‘Bookworms’ is Skibbereen’s new year comedy offering

SKIBBEREEN Theatre Society’s Christmas comedy offering is Bookworms by Bernard Farrell.

Directed by Hilda Hegarty, it will be performed by a cast, which includes a nice blend of experienced actors and newcomers, this Saturday, Sunday and Monday, January 2nd, 3rd and 4th, at Skibbereen Town Hall with curtain at 8pm each night. Two further performances are scheduled for January 7th and 8th next.

It tells the story of book club host, Ann, struggling to stay calm, desperate to deliver the perfect evening of literary classics and late-night canapés. But when the all-female group invite their husbands to join the club, and a mysterious figure pays a visit from upstairs, everyone is forced to contend with a lot more than just Virginia Woolf!
Opinions are challenged; suspicions aroused and tempers flare as their daily lives unravel into a saga to rival even the wildest fiction.
The cast of Bookworms includes Breda Herlihy as the put-upon Ann, as well as Catherine Scroop, Carmel O’Driscoll and Isobelle Nealon, Kevin Cadogan, Ger Minihane and Sean Conmy. The stage manager is Niamh Woods.

Lighting is by John Hegarty and Gearóid MacEoin, with sound by Fachtna Hamilton, who also were part of the set construction crew that included Barty Connolly, Con Minihane and Charlie Keohane.

The cast and crew of Skibbereen Theatre Society's production of 'Bookworms' by Bernard Farrell

The cast and crew of Skibbereen Theatre Society’s production of ‘Bookworms’ by Bernard Farrell

Rossa play for Skibbereen and Rossmore

A play about the colourful life and times of the West Cork-born Fenian Jeremiah O’Donovan Rossa is to be performed in both Skibbereen and Rossmore this month as part of the events commemorating the centenary of his death.

Directed by Denis O’Mahony, the joint production between Kilmeen Drama Group and Skibbereen Theatre Society, which is called Rossa, also involves members of other West Cork drama groups and is written by Maria Young, inspired by Roger McHugh’s award-winning play.

It will premiere at Skibbereen Town Hall on Sunday and Monday, July 19th and 20th, and will feature at St Mary’s Theatre in Rossmore on Saturday and Sunday, 25th and 26th, nightly at 8pm in both venues.

Dublin-born Roger McHugh (1908-1987) remembered his grandfather describing the silence of the countryside after the Famine, where the birds did not sing. He grew up with an interest in history and it was in that subject that he first lectured at UCD before going on to become a Professor of English.

Roger became a Senator also and wrote several plays, most of them based on historical subjects, and the best-known of these was Rossa, which won the Abbey Theatre Award for best historical play and was performed there in 1945.

Tickets for the 2015 production of Rossa may be booked for Skibbereen through Thornhill Electrical (028-22557) and for Rossmore through the theatre box office (086-4481086).

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‘The Nina in Me’ for Skibbereen Town Hall

In advance of shows in both Dublin and Cork later this month, Karen Underwood – one of Ireland’s best-kept musical secrets – will be performing at Skibbereen Town Hall on Sunday, July 12th. Her show is called The Nina in Me and tells of a Chicago diva’s struggles through the medium of sweet soulful music.

In Cork, Karen is revered as one of the foremost talents in jazz, blues, and soul. The impeccable technique of Karen, and pianist John O’Brien, coupled with a mastery of composition and storytelling, makes this concert a memorable experience.

Karen not only has the music, but she has the story as well: The Nina in Me is a musical adventure in which she helps the audience explore Karen’s and Nina’s lives through music and discuss issues of religion, race and sexuality in America and Ireland.

In The Nina In Me, Karen recounts her restrictive church-going years, the periods of intense personal and social suffering during the post-Civil Rights era and, more recently, her experience in a state that, until recently, did not recognise her right to marry the person she loves. Karen’s life is a triumphant story; a soulful struggle.

John O’Brien, Karen’s best friend, decade-long partner in music and winner of two Irish Times Theatre Awards for opera, adds artistic delicacy and passion to music. No other pianist shares his strange gifts of sophistication, accessibility and downright joy.

If you want to experience this different type of concert, tickets for The Nina in Me on July 12th are available in advance from Thornhill Bros Electrical, Skibbereen, telephone 028-22557.

John O'Brien and Karen Underwood who will be performing 'The Nina in Me' at Skibbereen Town Hall on Sunday, July 12th.

John O’Brien and Karen Underwood who will be performing ‘The Nina in Me’ at Skibbereen Town Hall on Sunday, July 12th.

DruidShakespeare

Skibbereen Theatre Society is delighted to host Druid for their
special 40th anniversary celebration with DruidShakespeare.

The company’s association with Skibbereen Town Hall goes back a long
way as it was one of Druid’s earliest touring venues and they were
always popular visitors here.

Tonight’s epic production of four action-packed condensed Shakespeare
plays will run approximately, as follows:

5.00pm – Richard II

6.40pm – break of 15 minutes

6.55pm – Henry IV (Part 1)

8.25pm – break of 30 minutes

8.55pm – Henry IV (Part 2)

9.55pm – break of 15 minutes

10.10pm – Henry V

(approximate finishing time 11.30pm)

During the breaks, light refreshments will be available to purchase in
the foyer.

Patrons should be back in their seats promptly for the start of each play.

Enjoy!

Best Presentation award for Skibb in All-Ireland finals

Skibbereen Theatre Society won the Best Presentation award in the 2015 All-Ireland Confined Drama Finals in Kilmuckridge, Co Wexford, this weekend with their production of Family Plot by Darragh Carville.

The overall winners were the Kilrush Drama Group from Co Wexford with local playwright Billy Roche’s Poor Beast in the Rain. As well as winning the Best Presentation award, the Skibbereen group was also nominated for Best Lighting, while Carmel O’Driscoll and Ger Minihane were among the nominees for the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor, respectively.

The West Cork group performed on the opening night on Friday, April 10th. Even though opening night is considered not to be the best one of the nine to be drawn for, their performance received a good adjudication from Patrick Sutton, setting the bar high for the other groups.

The set came in for great praise, thanks to the efforts of Barty Connolly, Gearoid McEoin, Charlie Keohane, Fachtna Hamilton, David Keohane, Gearoid McCarthy and Con Minihane.

DruidShakespeare heading for Skibb in June

To mark its 40th anniversary year, Druid is embarking on a major artistic undertaking nationwide that will take in Skibbereen Town Hall at the end of June.

DruidShakespeare is a new adaptation by Mark O’Rowe of four plays, Richard II, Henry IV Parts One and Two and Henry V, in two parts, directed by Garry Hynes, which will be presented at Skibereen Town Hall on Monday, June 29th. The performances will begin at 5pm and last around six hours with a meal break between the two.

Tickets, costing €60 each (concessions €52), for DruidShakespeare will be on sale online for all venues nationwide from 10am this Thursday, April 16th, on www.druid.ie or through 091-568660. Next week, a limited number of tickets will be available for purchase over the counter at Thornhill Brothers Electrical, Skibbereen.

Druid has this week announced full details of one of the company’s most ambitious ever undertakings, DruidShakespeare, a challenging but fitting project to mark the company’s 40th anniversary year. An epic story of families and wars and the making of nations, DruidShakespeare is an exploration of English history through an Irish lens.

‘The question we are asking is how, in the context of the historical relationship between Ireland and England, do we as Irish artists produce these plays today?’ says Druid artistic director Garry Hynes, a Tony-award winner.

With an ensemble cast of thirteen actors, this major new theatre event will premiere in Druid’s home, the Mick Lally Theatre in Galway, before embarking on an extensive Irish tour to Letterkenny, Sligo, Castlebar, Limerick, Skibereen and will premiere internationally in New York at the prestigious 2015 Lincoln Center Festival.

In August Kilkenny Arts Festival, in association with Druid, will present a site-specific production of the plays in the castle yard where Richard II stayed when fighting his ‘Irish wars’.
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Skibbereen’s Family Plot to open All-Ireland Confined Drama Finals

Skibbereen Theatre Society is on its way to the All-Ireland Confined Drama Finals in Kilmuckridge, Co Wexford, having been drawn to appear on the opening night, Friday, April 10th.

In preparation, they will be putting on the two final performances of their award-winning production of Family Plot by Darragh Carville at Skibbereen Town Hall on Easter Monday, April 6th, and again on Wednesday 8th, with curtain at 8pm each night.

This darkly-comical piece is set beyond the grave, featuring four generations of the dysfunctional and dead Kerr family, Aunt Lizzie (Angela Galvin), Da (Ger Minihane), Ma (Catherine Field), Frank (Fachtna O’Driscoll) and Tess (Carmel O’Driscoll), who didn’t get on in life and they certainly don’t get on in death! They are about to be joined by the youngest, Emer (Isobelle Nealon).

Family Plot, directed by Hilda Hegarty and Fachtna O’Driscoll, won four festivals on the amateur drama festival circuit and finished second in the other three they entered to qualify comfortably for the All-Ireland finals.

Drama Groups at Draw

Representatives of the groups that have qualified for the All-Ireland Confined Drama Finals, pictured at the draw in Kilmuckridge. Back row, on right, is Skibbereen’s Fachtna O’Driscoll

‘Family Plot’ Skibbereen Spring production

The cast of Skibbereen Theatre Society’s production of the darkly-comic Family Plot, which opens at Skibbereen Town Hall on Wednesday next, February 25th – back, from left – Angela Galvin Isobelle Nealon, Carmel O’Driscoll and Catherine Field. Front: Fachtna O’Driscoll and Ger Minihane.

The cast of Skibbereen Theatre Society’s production of the darkly-comic Family Plot, which opens at Skibbereen Town Hall on Wednesday next, February 25th – back, from left – Angela Galvin Isobelle Nealon, Carmel O’Driscoll and Catherine Field. Front: Fachtna O’Driscoll and Ger Minihane.

The latest production from Skibbereen Theatre Society is ‘Family Plot’
by Daragh Carville, which opens at the Town Hall on Wednesday next,
February 25th, 2015 with a wine reception at the interval. There will
be three further performances there – February 28th, March 1st and 4th
– before the group embarks on the amateur drama festival circuit,
which includes the West Cork Drama Festival in Rossmore on St
Patrick’s Night.

Most people’s definition of hell is being locked in a room with their
nearest and dearest for more than 24 hours. Look at Christmas: By St
Stephen’s Day everyone is ready to run to the hills!

So, imagine being stuck six feet under with your close relations for
the rest of eternity. This is the terrifying idea behind Daragh
Carville’s latest play, ‘Family Plot’. This darkly-comical piece is
set beyond the grave, featuring four generations of the dysfunctional
and dead Kerr family, Aunt Lizzie (Angela Galvin), Da (Ger Minihane),
Ma (Catherine Field), Frank (Fachtna O’Driscoll) and Tess (Carmel
O’Driscoll), who didn’t get on in life and they certainly don’t get on
in death! They are about to be joined by the youngest, Emer (Isobelle
Nealon).

‘Family Plot’ is directed by Hilda Hegarty and Fachtna O’Driscoll.
Tickets are available in advance from Thornhill Electrical,
Skibbereen, tel 028-22557.

A Great Night’s Entertainment!

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Action from Skibbereen Theatre Society’s production of “Many Happy Returns”

Skibbereen Theatre Society’s production of “Many Happy Returns” lived up to its billing as a “hilarious seasonal comedy” on December 29th last. Directed by Hilda Hegarty, the play proved a big hit with the opening night audience at Skibbereen Town Hall. The welcome at the door, the magnificent set and the complimentary teas and coffees at the interval enhanced the atmosphere.

The cast had great characterisation and huge energy in their roles. The result was some very fine acting which brought out all the fun of the play.

The play is set on Christmas Eve in present day. Declan (Eugene McCarthy) and his wife Amanda (Breda Herlihy) are coming for a Christmas visit. In an effort to impress them, Irene (Mary O’Driscoll) has planned a Christmas event complete with flashing reindeer and snowmen.

Her husband Arthur (Declan McCarthy) is a reluctant participant. The audience is highly entertained as we watch the plan descend into hilarious mayhem! The antics of Irene’s dad Matty (Kevin Cadogan) and the return of her mother Gladys (Terri Kearney) in the midst of it all only adds to the consternation.

This was an excellent production of a very funny play and is truly a great night’s entertainment.
As there is only one performance left, on Saturday, January 3rd, 2015, booking is advisable. Tickets at €10 are available from Thornhill Bros Electrical or phone 028-22557.

Many Happy Returns in Skibbereen

Taking part in Skibbereen Theatre Society's Christmas comedy production of 'Many Happy Returns' by Bernard Farrell, opening at Skibbereen Town Hall on Monday, December 29th, are - front, from left - Breda Herlihy and Terri Kearney. Back: Kevin Cadogan, Mary O'Driscoll and Eugene McCarthy. Missing from photo is Declan McCarthy.

Taking part in Skibbereen Theatre Society’s Christmas comedy production of
‘Many Happy Returns’ by Bernard Farrell, opening at Skibbereen Town Hall on
Monday, December 29th, are – front, from left – Breda Herlihy and Terri
Kearney. Back: Kevin Cadogan, Mary O’Driscoll and Eugene McCarthy. Missing
from photo is Declan McCarthy.

Skibbereen Theatre Society’s Christmas comedy production, “Many Happy
Returns” by Bernard Farrell, will be staged over the holiday period.

It will be playing at Skibbereen Town Hall on Monday, December 29th,
Tuesday 30th and again on Saturday, January 3rd. Tickets are available in
advance from Thornhill Bros Electrical, Skibbereen, tel 028-22557.

Set on Christmas Eve in a farmhouse on the edge of town, “Many Happy
Returns” tells the story of Irene (Mary O’Driscoll) and Arthur (Declan
McCarthy), who have Irene’s father Matty’s house festooned for the return
of Declan (Eugene McCarthy), the self-made millionaire from New Zealand and
his Kiwi wife Amanda (Breda Herlihy).

If everything goes to plan, Arthur’s future is secure – and it would – if
Old Matty (Kevin Cadogan) were not around to listen at doors. Old memories
are rekindled and much catching up takes place before the whole evening
takes a sudden turn for the worst as Irene’s mother Gladys (Terri Kearney)
shows up and matters get out of hand.

This is rated as one of Bernard Farrell’s funniest plays and the cast has
been rehearsing, under director Hilda Hegarty for the past few weeks.