Muse delighted with successful One Act Festival

The cast of ‘Selfie’ who won two awards in the One Act Festival organised by Muse Productions held in the Oakwood Arms Hotel last weekend: (l-r) Anne Germaine (festival director), Richard Germaine, Sean McInerney, Sophie Horan, Jenny Power, Aisling Gough, Clíodhna McNelis and Martin McNelis (festival host).  Other cast members were Molly Lynch and Aislinn Fennell.

Shannon audiences were treated to a feast of the finest theatre over the last weekend as Muse Productions hosted their first ever One Act Festival in their theatre at the Oakwood Arms Hotel.

In all, eleven drama groups from all over the country came together to compete in two categories for places in the All Ireland Finals which will be held this December in Ballyshannon.

On the first night, two plays in the Confined section and two in the Open section were performed.    Gorey Little Theatre brought Being Norwegian a study in loneliness and isolation, followed by Amphitheatre Company with Slow Dropping Veils of Smoke, which featured loss of identity.    It was the turn of Cooraclare Drama Group next with their original comedy The Toolapooka Switchboard, a firm audience favourite. Following this Haulbowline presented Tom Stoppard’s The Boundary, a black comedy about three people working on a dictionary and mystery at the same time with much wordplay and malapropism.

Friday night continued in equal variety with two more Open and Confined category plays. Doonbeg Drama Group brought a light Farce called What’s for Pudding, followed by Kilmeen with prison melodrama The Valiant.    Coachford presented a ghost story of sorts in Faint Voices while Prosperous Drama Group rounded off the night with a wonderfully modernised comic version of Bram Stoker’s The Judge’s House.

On the final night there were three plays, all in the confined section. First up was Selfie by Muse Productions featuring a very talented group of local teenagers who showed they can stand shoulder to shoulder with the best in a lovely exploration of the isolation young people can feel in a connected world.     This was followed by a tour de force acting performance by Grean Drama Group with I’m not A.D.H.D. I’m B.O.L.D. and finally a quirky love story with a twist in Bualadh Bos’ production of The Furies.

Adjudicator Brendan Murray, who hails from Galway by way of Dublin, spoke highly of the festival organisation and the standard and variety of the performances.   Of primary importance for those hoping to reach the finals in Ballyshannon were the placings in each category.

In the Open section, Kilmeen placed third, Haulbowline were in second place and Prosperous took top honours. In the Confined section, Doonbeg were in third place, Bualadh Bos second and Grean came out top.    Several other awards were given at the adjudicator’s discretion, for Best Acting Performance and Best Director in each category, and an Adjudicators Special Award for any aspect he chose to highlight.    The best director awards went to TJ Duggan from Prosperous in the Open and Willie Moriarty from Bualadh Bos in the Confined.   The acting awards went to James Murphy from Prosperous in the Open and Elaine O’Dwyer from Grean in the Confined.

The Adjudicator’s award went to the cast of Selfie for Best Ensemble Performance, the Shannon youngsters also won the Audience Award for their favourite play of the weekend.