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A Wake In The West Poster
 
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Fortunes & Misfortunes Poster
 
The Maiden Aunt Poster
 
Drinking Habits Poster
 
 
The Two Loves of Gabriel Foley
 
One Acts 2015
 
       

Past Productions

2008/2009 - Pretend Sick

When the Group first came together in September 2008 the general feeling was that putting on a Comedy would be the best way to get started and the best way to attract in the public. Our first production “Pretend Sick”, written by Mayo man Michael J. Ginnelly, went into rehearsal in Oct 2008 and was produced in Parke Community Centre in March 2009 to, thankfully, full houses and much, much laughter. We were very lucky to have the experience of Dermot MacMahon, as Director, to guide us through rehearsals. Local ladies Kate Boyle and Breda Morris took to their roles as producers with great aplomb. And so it was that we took to the stage on St. Patrick’s weekend 2009 to packed houses each night.

2009/2010 - A Wake in The West

Spurred on by the success of 2009 we again decided on another Comedy by Michael J. Ginnelly, the much acclaimed “A Wake in The West”. Again Dermot MacMahon was at the helm, this time assisted by Vincent McHale. Breda and Kate surpassed themselves in the production stakes and there was a number of new additions to the Cast and Crew for 2010. The show took to the stage for the last weekend of February, running for 4 nights to packed houses each night.

2010/2011 - Cupid Wore Skirts

Vincent McHale took the reigns as Director for the 2011 production, assisted by Mary Mahon. After reading a number of scripts during the summer of 2010 the Group finally settled on Sam Cree’s 3 Act Comedy ‘Cupid Wore Skirts’. And so rehearsals began in September 2010 and by the end of that month the Cast was in place following some intense consideration by the Director. The Group welcomed two stage debutants in the form of Sharon Cameron and Trina Healy. Despite rehearsals being hampered by bad weather conditions in Dec/Jan the Cast were ready to take to the stage on March 3rd for a sell out four-night run. Apart from the tremendous local support there were many from further afield including a number of people from other Drama Groups in Mayo, some of whom had performed the play themselves previously. The reviews from all audiences were superb and credit must go to all the cast and crew who worked tirelessly to ensure everything went like clockwork.

2011/2012 - Fortunes & Misfortunes

Vincent McHale returned as Director for 2012/2013 with Breda Morris as Assistant Director and Producer. After much searching the Group happened upon the works of Westmeath Playwright Jimmy Keary who had a number of one act and three act comedies to his name. The group read a number of his 3 act comedies and decided on Fortunes & Misfortunes as the production for 2012.

Once again there was a great turnout for rehearsals and once again we were blessed with a couple of newcomers in the guise of Richard Wynne who took on the roll of the dancing priest and Pauline Barrett who portrayed Oonagh Delaney, a wannabe socialite and writer.

The production took to the stage for a 4 night run - March 1st - 4th - in Parke Community Centre. The production was very well received locally with packed houses each night. The playwright himself also managed to attend and was suitably impressed by the production of his work. The group was also delighted to be asked to bring the production to the Royal Theatre Stage in Castlebar for 3 nights in July 2012. This was a great opportunity for cast and crew to experience the larger stage and auditorium. Brid Quinn directed the 3 night run in Castlebar and Ethan Jordan replaced Daniel Donnelly as 'Nathan Fortune'.

2012/2013 - The Maiden Aunt

September 2012 saw a change at the helm with Michael Rice taking over as Director. Michael has much experience in directing pantomime and musucal theatre but was not as experience when it came to more mainstream drama but he soon settled to the task at hand. The new production also saw a bit of a shake up in the backstage team with Mary Mahon, Ann Donnelly and Marion Daly taking on the production roles and Vincent McHale taking over as Stage Manager. There was also a number of changes at committee level with Richard Wynne coming in as Chairman, Ann Connor as Treasurer and Emily Connor as PRO, with Joanne Dean staying on as Secretary.

The Group decided to run with another of Jimmy Keary's productions - The Maiden Aunt. As in other years rehaearsal attracted quite a turnout especially for females roles. For The Maiden Aunt the Group was delighted to welcome 4 new actors to the Group - Karen Conway, Fiona Campbell, John Daly and Ger Minogue. The production was on stage for 3 full house nights - Feb 28th - Mar. 2nd. Many audience members who had attended previous productions believed that it was the best production to date.

March 2013 - What Time is it There?

The Group was invited to perform one of the plays in the Claremorris Fringe Festival. This was the first running of the event in Claremorris as part of their annual Drama Festival and the group was delighted to be asked to participate. The Group performed a 15 minute play called 'What time is it there?' by Hugh Cardiff. Fringe theatre is quite different to regular theatre in that the actors are much closer to the audience and there is a much more intimate feel to the whole experience for actors and audience members alike. Unfortunately the play didn't win the competition but the Group was highly commended for the performance.

2013/2014 - Drinking Habits

For the 2013/2014 production the Group took on the play Drinking Habits, a two act comedy by American playwright Tom Smith. Michael Rice directed, assisted by Mary Mahon, with Breda Morris and Kate Boyle producing.  Again the group was delighted to keep the tradition of welcoming new cast members on board with the addition of Seamus Beirne and Maria Jordan.  The Community Centre in Parke, our spiritual home, was being renovated during this time so many rehearsals took place at a number of locations before we finally settled into a vacant warehouse kindly donated by Duffy's Garage, Castlebar.  We were also invited to perform the play in Luton by The Luton Irish Forum for the St Patricks Festival Weekend.  We also performed the play for two nights in The Linenhall Arts Centre in April.

November 2014 - Thy Will Be Done

In September 2014 it was decided that the Group would endeavour to produce two plays for forthcoming season, one in November 2014 and one in March 2015.  Thy Will Be Done by Michael Carey was chosen to be the November production with Brid Quinn making her directorial debut.  Thankfully the newly renovated Community Hall was back in operation and we returned to our spiritual home for rehearsals.  It was also a departure in the type of play we were performing, up to this point we had always produced farce comedies, however Thy Will Be Done, while being a comedy in many respects, dealt with more emotions than humour and laughter and would best be described as a dramatic comedy.  However there was no need to worry as both cast and crew rose to the occassion and the cast especially delivered powerful performances that the audiences fully embraced and indeed was met with a standing ovation on opening night.  The production also took to the road, playing for one night in The Linenhall Arts Centre, Castlebar and the Group headed North West to Áras Inis Gluaire in Belmullet for one night in January 2015.

March 2015 - The Two Loves of Gabriel Foley

The second play of the 2014/2015 season was The Two Loves of Gabriel Foley by Jimmy Keary.  The Group had previously performed a couple of Keary's works in the past and always found them to be great crowd pleasers and The Two Loves of Gabriel Foley certainly fulfilled that criteria.  Michael Rice returned as director with Vincent McHale as producer and Emily Connor and Mary Mahon looking after backstage operations.  The production was performed for two nights in Parke Community Hall and also enjoyed a sell out performance in The Linenhall Arts Centre.

November 2015 - The Last Panto & A Galway Girl (2 One Acts)

The Group decided to stage a couple of One Act plays for the Winter production with to a view of maybe taking part in the One Act Festival Circuit in 2016.  We decided to try a comedy and a drama to test the water and so the Group decided on The Last Panto By David Tristram as the comedy and A Galway Girl By Geraldine Aron as the drama.  It turned out to be a great success for the Group and we also brought both plays to Westport Town Hall for one night.

April 2016 - The Country Boy

This was the Group's 10th production and we were delighted to welcome back Dermot MacMahon to the Director's chair.  Dermot was instrumental in the Group's first two productions and has been a great support to the Group ever since. The Play was performed in Parke Community Hall on April 1st & 2nd to full houses. 

The Country Boy
reflects on the social problems of emigration and rural life in the late 1950s.  The Country Boy is a comedy-drama set in the small Irish farmhouse of the Maher family, inhabitants of County Mayo. It tells the story of Curly, 25, who still lives at home with his parents, Tom and Mary Kate. But Curly dreams of following his older brother Eddie to the U.S. in pursuit of success, even if it means leaving his sweetheart, Eileen Tierney. Only upon Eddie's first return home (with wife, Julia) on vacation, are truths revealed of hardship, alcoholism, a troubled marriage, homesickness, and regrets.