awaited arts events of the year and with local groups from Holycross/ Ballycahill, taking to the stage on opening night, and Nenagh performing on the final night, there will certainly be more than a passing interest in proceedings from the surrounding parishes. The Open Trophy is sponsored by Tipp FM who will be represented on final night by Denis O’Sullivan of the Arts Show. This was won by the well known Silken Thomas Players from Kildare last year with they’re fine production of “Lost Boys”. Silken Thomas went on to the All Ireland Finals in Athlone with great success. The Confined section is sponsored by The Tipperary Star was won by Conna Drama Group hailing from Co Clare with they’re production of “Sive” by JB Keane. This year the Tipperary Star Trophy will be presented by the newly appointed Editor Ann O’Grady.
Tipp FM is once again the main sponsor of the Festival and the General Delight of the Schools section, sponsored by The Tipperary Institute, precedes the opening night of the Drama Festival on Tuesday 15th March from 10 a.m. with a number of local schools as well as some from other counties taking place. The Schools Adjudicator will be Susan Boyle - no, not SuBo - but an equally talented lady in the dramatic arts scene who hails from Newbridge.
Holycross Ballycahill Drama Group will perform “Lovers at Versaille” and will be hoping to impress Adjudicator Tom Doherty, the man charged with making the all important decisions. Coming up against Holycross/Ballycahill will be the likes of Skibbereen Drama Group returning to Holycross after a few years, with “A Kiss on the Bottom” , Tipperary Star Confined winners Conna Drama group with “A Stolen Child” , and finally Scull Drama with “Kindly Leave the Stage” .
In the open section, the battle for the Tipp FM Trophy, Nenagh Players with this years production of “Out of Order”, will be up against last years winners, Silken Thomas Players, with “Angels in America” , Bunclody, Co Wexford, with “The Mai”, Brideview Co Waterford, with “The Clearing”, Palace Players, Co Cork, also returning to Holycross after a number of years, with “Doubt”.
So whether you like to laugh or cry, there is something to suit all tastes with this fantastic line up of Amateur Theatre at its very best.
The annual Festival Club will give people a chance to catch up with the various casts after each night - the performances commence at 8:30pm sharp, with the exception of final night when they begin at 8:00pm. Patrons are encouraged to come early to secure a seat in the warm and comfortable surrounds of the hall. Season tickets are on sale for just 60 Euro - that’s nine nights entertainment for 60 Euro which is less than €7 per night which is arguably the best value around for a night at the Theatre.
Nightly adult tickets cost 12 Euro and concessions 6 Euro. Tickets are available from Festival Director Donal Duggan or alternatively at the door on each night. Children who must be accompanied by an adult €6 (note: in the interest of the performing groups competing, children are not allowed in the balcony.) The Festival Chairman is Tommy Lanigan while Maudie Burke is Treasurer, Eilis Quirke and Claire Ryan are Joint Secretaries, Geraldine Henchion is PRO, Marian Gilmore is Sponsor Co-Ordinator, and Diane Lacey is Raffle Co-Ordinator. They will be very busy in the coming days alongside committee members Marty O’Neill, Paddy Connolly, Ger Dwyer, Andy Slattery, Peg Ryan, Alma Ryan, John Joe Dwyer and Mary Cleary. So expect a huge Holycross Welcome to the 29th Co Tipperary Drama Festival , and savour the atmostphere in the tearoom for your annual cup of tea and a bun, the interval raffle (will the orange ticket be peach or buff this year Donal?? ) as well as the Festival Bar where you can do your own adjudication and chat to the cast!
All are welcome to come along and enjoy a fantastic festival of drama in Holycross from March 18th – Saturday 26th.