West Cork One Act Drama Festival in Rossmore

IT will be a Cork drama extravaganza at this year’s One Act Drama Festival in Rossmore with four West Cork drama groups competing along with five other groups from Cork and one from Tipperary.

Drama groups from Skibbereen, Schull, Kilmeen and Clonakilty (Tadhg an Astna players) will all compete along with other groups from Cork (Whitechurch, Ballincollig, Coachford, Conna and Cobh (Haulbowline). The only non Cork group participating are the Tipperary based Fr Matthew Players.

Funeral homes are usually havens of peace and tranquility, but that is definitely not the case in Skibbereen Theatre Society’s production of “No Romance Act 2” by Nancy Harris. In fact the goings-on will have the audience either on the edge of their seats, or falling around the floor with laughter.

The Schull comedy ‘Looking for a mate’ by Sally Smart is a play about the race against time and the effort involved if you should be unfortunate  enough  to have no mate and want to find one. The internet dating scene .and all its joys, the hopes and fears, dreams and unrealistic expectations of those brave enough, or desperate enough to give it a go. It’s a look at human nature and the fact that people just lie, expect far too much and project their issues onto others. Sally Smart the playwright is also the director of the production.

The Kilmeen Drama Group present “Whodidit?” By Neil Harrison. It’s a farcical, comic country house murder mystery set in the 1920s. A cast of five take on the roles of 17 eccentric characters in this nonsense and crazy set up. The daft inspector must discover who is bringing murder and mayhem to Farmbright Mansion. Maybe it is the mad professor, the cranky uncle or the loopy maid. There’s many to choose from when discovering whodunit? “

This festival takes place in the theatre Rossmore from Friday 18th-Sunday 20th November offering a three or four course concoction of funny, intrigue and thought provoking plays to be savoured. No doubt the audience will depart from the theatre each evening feeling fully entertained. The mix of plays in this year’s festival has plenty of comedy, witty observations of life and both tense and tender drama. Several of the plays involve cast members taking on different characters – a theatrical challenge in itself.

The West Cork drama groups participating in this year’s festival include those from Schull, Skibbereen, Clonakilty as well as the local Rossmore based Kilmeen Drama Group. On the opening night, Friday 18th, Schull Drama Group present Sally Smart’s ‘Looking for a mate’ and are joined by Gunpoweder Productions from Ballincollig presenting Hugh Leonard’s ‘Pizzazz’ and the Clonakilty based Tadhg an Astna Players with Kieran Doyle’s ‘Homeless’.

On Saturday Coachford Players take to the stage with Neil La Bute’s ‘Lovely Head’ followed by the Skibbereen Theatre Group with ‘No Romance’ by Nancy Harris’. Next on the stage will be the local Kilmeen Drama Group with ‘Who did it?’ by Neil Harrison. Fr. Matthew Players close the night with ‘Breakfast with Willy’ by Karen Schiff.

The closing night Sunday 20th sees Conna Dramatic Society presenting ‘Parentcraft’ by Stephen Smith, the Haulbowline Theatre Group with Simon Brett’s ‘A small family murder’ and Blue Hat Productions from Whitechurch closing the festival with ‘Two’ by Jim Cartwright.

So if you are looking for some ‘Pizzazz’ to brighten up your November? ‘No Romance’ in your life and ‘Looking for a Mate’? Or are you wanting to find out ‘Who did it’? Then take yourself to the theatre in Rossmore.

Adjudicating the festival is Paula Dempsey, a professional actor and director.

The plays take to the Rossmore stage at 8pm each night and a wonderful weekend of scintillating drama and comedy is promised. Tickets are available at the door and there is no need to book. A special festival ticket at the bargain price of €25 can be bought to see all 10 plays over the weekend. Festival Enquires Tel 086 448 1086 (between 12-7pm).

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