Last week saw the launch of the 34 th annual Castleblayney Drama Festival
in Íontas. This is one of Ireland’s premier festivals which attract top class
drama groups from all over the country. The festival opens in Íontas
Theatre Castleblayney on Friday 3 rd March and will run for nine nights
finishing on Saturday 11 th March . After the final performance the festival
winners will be announced and the presentation of awards will take place.
The festival which started in 1989 has been going from strength to
strength giving audiences the opportunity to see a wide range of plays
from comedy to tragedy and everything else in between over the nine-
night run. This year’s programme includes top class plays by top class
playwrights including Martin McDonagh, Conor McPherson , Samuel
Beckett, Jimmy Murphy and Brian Friel to name but a few. The full
programme is available on the festival website
wwwcastleblayneydramafestival.ie and the Íontas Theatre website and
Those who wish to attend all nine night can avail of the special season
ticket at a much reduced price of €80 while young people are also
encouraged to attend by making tickets available at a much reduced
nightly charge of €8. All other tickets are €15 per night with concessions
€13 which of course is also very good value.
Launching the programme, festival chairperson Rita Connell spoke of the
importance of the Castleblayney Drama Festival as part of Arts
programme in Co. Monaghan. She pointed out that the festival is run
under the auspices of the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland (ADCI) which
is celebrating seventy years in existence this year. She also pointed out
that the Castleblayney Drama Festival has a nomination to the All Ireland
Drama Festival finals making it a hugely significant Arts event.
This year’s adjudicator is Imelda McDonagh ADA. Imelda is a multi award
winning director and actress with a first class honours degree in Theatre
Studies. In 2017 she adjudicated the All Ireland Confined finals, 2018 she
adjudicated the All Ireland One Act Finals and in 2019 she adjudicated The
All Ireland Open Finals. Imelda has also been awarded The Civic Merit
Award for her services to the community by President Michael D. Higgins.
So it’s all full steam ahead for the hard working committee who look
forward to another very successful drama festival.
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