The 81st Ballymoney Drama Festival returns

editorial image

The 81st Ballymoney Drama Festival will open at 8pm on Thursday, February 27 in Ballymoney Town Hall and run for nine nights.

With a mix of comedy, tragedy, established classics and new writing, this is a festival not only for the seasoned theatregoer but also those new to theatre. Ballymoney Literary and Debating Society will open the Festival with Laying the Ghost by Simon Williams, a hilarious comedy where an ageing actress endures a chaotic birthday. On Friday 28, Slemish Players will stage The Cripple of Inishmaan by Martin McDonagh, an ingenious dark comedy which wittily exposes the

multiple layers of myth that surround Ireland. This will be followed on Saturday 29 by Newpoint Players and The True Story of Mary K by Sean Treanor, a new play written by the director, inspired by the experiences of a female immigrant to the USA in the nineteenth century. Monday, March 2 will bring Rosemary

Drama Group with These Shining Lives by Melanie Marnich, a lyrical play about how true friendship can help overcome even extreme suffering. On Tuesday 3, Bart Players perform A Bunch of Amateurs by Nick Newman & Ian Hislop, a comedy where a film star mistakenly signs up to play the lead in a shambolic amateur performance of King Lear. Following that on Wednesday will be Holywood Players with Absent Friends by Alan Ayckbourn, a comedy of manners and morals. The Clarence Players return on Thursday 5 with Painting Churches by Tina Howe, a play which examines how roles in the parent-child relationship change over time. On Friday 6, Theatre 3 from Newtownabbey stage Agnes of God, a thought-provoking drama which examines the meaning of faith and the power of love. The final production on Saturday 7 will be Phoenix Player’s version of Translations by Brian Friel, a Patron of Ballymoney Festival for many years, which explores the potential power and violence of language.

This year Ballymoney Festival is delighted to welcome Jennifer Scott-Reid as adjudicator. Season tickets cost £65 (Concessions £60) and can be purchased from Ballymoney Town Hall between 10am and midday on February 14 and 15. Telephone bookings can be made using credit cards on 028 2766 0230. All details www.ballymoneydramafestival.com