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.

Mary McEvoy and Jon Kenny star in John B. Keane’s The Matchmaker in Skibbereen October 25th

matchmaker logo

The Matchmaker by John B Keane, one of Ireland’s most celebrated
writers, will play for one night only at Skibbereen Town Hall on
Saturday, October 25th, 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 a 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. It is directed by Michael Scott.
Tickets are available in advance from Thornhill Bros Electrical,
Skibbereen, tel 028-22557, and early booking is advised.

Mary McEvoy and John Kenny in The Matchmaker

Mary McEvoy and John Kenny in The Matchmaker

Skibbereen shows by Don Wycherley

Don WycherleyDon Wycherley returns to his hometown of Skibbereen this week to give two performances of his one-man show, After Sarah Miles, written and directed by Michael Hilliard Mulcahy.

The Dublin-based actor who is best known for his leading role in Bachelor’s Walk on television has also played inBallykissangel and Father Ted and had a big part in the film Veronica Guerin.

He will be appearing on stage in Skibbereen Town Hall this Friday and Saturday, May 9th and 10th, nightly at 8pm, and tickets are on sale in advance at Thornhill Bros Electrical, Skibbereen, telephone 028-22557.

After Sarah Miles is a new play written and directed by Michael Hilliard Mulcahy, who had a very successful Dublin Theatre Festival production last year of his play Beyond the Brooklyn Sky.

After a lifetime of wrestling with the tides fisherman Bobeen finds it hard to face the sea now, but what he discovered in the mouth of the harbour almost thirty years ago keeps calling him back. This time it will connect him to what he thought was lost and gone forever.

This one-man show, performed by Don Wycherley, features original music composed by Sam Jackson. After Sarah Miles was first performed in The Beehive Theatre, Dingle.

All-Ireland Awards for Skibbereen

Fachtna O'Driscoll (centre), co-director of Skibbereen Theatre Society being presented with the Ray Leonard Memorial Trophy for ‘Best Presentation’ at the All-Ireland Confined Drama Festival Finals in Claremorris Town Hall by Geoffrey O'Keeffe, adjudicator. Also included – from left – are Catherine Field, co-director and chairperson of Skibbereen Theatre Society, holding the Carrickmore Cup for Best Stage Management with Carmel O’Driscoll (who was nominated in the best actress category) and Sean McCarthy, winner of the Stageworks Scholarship.

Fachtna O’Driscoll (centre), co-director of Skibbereen Theatre Society being presented with the Ray Leonard Memorial Trophy for ‘Best Presentation’ at the All-Ireland Confined Drama Festival Finals in Claremorris Town Hall by Geoffrey O’Keeffe, adjudicator. Also included – from left – are Catherine Field, co-director and chairperson of Skibbereen Theatre Society, holding the Carrickmore Cup for Best Stage Management with Carmel O’Driscoll (who was nominated in the best actress category) and Sean McCarthy, winner of the Stageworks Scholarship.

 

Final Skibb performances of No Romance before All-Ireland finals

 

The cast of No Romance - from left - Catherine Field, Carmel O'Driscoll, James MacEoin, Sean McCarthy, Fachtna O'Driscoll, Mary O'Driscoll and Isobelle Nealon.

The cast of No Romance – from left – Catherine Field, Carmel O’Driscoll, James MacEoin, Sean McCarthy, Fachtna O’Driscoll, Mary O’Driscoll and Isobelle Nealon.

Skibbereen Theatre Society have been drawn to perform at the 2014 All-Ireland Confined Drama Finals in Claremorris, Co Mayo, on Tuesday, April 8th.

Before heading there, they will be giving the final two Skibbereen performances of their production of ‘No Romance’ by Nancy Harris at the Town Hall at 8pm on Saturday and Sunday next, April 5th and 6th.

Tickets will be available in advance from Thornhill Electrical, Skibbereen, 028-22557, or at the venue from 7.30pm on the two show nights, subject to availability,

Skibbereen qualifies for All-Ireland Confined Drama Finals 2014

Skibbereen Theatre Society have qualified for the All-Ireland Confined Drama Finals, which take place in Claremorris, Co Mayo, from Friday, April 4th, to Saturday 12th, inclusive, with their production of No Romance by Nancy Harris.

They had their second victory of the campaign at the West Waterford Drama Festival in Ballyduff. There were no individual awards made there due to the adjudicator becoming ill during the course of the festival.

On Saturday night, March 29th, they won the Clare Drama Festival at Scariff, with Catherine Field and Fachtna O’Driscoll winning the Best Director title, Fachtna also taking the Best Supporting Actor award and Carmel O’Driscoll the Best Supporting actress.

Other festival results included second at the North Cork Drama Festival in Charleville, where Fachtna and Carmel O’Driscoll once again won Best Actor and Best Actress, respectively, and their daughter Mary won the Best Supporting Actress Award. Skibbereen finished third at the drama festival in Claregalway with Sean McCarthy winning this third acting award of the campaign – Best Supporting Actor – and the group also taking a very well-deserved Best Stage Crew award.

Overall, Skibbereen had three wins, two seconds and a third placing in the six drama festivals they performed in. When the draw is made for the All-Ireland finals this Sunday, March 30th, further performance dates for No Romance at Skibbereen Town Hall will be announced here, so check back for details.

Encouraging start on festival circuit

Sean McCarthy (13) from Skibbereen Theatre Society receiving a special adjudicator’s award for his part in No Romance by Nancy Harris from Catherine Deasy, secretary of the West Cork Drama Festival.

Sean McCarthy (13) from Skibbereen Theatre Society receiving a special adjudicator’s award for his part in No Romance by Nancy Harris from Catherine Deasy, secretary of the West Cork Drama Festival.

It was a good weekend for Skibbereen Theatre Society as the first of the 2014 drama festival results came through, netting them a win, a second placing and several individual awards for their production of No Romance by Nancy Harris.

On Saturday night, they were delighted with the news that they had won the confined section at the Kerry Drama Festival in Castleisland, where the husband and wife team of Carmel and Fachtna O’Driscoll won Best Actress and Best Actor, respectively, while their daughter, Mary, shared the Best Supporting Actress award with her stage partner, festival debutante Isobelle Nealon, and Sean McCarthy won the Best Young Actor title. The Best Director award there was won by Catherine Field and Fachtna O’Driscoll.

On St Patrick’s Night, Skibbereen finished second at the West Cork Drama Festival in Rossmore and Mary O’Driscoll won the Best Supporting Actress award. Young Sean McCarthy won a special adjudicator’s award for his mastery of the nonchalant shrug!

Late Frank McCarthy – a man of many parts

Frank McCarthy

Frank McCarthy

BY CON DOWNING,
Editor, Southern Star

The death occurred on Friday, February 21st, 2014 of well-known Skibbereen character Frank McCarthy, who was truly a man of many parts.

He was prominently involved in several organisations in the town for more than five decades. His working life was spent with the Department of Posts and Telegraphs and subsequently with An Post, serving with them from 1953 to 1988 in Carlow, Bantry, Roscommon – where he met his wife, Anna (née Mulhern) – and finally in his native Skibbereen, where he was known for his courtesy and helpfulness to post office customers there and in outlying branches.

Frank McCarthy was actively involved in politics throughout his life as a member of the Fine Gael party. He served a number of terms as a member of Skibbereen Urban District Council and was its chairman on four occasions: 1971-72, 1977-78, 1980-81 and 1984-85.

He was highly regarded by all political parties for his expertise as a tallyman at election counts and was always sought out by members of the press for his take on how the results were likely to turn out. He will be sorely missed at the local elections next May.

Frank was a founder member of several community organisations in Skibbereen, all working to promote the town, including Skibbereen Credit Union and the Junior Chamber, which started the Skibbereen Welcome Home Week and Maid of the Isles Festival. From its inception in 1969, and for its full duration, Frank McCarthy was centrally involved in the festival as chairman and, latterly, mainly as treasurer – a role in which he excelled.

Sport was another of his hobbies – hurling being his first love. In the early 1950s, he won a Leinster junior championship with Carlow and, during his time in Roscommon, he became involved in the game there also. Back in Skibbereen, he was a keen follower of O’Donovan Rossa GAA Club, as his sons were heavily involved, especially in the All-Ireland club football final success of 1993.

He was also a keen golfer in his day and served as both president and captain and of Skibbereen and West Carbery Golf Club. He was an authority on the rules of golf. Frank was also renowned as a knowledgeable quiz master.

 

Passion

Apart from his family – of whom he was immensely proud – Frank McCarthy’s other big passion in life was drama. As far back as the late 1950s, he was part of the Cathedral Players in Skibbereen and was a founder member of the St Fachtna’s De la Salle Past Pupils’ Union, which staged the legendary pantomimes of the 1960s and ’70s in Skibbereen Town Hall, which drew audiences from far and wide.

Frank possessed great comic timing and knew how to work audiences to maximum effect. He performed at the first West Cork Drama Festival in Rossmore and made his final appearance on stage there in 2003. He was proud recipient of a special presentation on the occasion of the 50th festival to mark his lengthy involvement with it.

Frank McCarthy was a founder member of Skibbereen Theatre Society with whom he played may parts on stage and off, including that of chairman of the group for a number of years, during which they enjoyed great success on the amateur drama festival circuit. His last stage role with the group was in the Bernard Farrell comedy, Canaries, in January 2008.

For the past 13 years, Frank McCarthy’s swansong role was that of O’Donovan Rossa in a number of historical pageants, including The Boldest Fenian Man, which he truly made his own and was very proud to play. His grandfather drove Rossa from the train station in Skibbereen when he paid his last visit to the town in 1904 to unveil the Maid of Erin monument in the Square, while in 1945, Frank’s father transported President Sean T Kelly to perform the official opening of O’Donovan Rossa Park in Skibbereen.

Frank McCarthy, who lived at Coronea, Skibbereen, is survived by his wife Anna, sons Gearóid and Frank Junior, daughter-in-law Olivia, grandchildren Amy and Eric, sisters May, Sr Nora T and Breeda, brother Michael and other relatives and friends.

At his funeral ceremonies, guards of honour were provided by members of the Fine Gael party, Skibbereen Town Council, Skibbereen Golf Club and Skibbereen Theatre Society. After requiem mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Monday, he was laid to rest at the New Cemetery in Skibbereen on Monday, February 24th, 2014.

Regretted death of Frank McCarthy

This Saturday night’s performance of Skibbereen Theatre Society’s production of ‘No Romance’ by Nancy Harris at the Town Hall is dedicated to the memory of our dear departed colleague Frank McCarthy, who passed away today.

Frank was a founder member of the group and acted in numerous productions over many years. He served as chairman during some of its most successful years on the drama festival circuit.

It was the wish of Frank and his family that the show would go on and, while deeply saddened by his death, the group is happy to honour their wishes. His wife Anna has always given great support to Skibbereen Theatre Society and son Gearóid is carrying on the family involvement with the group, both on stage and off.

Our heartfelt sympathy goes to them, son Frank jnr and all of his family and friends.

Frank McCarthy as O'Donovan Rossa - a role he made his own - in 'The Boldest Fenian Man.'

Frank McCarthy as O’Donovan Rossa – a role he made his own – in ‘The Boldest Fenian Man.’