Derry City & Strabane - Comedy ‘Wake in the West’ Comes to the Alley




  • Text Colour:
  • C
  • C
  • C
  • C
  • Text Size: A A A

Comedy ‘Wake in the West’ Comes to the Alley

14 March 2023


The Spring of each year heralds the announcement of drama groups all over Ireland sharing the news of their latest performances. Based on the outskirts of Omagh, it has been 3 years since Clanabogan Drama Circle brought a play to the stage. The group are delighted to return to an old favourite with their 2023 production of Wake in the West in The Alley Theatre, Strabane on Wednesday 5th April.

A laugh out loud, comedic play which the group has set in a coastal village in south Donegal in the mid 1980s, it is sure to provide much needed laugh out loud moments for all audience members.

As this year marks 25 years since the founding of Clanabogan Drama Circle they thought it only fitting to return to a group favourite and finish the work which their dearly departed director Tommy Mullin started 5 years ago. It was always the group’s aspiration to bring this from the page to the stage in his memory as it was a dream of his to revive this audience favourite.

Yet again the cast comprises both CDC stalwarts and some extremely welcome newcomers to the group.

The play opens with CDC regular Eugene Lynam who returns as reliable and wise Dr.John. He is accompanied on stage by newcomer to the group Veronica McAfee who brings a wealth of experience. Veronica assumes the role of Mary who is mourning the death of her father Tom Healy. Tom is played by original CDC member Brian McKenna.

Founding member Joan McCrystal resumes the role of the mad-capped Rose. You’ll never look at false teeth in the same way after witnessing her antics!  A recent addition to CDC,  Nora O’Neill assumes the role of reliable neighbour Joan whilst her love interest Martin will also be played by a very welcome newcomer Mark Corrigan, although he brings a lot of experience from his time treading the boards with Dromore.

CDC stalwart Nuala Loughran plays the role of the downtrodden Margaret who is left literally speechless at the outrageous antics that unfold. Her drunken “amadán” husband is played by another very welcome newcomer Liam Moore whom we are confident will evoke both sympathy and frustration in his great characterisation. His many years on stage as a showband musician will surely captivate audiences with his wit and charisma.

The local priest Fr.Cassidy will be played by the group’s final newcomer Gerry McDermott. Gerry’s vision for the clerical role is one of kind for sure and his previous experience with Dromore drama group is evident in his hilarious portrayal of “aul hopalong.”

Director Emma Pearson shares that as a group, Clanabogan Drama Circle are delighted to be in production after a tumultuous couple of years and are really keen to awaken the audience’s love of classic Irish comedy with their take on the hilarious Wake in the West.

Yet again they are truly indebted to their secretary Brendan Devlin in ensuring all administrative work is completed to perfection. Without him Emma states they would never make it to any stage! From bookings to P.R. and sound design to sorting insurance, the unspoken tasks he completes are truly endless. 

Another newcomer to the group is stage manager Marie Hague.  From costuming to props and ensuring all elements of production are precise,they are so thankful for her organisational skills honed by her years in education. As always they thank Eugene Lynan for his vision and focus in designing the set. His perfectionism and attention to detail really brings out the authentic elements of the set.

Laura Quinn joins the group in charge of continuity and this Drumragh lady is great appreciated by all as her calm yet reassuring ways brings much comfort to the cast and crew.

Mary Bradley and Geraldine McLaughlin- the ever reliable ladies are always there backstage in assisting with costumes and props. As long-term members their reliability provides much needed serenity for all the cast and crew.

Emma remarked that getting a play to the stage creates feelings that can’t be matched by any other experience. Everyone involved fulfils their roles and duties in a voluntary capacity and for the love and appreciation of drama. The group are truly blessed by everyone involved in this production. Curtain up at 8pm and tickets are £12, £10 (con) available to book online through The Alley Theatre website or call 028 71 384444