Skibb Beauty Queen reaches All-Ireland drama finals

Having qualified for the All-Ireland Confined Drama Finals in Doonbeg, Co Clare, next week, Skibbereen Theatre Society will be staging two performances of Martin McDonagh’s black comedy, The Beauty Queen of Leenane.

Before their appearance in the finals on Friday, April 12th, they will be putting on their multi-award-winning production at Skibbereen Town Hall this Sunday, 7th, and again on Tuesday next, 9th, at 8pm both nights. These will be the final two local performances.

On the amateur drama festival circuit, the show chalked up three wins, three second placings and a third, with director Ger Minihane, cast and crew members winning several awards. The cast comprises Mary O’Driscoll, Catherine Field, Kevin Cadogan and Josh Campbell.

Tickets are available from Thornhill Bros Electrical, Skibbereen, telephone 028-22557. Advance booking is recommended.

The cast and some of the crew of Skibbereen Theatre Society’s production of ‘The Beauty Queen of Leenane’ pictured on tour in Glenamaddy – front from left – Eoin O’Sullivan, Mary O’Driscoll and Catherine Field. Standing: Charlie Keohane, Barty Connolly, Angela Galvin, Fachtna and Carmel O’Driscoll. Josh Campbell, Gerry Minihane (director), Kevin Cadogan and Gearóid MacEoin.

‘Beauty Queen’ on show for five nights at Skibbereen Town Hall

Skibbereen Theatre Society’s spring 2019 presentation is The Beauty Queen of Leenane by Martin McDonagh, which opens in Skibbereen Town Hall this Saturday night, February 16th, at 8pm.

It will be staged there on four further nights in February – this Sunday, 17th, and again on Friday 22nd, Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th. It will then go on tour to seven drama festival venues around Ireland during the month of March

The Beauty Queen of Leenane tells the darkly comic tale of Maureen Folan, a lonely woman in her early forties, and Mag, her manipulative, ageing mother. Mag’s interference in her daughter’s first and possibly final chance of a loving relationship sets in motion a train of events that leads inexorably to the play’s inevitable denouement.

This hilarious yet sinister jewel of a play never ceases to provide shock after surprise, side-splitting laughter after jaw-dropping nastiness. Skibbereen audiences will laugh and gasp at this production directed by Ger Minihane.

Catherine Field plays Mag Folan and Mary O’Driscoll plays her daughter, Maureen. They are ably supported by Kevin Cadogan (Pato Dooley) and newcomer to Skibbereen Theatre Society, Josh Campbell (Ray Dooley).

Stage management is by Angela Galvin, Breda Herlihy, Hilda Hegarty and Rachel O’Keeffe. Donagh Long of Spain Tower Studios recorded the sound effects, while John Hegarty and Gearoid MacEoin are in charge of lighting. Set construction is by Barty Connolly, Charlie Keohane, Con Minihane and Fachtna O’Driscoll.

Bookings for the show may be made in advance through Thornhill Bros Electrical, Skibbereen, on 028-22557.

Cast members of the Skibbereen production of Martin McDonagh’s ‘The Beauty Queen of Leenane,’ which opens at the Town Hall this Saturday night – back from left – Josh Campbell, Kevin Cadogan and Mary O’Driscoll; seated, Catherine Field.

Public consultation on extension to Skibbereen Town Hall

The following is a communication from Cork County Council regarding Skibbereen Town Hall.

Cork County Council has initiated a Part 8 for a small extension to the rear of the Skibbereen Town Hall Theatre. The plans are available for public consultation up to February 8th and observations can be made in writing up to February 22nd.

Accessibility to the Theatre has always being a problem and these works aim to address that by providing a new access point and ticket office. We are also doing some internal re-jigging of the toilets to provide for an accessible toilet on the ground floor.

A copy of the full consultation document is available in the reception of the CCC offices at The Courthouse. They are also available on CCC’s website and at

Please see attached two documents to give you an idea of the proposed works.

South Elevation

Floor Plan

Skibbereen performance of The Matchmaker deferred

John B Keane’s classic, The Matchmaker, which was due to be staged at Skibbereen Town Hall on Friday, October 19th, has been postponed until next April. People who have already bought tickets may obtain a refund from Thornhill Bros Electrical, Skibbereen, telephone 028-22557.

John B show returning to Skibbereen

The Matchmaker by John B Keane, one of Ireland’s most celebrated writers, will play for one night only at Skibbereen Town Hall on Friday, October 19th, at 8pm.

The production stars television favourite Mary McEvoy, best known for her role as Biddy in the long-running RTÉ series, Glenroe. Irish actor and comedian Jon Kenny, who was part of the Irish comic duo d’Unbelievables with Pat Shortt, joins Mary to complete the cast.

Kenny is best known outside Ireland for appearing in the Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted. Together, they play myriad characters in this hilarious and earthy dramatic comedy.

The play follows the efforts of Dicky Mick Dicky O’Connor to make matches for the lonely and lovelorn. Keane, an avid observer of people and the cultures that bind and create their view of the world, uses The Matchmaker as an exploration of rural loneliness.

Aware that generations of people became masters of their own destinies late in life, and only then began to look for companionship and love, once their duties as minder of aging parents were concluded or they had finally inherited, or were the left-over brother or sister.

Using his inimitable way with words and his sense of ‘divilment’ and wit, Keane delves into the longings, hungers, fears and foibles of this collection of lonely county people and creates a marvelously-colourful world, taking us back to a simpler time, when phones were few and far between and the only web was one left behind by spiders!

The show is directed by Michael Scott. Tickets are available in advance from Thornhill Bros Electrical, Skibbereen, tel 028-22557, and early booking is advised.

Jon Kenny and Mary McEvoy star in John B Keane’s ‘The Matchmaker’ at Skibbereen Town Hall on Friday, October 19th next.

Abigail partying in Skibbereen again!

Skibbereen Theatre Society will return to the Town Hall with their award-winning play “Abigail’s Party” by Mike Leigh on Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd April for their final two performances. Patrons who were disappointed when the play was postponed due to snow at the end of February will have the opportunity to see this acclaimed production of the 1970’s classic comedy.

Tickets held by people who had booked for the cancelled performance of February 28th will be honoured on either night.
Every member of the five-strong cast has won at least one acting award on the recent drama festival circuit. Greg Watkin won best actor at Mountmellick Drama Festival while Mary O’Driscoll won best actress at North Cork Drama Festival. Bernie Whooley won the best supporting actress award at the West Cork Drama Festival and Angela Galvin won the same accolade in the Clare Festival.

Paul Delaney was a multi-award winner, collecting Best Supporting Actor titles in Kerry, West Clare and Tipperary. Fachtna O’Driscoll won the Best Director award at the Clare Drama Festival in Scariff last Saturday, while the hard-working backroom team won the coveted award for Best Presentation (setting, lighting and sound) at the West Cork festival in Rossmore.
Tickets for Easter Monday and Tuesday’s performances may be booked at Thornhill Electrical, Bridge St., Skibbereen, phone 028-22557.

Award winners Greg Watkin and Mary O’Driscoll in a scene from Skibbereen Theatre Society’s production of Mike Leigh’s ‘Abigail’s Party.’

Skibbereen helps celebrate ‘Abigail’s Party’

Skibbereen Theatre Society will present their Spring 2018 play, ‘Abigail’s Party’ by Mike Leigh in the Town Hall, Skibbereen, on Wednesday February 21st, Saturday 24th, Sunday 25th and Wednesday 28th.

The play, a comedy, is a new departure for the group, being set in suburban London in the 1970’s. In the play, Beverly has invited her new neighbours over for drinks. She has also asked her divorced neighbour, Sue, because Sue’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Abigail, is holding a party in their house. Beverly’s husband, Laurence, comes home late from work, just before the guests arrive.
The gathering starts off in a stiff insensitive, British middle-class way with people who do not know each other, until Beverly and Laurence start sniping at each other. Tensions mount and awkward situations abound until the play reaches a tragi-comic conclusion.

The cast for this production includes Mary O’Driscoll, Greg Watkin, Bernie Whooley (who is making her debut with the group), Paul Delaney and Angela Galvin.

Mary will be familiar to Skibbereen audiences for many roles, memorably her sensitive portrayal of Deirdre in ‘The Quiet Moment’ (2016) and as Anna in ‘Lovers at Versailles’ (2017). Greg and Paul are comparative newcomers to the Skibbereen stage, both having made their debuts in 2017 in ‘Babysitting Calvin’ as Bob and Calvin, respectively, while Angela Galvin will be remembered for her Aunt Lizzie role in ‘Family Plot’ (2015).

The director is Fachtna O’Driscoll and stage management is by Una Murray. Gearoid MacEoin and John Hegarty are in charge of lighting and Fachtna Hamilton runs the extensive soundtrack. Set construction is in the experienced hands of Barty Connolly, Charlie Keohane and Gearoid MacEoin.

Curtain is at 8pm nightly and tickets are available to book at Thornhill’s Electrical (028-22557). After the four-night run in Skibbereen, the group will set off on the amateur drama festival circuit during the month of March with performances in Castleisland, Mountmellick, Charleville, Rossmore, Doonbeg, Holycross and Scariff.

The cast of Skibbereen Theatre Society's production of 'Abigail's Party' - seated from left - Angela Galvin, Mary O'Driscoll and Bernie Whooley. Back: Paul Delaney and Greg Watkin.

The cast of Skibbereen Theatre Society’s production of ‘Abigail’s Party’ – seated from left – Angela Galvin, Mary O’Driscoll and Bernie Whooley. Back: Paul Delaney and Greg Watkin.

Comedy double bill in Skibbereen

Skibbereen Theatre Society’s summer production for 2017 consists of two short plays. Both are madcap comedies, full of laugh-a-minute slapstick humour – ideal entertainment for the holiday season.

The first play, “Babysitting Calvin” by John H Newmeier, features three newcomers to the Skibbereen stage, Paul Delaney, Maura Cunningham and Greg Watkin, as well as regulars Isobelle Nealon and Mary O’Driscoll. The play tells of 10-month-old Calvin’s (Paul Delaney) efforts to prevent his babysitter Laura (Maura Cunningham) from indulging in too much hanky-panky on the sofa with her friend Bob (Greg Watkin) while his mother Katie (Isobelle Nealon) and her pal Donna (Mary O’Driscoll) are out on the town. Few will believe that a 10-month-old in a play pen could cause so much havoc!

The second play, “Religious Knowledge” by Eamonn Kelly, takes us back to the classroom of a Christian Brothers’ school around 1970, and the hilarious spectacle of the brother (Fachtna O’Driscoll) trying to teach his disinterested class (Ger Minihane, Kevin Cadogan and newcomer, Joe O’Sullivan) his version of Irish History, Religion, Sex Education, and Singing, again with some crazy, off the wall consequences.

Both plays are directed by Fachtna O’Driscoll and stage management is by Angela Galvin, assisted by Una Murray and Sinead Cripps. Sound is by Fachtna Hamilton, lighting is by Gearoid MacEoin, while Barty Connolly and Charlie Keohane complete the stage crew who have to come up with two stage settings on the one night!

The double bill opens in Skibbereen Town Hall on Sunday 6th August and continues on bank holiday Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th and again on the following weekend: Friday 11th, Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th. Performances are at 8.00 p.m. each night. Bookings at Thornhills Electrical, Bridge St (call in or phone 028-22557) or may be purchased at the town Hall from 7.30 p.m. on show nights.

Schull presents Last of the Red Hot Lovers

Schull Drama Group will be staging Last of the Red Hot Lovers in Skibbereen Town Hall on February 24th for one night only. Curtain is at 8 pm. Admission is €10. Concessions are available for seniors and students.

Last of the Red Hot Lovers is one of the most amusing of Neil Simon’s comedies. The play is set in the 60’s, and we have situated it somewhere in the South of England. It focuses on Barney Cashman – middle-aged, married and overworked – as he begins to feel a desire for sexual adventure. Over a nine month period, he invites three women to his mother’s apartment to have an afternoon of extramarital sex. The first, Elaine Navazio, proves to be a bundle of neuroses; Bobbi Michele is next, a kooky 20-ish actress; finally Jeanette Fisher, a gloomy, depressed housewife who is married to Barney’s best friend. Will Barney’s attempts at seduction be successful?

Founded in 1980, Schull Drama Group is now a vibrant and dynamic company of 60 plus members. Over the years they have tackled a wide range of projects: plays, musicals, pantomimes, street theatre and workshops. They continue to strive for excellence, and to push themselves with entertaining and exciting projects. They have been competing on the drama festival circuit for many years and will be touring this play to seven festivals in March.

We look forward to welcoming you in Skibbereen for what promises to be a very entertaining evening. Contact number 086 8785304. Follow us on Facebook

‘Lovers at Versailles’ opens in Skibbereen Town Hall

Taking part in Skibbereen Theatre Society’s production of ‘Lovers at Versailles’ by Bernard Farrell, which will be staged in Skibbereen Town Hall this Friday, Saturday and Sunday and again the following weekend, are – from left – Kevin Cadogan, Carmel O’Driscoll, Mary O’Driscoll and Kieran Daly.

Skibbereen Theatre Society’s Spring production, Lovers at Versailles by Bernard Farrell, opens at the Town Hall, Skibbereen, on Friday, February 10th. This year, the group has decided to take a year out from the drama festival circuit and concentrate on a ‘home’ production. Consequently, there will be just the one run of this laugh-a-minute comedy – so no second chance to see it after the drama festivals are over! Lovers at Versailles will run for six nights over two consecutive weekends Friday 10th, Saturday 11th and Sunday, February 12th, as well as Friday 17th, Saturday 18th and Sunday, February 19th.

The play examines the plight of three women who are left behind when Stephen Sullivan dies. His wife, Clara, always suspected that Stephen had a hidden life. His daughter, Isobel, is determined to use every opportunity to move up the social ladder, and Anna, Stephen’s favourite daughter, is offered a second chance at happiness.

Throw into the mix Farrell’s off-the-wall sense of humour, along with some unexpected twists and turns, and audiences should enjoy a great night’s fun.

The cast has some regulars with quite a few new faces to the Skibbereen stage. Directed by Fachtna O’Driscoll, the lead roles are played by Sarah McCarthy, Mary O’Driscoll, Jason Moloney, Kieran Daly, Carmel O’Driscoll, Kevin Cadogan, Terri Kearney and Niamh Woods. There are quite a few ‘extras’ with some familiar and some not-so-familiar Skibbereen faces appearing throughout!

The stage crew of Charlie Keohane, Gearoid MacEoin, Con Minihane and Fachtna Hamilton, under the watchful eye of technical director Barty Connolly, has come up with a few surprises for the audience. John Hegarty and Gearoid MacEoin have devised an imaginative lighting plot.

Sound recording was by Sacha Puttnam and the sound system will be operated by Hilda Hegarty. Stage management is done by Sinead Cripps and Una Murray.

As usual, bookings are through Thornhills Electrical and sales are sure to be brisk for a play that is novel in structure and hilariously funny.


* An upcoming production visiting Skibbereen Town Hall is The Successful TD, based on the writings of John B Keane and starring Mary McEvoy of Glenroe fame and Jon Kenny of D’Unbelievables, which will be playing there on Friday, March 10th next, for one night only. It is currently on stage at the Gaeity Theatre in Dublin to great reviews and advance booking is recommended for the forthcoming Skibbereen show.