Joe Murphy to Open 33rd Kerry Drama Festival on Friday Night

The Ivy Leaf Art Centre bound and former St. John’s Art and Heritage Centre director, Joe Murphy, Listowel pictured with Gabby McGrath during a piano moving exercise on the square in Listowel. Vicar Joe will perform the official opening of the 33rd Kerry Drama Festival in Castleisland on Friday night. Photograph: John Reidy

A selection of the best amateur dramatic societies around today will perform at the Ivy Leaf Theatre here in Castleisland during the 2020 Kerry Drama Festival.

The 33rd annual festival will open on Friday, March 6st and will run with eight nights of great theatre to the following Friday night, March 13th.

The event, held under the auspices of the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland, provides a qualifying stage of the RTÉ All-Ireland Drama Finals in Athlone in early summer.

Dripping with Quality

The menu for the eight night festival drips with quality and some of the long-standing festival favourite groups are taking part again this year. Groups like: Shoestring Theatre Company; Brideview Drama Group; Corofin Dramatic Society and Palace Players.

Plays gracing the stage over the elongated week include: Jono and the Paycock by Sean O’Casey; The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh; Bailegangaire by Tom Murphy and Chapatti by Christian O’Reilly.

However, the festival does carry one note of caution to patrons who may be offended by strong language and content. This is on the Saturday night, March 7th and Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland is the play in question.

The Most Shocking Play

The Guardian newspaper reported that it was ‘the most shocking play on the London stage’ in 2016. The story revolves around a Belfast loyalist and is a comic examination of sectarian hatred.

Meanwhile, the festival will be opened by Joe ‘Vicar Joe’ Murphy the former director of St. John’s Theatre in Listowel.

The adjudicator is David Scott. He has worked as an actor from an early age and has appeared in film, television and theatre in both Australia and Ireland.

Booking is advisable as there have been times when the ‘Full House’ signs had to be posted.

Admission: Adults €10; Season Tickets: €60. Booking Service on: 086 10 54 515.

The 2020 line-up of dates, plays, playwrights and groups is as follows:

Friday, March 6th 2020: Juno and the Paycock by Sean O’Casey, Performed by Tinaheely Variety Group.

Saturday, March 7th 2020: Cyprus Avenue by David Ireland, Performed by Shoestring Theatre – Content and language may offend.

Sunday, March 8th 2020: The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh, Performed by Wayside Players.

Monday, March 9th 2020: The Quiet Moment by Mike Finn, Performed by Kilworth Dramatic Society.

Tuesday, March 10th 2020: Bailegangaire by Tom Murphy, Performed by Brideview Drama.

Wednesday, March 11th 2020: The Outgoing Tide by Bruce Graham, Performed by Sliabh Aughty Drama Group.

Thursday, March 12th 2020: Skirmishes by Catherine Hayes, Performed by Corofin Dramatic Society.

Friday, March 13th 2020: Chapatti by Christian O’Reilly, Performed by Palace Players.

Friday night is also final adjudication and presentation of prizes by adjudicator David Scott.

Shows nightly at 8pm. Admission: Adults €10; Season Tickets: €60. Booking Service on: 086 10 54 515.