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Full Length Drama Festival

04 March 2016

Newtownabbey Full Length Drama Festival returns to The Courtyard Theatre from Mon 14 – Sat 19 March, with a rich selection of exciting plays by amateur dramatic groups from across Northern Ireland and beyond.

The Programme kicks off on Monday 14 March with Rosemary Drama Group presenting   Kindertransport by Diane Samuels.  Between 1938 and the outbreak of the war, almost 10,000 unaccompanied German children were sent by their parents to foster homes in Britain. Many parents did not survive the war. Nine year old Eva ends up in Manchester. When her parents fail to escape from Germany, the child changes her name and begins a process of denial of her roots. Eventually through her own daughter she is forced to confront her past.                                  

On Tuesday 15 March Theatre 3 Newtownabbey perform Lee Blessing’s A Walk in the Woods.  A wood on the outskirts of Geneva, two superpower arms negotiators – a Russian and an American – meet informally after long frustrating hours at the bargaining table.  As seasons pass a strong friendship develops between the two men, and when the Russian announces he is retiring, the American looks upon his leaving with both genuine regret and fears about who will replace him. 

Wednesday 16 March, Bart Players perform in Rumours.  This riotously funny farce centres on the efforts of 8 party guests to spare their unfortunate host, and themselves from scandal. It opens with Ken and Chris who have found their host Charley, a government minister, in his bedroom with a bullet wound to his ear lobe. Neither his wife nor the servant is there. As the other guests arrive, the tissue of lies they weave to cover up the scandalous event becomes more and more fantastic. And then two police officers arrive! 

Thursday 17 March, The Clarence Players will take to the stage in Brighton, a gentle comedy.  Jack, a professional actor, arrives in the Sisters of Calvary Nursing Home having been paralysed in an accident. We follow him on his journey of acceptance of his condition.

On Friday 18 March, Ballyshannon Drama Society performs Old Times by Harold Pinter.  Deeley and his wife Kate are visited by Anna, a mysterious friend pf Kate’s from long ago. What begins as a trip down memory lane quickly becomes something more, as long-simmering feeling of fear and jealousy begin to fuel the trio’s passions, sparking a seductive battle for power? 

Belvoir Players round off the Festival on Saturday 19 March with their moving performance of After Dresden by Philip Orr.  The play interweaves the stories of the formation of the Ballycastle based Corrymeela Community for peace and reconciliation with the WW2 experiences of the Corrymeela founder Ray Davey (called Tom Moore in the play) and the murder of a young man in the N.I. troubles in the 1970’s.   A central part of the action outlines Davey’s relationship with the matriarch of a German family, Frau Klein, during his time at Hohnstein.

Why not join us for what promises to be a Festival of moving, funny, at times ironic, and often hilarious productions performed by some of the best community companies performing in Ireland today. 

Festival tickets are available in person at one of our box offices, by telephone on 028 9034 0202, or online at www.thecourtyardtheatre.com