Home Lifestyle Entertainment Your full guide to 2024 All-Ireland Drama Finals as Laois venue announced...

Your full guide to 2024 All-Ireland Drama Finals as Laois venue announced as host

A Laois venue has been confirmed as the host theatre for the 2024 All-Ireland Drama Finals, taking place from Thursday, April 18 to Saturday, April 27.

Mountmellick Drama Festival will host the finals in the 450-seat Mountmellick Arts Centre with nine theatre companies performing a play each night from nine different authors.

One of the highlights of the event will be on Wednesday, April 24 when the Enniskillen Theatre Company will perform Martin McDonagh’s ‘The Lonesome West.’

McDonagh is an Oscar-winning British-Irish playwright, screenwriter, director, and producer known for his absurdist black humour.

His most iconic work includes ‘The Banshees of Inisherin‘, ‘In Bruges‘, and ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri‘.

Other notable writers whose plays will feature at the finals include renowned American playwright, John Pielmeier, and Brian Friel, arguably Ireland’s greatest living playwright.

Mountmellick Drama Festival is nationally renowned and firmly established as one of the premier events in the Midlands’ theatre calendar.

The festival committee have made a season ticket available, which will take in both their own festival and the All Ireland finals.

The season ticket can be purchased here; alternatively, those wishing to attend only certain individual shows can book tickets here.

The schedule is as follows, with all shows beginning at 8pm.

Thursday, April 18 – Now and Then
Written by Sean Grennan and performed by Harvest Moon Theatre Group

One night in 1981, just as Jamie is closing the bar where he works, a desperate last-minute customer offers him and his girlfriend Abby $2,000 to sit and have a drink with him – who wouldn’t take that?

Now and Then is a heartfelt romantic comedy about the costs of the choices we make, and the people who make them with us.

Friday, April 19 – The Outgoing Tide
Written by Bruce Graham and performed by Glenamaddy Players

In a summer cottage on Chesapeake Bay, Gunner has hatched an unorthodox plan to secure his family’s future – but meets with resistance from his wife and son, who have plans of their own.

The Outgoing Tide is a drama that “hums with dark humor and powerful emotion.”

Saturday, April 20 – Same Old Moon
Written by Geraldine Aron and performed by Sliabh Aughty Drama Group

Same Old Moon shows us scenes in the life of aspiring writer, Brenda Barnes.

The play follows her from age nine to her forties, looking through her eyes at her own eccentric and sometimes fiery Irish family.

Sunday, April 21 – Agnes of God
Written by John Pielmeier and performed by St Patrick’s Drama Group

Agnes of God is a 1979 play which tells the story of a novice nun who gives birth but does not believe she has.

The child is found dead and a psychiatrist and the mother superior of the convent clash during the resulting investigation.

Monday, April 22 – Faith Healer
Written by Brian Friel and performed by Dunmore Amateur Drama Society

Faith Healer is recognised as one of the masterpieces of arguably Ireland’s greatest living playwright.

In the course of four monologues the stories of a travelling healer, his wife, and his manager unfold.

Tuesday, April 23 – The New Electric Ballroom
Written by Enda Walsh and performed by Newtownstewart Theatre Company

Trapped in the memories of their youth, sisters Breda and Clara reflect on lost love – and what might have been.

The New Electric Ballroom is a virtuoso, absurdist fable of the debilitating effects of small-town life.

Wednesday, April 24 – The Lonesome West
Written by Martin McDonagh and performed by Enniskillen Theatre Company

Finding it impossible to co-exist, two brothers live alone in their father’s house in the west of Ireland after his recent death.

The Lonesome West is a bleak but blackly comic adventure full of dark farce, extreme satire and a lot of bootlegged poitín.

Thursday, April 25 – Hooked!
Written by Gillian Grattan and performed by Kilrush Drama Group.

Hooked! follows a young Dubliner who retreats to a small country village in an attempt to escape from her past and reinvent her future.

Tension soon mounts between her and her new neighbours, setting in motion an unexpected chain of events that threatens to expose the secrets and lies bubbling beneath the surface.

Friday, April 26 – Stolen Child
Written by Bairbre Ní Caoimh & Yvonne Quinn and performed by Clan Machua

Stolen Child confront the mistreatment and neglect of children housed in church-run Industrial Schools in early- and mid-20th century Ireland.

The play spans three generations of Irish women grappling with the responsibilities of adulthood and parenting.

Saturday, April 27 – Results Night

Adjudicated by Mr Walker Ewart under the auspices of the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland.

Mountmellick Arts Centre Theatre

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