Author Archives: Enda McCallig

Fringe Results 2014

Winners at the Claremorris Fringe 2014

Best Script – WINNER

What Would Tippi Hedren Do (Hypothetically Speaking, Of Course)?
 Bob Canning – Petaluma, California, USA

Best Script – RUNNER UP

Breakdown Assistance
 Tom Critch – Manchester, UK

Best Actor (Male)

Paul Dunning in ‘To You The Son I Never Had’ written by Phil Pearson.

Best Actor (Female)

Kate Hughes in ‘Let Me Share’ by Alan Balkema.

Best Director

Paula Dempsey – ‘Let Me Share’ by Alan Balkema.

Adjudicators’ Special Awards

Alan Biesty for his entrance as the mugger in What Would Tippi Hedren Do (Hypothetically Speaking, Of Course)? written by Bob Cannon.
Ann Groden for her fall into a coffin in Anne Walsh Donnelly’s ‘Poisoned’ directed by Helen Joyce.
Rain Special Effects in ‘Separate Table’ by Michael Joe Ginnelly, directed by Rosaleen Heraty.
Paul Dunning for his throwing of a baby over a bridge in Phil Pearson’s ‘To You The Son I Never Had,’ directed by Paul Dunning and Alanna Ní Mhíocháin.
Michael Goulding for his stand-in performance as Eddie in ‘Something About Her’ by Mary Bradford which he also directed.

The Audience Trophy for the most enjoyable play went to ‘Poisoned’ by Anne Donnelly, presented by Kilmeena Drama Group, directed by Helen Joyce.

Congratulations to all.

Seamus Mallon Opened the 2014 Festival


Claremorris Drama Festival Committee were delighted to have the opening of the 2014 All-Ireland Confined Finals in Claremorris performed by Seamus Mallon.

Seamus Frederick Mallon (born 17 August 1936) was the first Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland from 1998 to 2001. He was also the Deputy Leader of the Social Democratic and Labour Party from 1979 to 2001. Seamus was educated at the Abbey Christian Brothers Grammar School in Newry and St. Patrick’s Grammar School, Armagh.

As a career he chose teaching, becoming headmaster of St. James’s Primary School in Markethill. Seamus was also involved in drama and a member of Newpoint Players Newry. Later in his illustrious career, Mr. Seamus Mallon was one of the architects of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, and helped instigate the road map to the peace settlement, we have today.

Seamus was also involved in the Gaelic Athletic Association, playing Gaelic football for County Armagh.

Newpoint Players [Newry and Warrenpoint] were formed in 1946 shortly after the war. For most of the years since, the drama group has produced at least one full-length play a year, frequently several other productions and has boasted a strong team of actors, producers and back-stage players.

Seamus produced many plays for Newpoint Players including “The Borstal Boy” by Brendan Behan and many musicals including “West Side Story” and “Oklahoma”. He also produced plays for The Armagh Theatre Group including “The Hostage”.

In the early sixties Seamus Mallon directed Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town”, a production still remembered fondly by some members and patrons. It won everything, including the society’s second All-Ireland title in Athlone.

2014 Fringe Shortlist

The shortlist for the 2014 Claremorris Fringe Festival of Drama has been announced. Plays will commence in the Dalton Inn approximately 15 mins after adjudication of main play in Town Hall finishes. Turnaround time between plays is 2 mins.

Friday April 4th

15 minutes after adjudication of main play in the Town Hall
There Was Once – A Portrait Of Constance Wilde
 Sandra Coffey – Salthill, Galway City, Ireland
Breakdown Assistance
 Tom Critch – Manchester, UK

Saturday April 5th

15 minutes after adjudication of main play in the Town Hall
The Handshake
 Olly Kendall – London, UK
 Anne Donnelly – Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland

Sunday April 6th

15 minutes after adjudication of main play in the Town Hall
 Jane McNulty – Manchester, UK
To You, The Son I Never Had
 Philip Pearson – Manchester, UK

Monday April 7th

15 minutes after adjudication of main play in the Town Hall
 Jonathan Skinner – London, UK
What Would Tippi Hedren Do (Hypothetically Speaking, Of Course)?
 Bob Canning – Petaluma, California, USA

Tuesday April 8th

15 minutes after adjudication of main play in the Town Hall
Something About Her
 Mary T Bradford – Co. Cork, Ireland
Dance Night
 Ken Armstrong – Castlebar, Co. Mayo, Ireland

Wednesday April 9th

15 minutes after adjudication of main play in the Town Hall
My Rings For A Cushion
 Kate Ennals – Lough Gowna, Co. Cavan, Ireland
Last Orders
 Gillian Grattan – Thomastown, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland

Thursday April 10th

15 minutes after adjudication of main play in the Town Hall
Let Me Share
 Alan Balkema – Ballsbridge, Dublin, Ireland
Chance Encounter
 Veronica Mackessy – Tramore, Co. Waterford, Ireland

Friday April 11th

15 minutes after adjudication of main play in the Town Hall
Separate Table
 Michael Joe Ginnelly – Mulranny, Co. Mayo, Ireland
Boldly Going
 Linda McLaughlin – Glasgow, Scotland

Geoff O’ Keeffe Article


There is an interesting article on the website about our adjudicator for the 2014 All-Ireland confined finals. In it Geoff discusses his involvement in the amateur drama movement as an actor, then director and now as an adjudicator.

You can read the article here:

And you can follow Geoff on twitter here:

Town Hall Secures Leader Funding

Town Hall

Good news for the Drama Festival and Claremorris this morning as the Environment Minister Phil Hogan has approved LEADER funding of €200,000 for the Town Hall.

The Town Hall Trust is planning to carry out refurbishment works at the Town Hall ahead of hosting the All-Ireland Confined Drama Festival next year.

Claremorris Fringe Festival of Drama 2014

The Fringe will be held from April 4th to 11th – with two plays each night – that’s a total of sixteen plays. The venue is The Dalton Inn Hotel in the centre of the town, adjacent to the Town Hall. The plays will be fifteen minutes duration (plus or minus two minutes) and will be independently judged. There will be a first prize of €500 for the writer of the best play with the runner-up getting €250.

Entries must be made on the official form. Two properly formatted copies of the script must accompany the application. The entry fee for submitting your script for consideration is €10 (There is no admission charge to see the plays during the Fringe.) The closing date for the receipt of entries is Jan 17th. The play can not have been previously performed or published.

Sixteen contemporary plays will be selected from the scripts and these will be performed at The Fringe. Local drama groups will perform the plays and there will be prizes for Best Actor – Male and Female (Two Awards), Best Production, and five other Awards at the judges discretion for various bits and pieces or performances which they feel merit special award.

In matters of dispute the decision of Claremorris Drama Festival Committee will be final and binding.

Queries or other correspondence can be emailed to:

Best of luck to all involved. Be brave. Be creative. Be inspired. Entertain us.

Claremorris Drama Festival 2013

The 43rd Claremorris Drama Festival took place from March 8th to 18th, 2013. John O’Mahony TD performed the official opening on Friday March 8th.

The results for 2013 are now available on our Results page.

The Adjudicator for the 2013 festival was Imelda McDonagh ADA from Wicklow. Click here for more details on Imelda.