Western Drama Festival, March 2018
Celebrating 75 Years – The Next Chapter

Synopsis of Plays

Lifford Players, Co. Donegal
"Dancing at Lughnasa" by Brian Friel

Dancing at Lughnasa is a lovely drama for all ages and tastes. Based in Ireland, narrated by Michael, he looks back on a particular summer of his childhood, which revolves around his family of mother, four aunts, uncle, father and himself as a child. The plot follows the memories of that iconic summer, exploring many themes and ideas, in the special realistic style of Mr Friel.

Saturday 3rd March


Sunday 4th March
Letterkenny Music & Dramatic Society, Co. Donegal
"Beneath an Irish Sky" by Kieran Kelly

Inspired by archive reports and eyewitness testimonies, this is a new play that looks at the events of the ‘decade of change’ from a Donegal perspective. Set in Letterkenny between the years 1914-1924, I t tells the fictionalised account of one man Brendan McDevitt, questioning what made him pick up a gun to fight for his country. This life altering decision will have far reaching implications for both himself and his family.

Monday 5th March
Clann Machua, Kiltimagh, Co. Mayo
"The Cripple of Inishmaan" by Martin McDonagh

The Cripple of Inishmaan may very well be McDonagh’s finest play…A rare and enchanted production that will live in your memory for years to come. Set on the small Aran Islands community of Inishmaan off the Western Coast of Ireland in 1934, where the inhabitants are excited to learn of a Hollywood film crew's arrival in neighbouring Inishmore to make a documentary about life on the islands.

Tuesday 6th March
 Phoenix Players, Co. Sligo
"Burried Child" by Sam Shephard

Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize winning play, with its surreal dark humour, explores universal themes which are taboo within society.  Vince returns to find the degeneration of this once noble farm family in Illinois. One catastrophic event is the root cause of the degradation of a once proud family, caused by a secret buried in the dark. Has Tilden’s persistent search enabled his family to emerge ‘Phoenix Like’ from the ashes?

Wednesday 7th March
Schull Drama Group, Co. Cork
"No Man's Land" by Harold Pinter

This exquisite production, in serving up profound mediations on reality, loneliness, rivalry and mortality, make a compelling case for the ways that theatre can shed light on the human condition. The poetry contained in Pinter's psychological study of both sides of the creative coin- being consumed by struggle and failure, trapped in a No Man's Land which never moves, which never changes, which never grows older, but which remains forever icy and silent.

Thursday 8th March
 Butt Drama Circle, Co. Donegal
"Three Days of Rain" by Richard Greenberg

Walker, his sister Nan, and friend Pip meet to settle their parents' estate. Over “three days of rain" entered in their young fathers ‘architect's diary, they play their own parents revealing ‘romantic significance and creative dilemma’. Their fathers were long-time friends and partners in architecture. Whose was the guiding hand? In this tense and brittle reunion, much more is at stake than who gets the house. Enthralling theatre ensues!

Friday 9th March
Wexford Drama Group, Co. Wexford
"Proof" by David Auburn

When this very beautiful and interesting play “Proof” premiered on Broadway in October 2000 it received national attention. The play concerns Catherine, the daughter of Robert. Upon Robert's death, his ex-graduate student Hal discovers a paradigm-shifting proof about prime numbers in Robert's office. The title refers both to that proof and to the play's central question: Can Catherine prove the proof's authorship and deal with its consequences?

Saturday 10th March
 Bradán Players, Co. Kildare
"Conservatory" by Michael West

When the play was first presented, Emer O’Kelly wrote “a marvellous play, absorbing, intense and elegant”. It tells the story of an elderly couple sitting in a dark room in their house, doing the crossword, taking their tablets and knitting, all the while raking over a traumatic past that has all but destroyed them. “The language is neat and cutting as a surgical implement” — Alan O’Riordan,   Irish Examiner.

Sunday 11th March 
Brideview Drama, Co. Waterford
"Stolen Child" by Bairbre Ní Chaoimh and Yvonne Quinn

This is a moving, sad and brilliant play which tells the story of a young Dublin woman’s journey to find her natural mother. She elicits the help of a shambolic private detective whose irreverent humour and hard-drinking lifestyle mask a deep understanding of human frailty. It was one of the first works to explore the secret history of Ireland’s Industrial schools.