Curtain up on One-Act Drama Festival

Pauric Dunne and Martin Blayney, of Lurig Players, in a heated exchange from The Duck Variations.
Pauric Dunne and Martin Blayney, of Lurig Players, in a heated exchange from The Duck Variations.

Amateur drama groups will join novice players for the City’s newest drama festival, the One-Act Drama Festival, which runs from November 22 to 24, inclusive.

The line-up includes comedy, farce, modern classics and two original works by local playwrights, and will take place at the Playhouse.

Festival Director Gerry McLaughlin said: “Although this is a competition the emphasis is on enjoyment both on stage and in the audience and we are proud to offer eight cracking plays in just three nights”.

Highlights will be former UK title holders, Lurig Drama group’s presentation on November 23 of the modern classic ‘The Duck Variations’ by David Mamet, which has already secured nominations to the Ulster and All-Ireland Finals. Another highlight is the award-winning Bradan Player’s of Arthur Miller’s ‘Some Kind of Love Story, but perhaps the greatest interest will be in the local productions from four groups which are entering the festival circuit for the first time: Limavady Drama Group with the comedy ‘A Bit of Land’ by Agnes Adam, while the River Foyle Original Drama Group premier a work by Michael G McGuire.

On the Friday there is more laughter from Laugh Your Leg Off Company productions with the farce ‘Cough Water’ while Handful Productions, explore issues around suicide, in the thought-provoking new work entitled ‘Too Many Candles’ by Kevin Doherty.

The Festival opens and closes with two very different styles of comedy from two of Northern Ireland’s most experienced groups: Belvoir Players open the festival with ‘The Extraordinary Revelations of Orca the Goldfish’ by David Tristam, which exposes the secret lives of a far from boring couple, while on Saturday, Theatre 3 from Newtownabbey, bring total mayhem to the stage with Sean O’Casey’s ‘The End of the Beginning’.

The festival is a feeder festival for the UK finals, when the winners of the English, Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh finals will compete for the UK Title in the Millennium Forum in July next year.