Skibb Theatre Society sweeps the board at Rossmore festival

March 26th, 2022 11:40 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Award-winning Skibbereen actors Anthony Harris and Carmel O’Driscoll in a scene from Brighton.

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IT was a quadruple win for Skibbereen Theatre Society at the 59th West Cork Drama Festival at Rossmore on Friday night.

In the confined section, the Skibbereen production of Jim Nolan’s play Brighton came first, as did their director Fachtna O’Driscoll.

The best actress award was presented to Carmel O’Driscoll, while the fourth award – for best actor – went to Anthony Harris.

‘The win meant a lot because we had three second placings in Doonbeg, Mountmellick and Ballyduff,’ said the director. 

‘We are now looking forward to two performances this weekend at Holycross in County Tipperary on Friday night, and Scariff in County Clare on Saturday night, where we hope to secure a second win.’

Fachtna said it is not yet certain if one win will qualify them for the national finals. Skibbereen Theatre Society may need two for a place in the final at Ballyshannon in County Donegal in late April.

‘I am delighted for the group with the win at Rossmore,’ said Fachtna, ‘because of the huge effort involved. 

‘Staging a play is a huge ask, especially for set crews who have to work 16-hours days in preparing the stage, and striking the set late at night, and then packing up the van before moving on to the next festival.’The adjudicator Paula Dempsey had the very difficult task selecting the winners across all categories, but she chose the Palace Players from Fermoy as winners of the open section with their production of Chapatti by Christian O’Reilly. 

The group also picked up awards for best actress for Mary Colbert, best actor to Sean Ahern, best presentation as well as best director for Danny Buckley. 

Second place went to Ballyduff Drama Group for their production of Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire.  

Sheila Hannigan from the group won best supporting actress while her fellow actor Ronan Bennett won best supporting actor. The local Kilmeen Drama Group was placed third with their production of Tom Murphy’s Conversations on a Homecoming.

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