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Strabane Drama Festival to Celebrate 30th Anniversary

12 February 2016

Strabane Drama Festival returns to The Alley Theatre on Friday 11th March with the usual treat of nine nights of spectacular live theatre.

This will be the 30th annual Drama Festival to be held in Strabane so the organisers have lined up nine productions appealing to a wide range of theatrical tastes.

Theatre 3 Newtownabbey will present the award winning play, ‘A Walk in the Woods’ by Lee Blessing. Two arms negotiators stroll in the woods away from the glare of the negotiating table, inspired by a real-life events when Russian and American negotiators left the official Geneva sessions for an unofficial “Walk in the Woods” to attempt to achieve a breakthrough.

Last year’s winners of the Confined section, Compantas Lir from Galway, return on the first Saturday night with ‘Proof’ by David Auburn. Proof explores the very close relationship between madness and genius and the concern of a daughter who fears she may follow the route of so many prodigious geniuses.

Sunday night’s performance is presented by Pomeroy Players with Hugh Leonard’s most famous play, ‘Da’. After Da’s funeral, Charlie returns to his childhood home only to find his father’s ghost stubbornly unwilling to leave the house or his son’s mind. This very thoughtful play involves plenty of comedy with a jovial ghost.

After what promises to be an impressive opening weekend the festival continues with some very high calibre plays including the late Brian Friel’s most celebrated play, ‘Translations’ performed by Butt Drama Circle from Co. Donegal. Another Co. Donegal group, Lifford Players, return to Strabane Drama Festival with Tom Murphy’s ‘A Crucial Week in the Life of a Grocer’s Assistant’.

Last year’s winners of Strabane’s premier award, Ballyshannon Drama Circle, will present Harold Pinter’s ‘Old Times’. The production is driven by intense dialogue that enthrals the audience but leaves them uneasy with Pinter’s challenging technique.

Next up, Belvoir Players from Belfast will present Philip Orr’s ‘After Dresden’ which explores the tragedy of the Second World War and how that, in part, inspired the foundation of the Corrymeela Community in Ballycastle, which should be of great interest to the festival’s audience.

Strabane Festival is delighted to welcome the multi-award winning group from Co. Kildare, Prosperous, who will present the hilarious comedy, ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ by Richard Bean. The production has only finished its national professional tour and was very recently one of the big hits in London’s West End.

The festival’s final night introduces another new group to Strabane, Coolgreany, presenting Frank McGuiness’s ‘Greta Garbo Comes to Donegal’. How could an audience not be intrigued by the idea of the most legendary and reclusive of all Hollywood stars pitching up in the wilds of Donegal, as Garbo once did? The play mixes humour and darker moods providing a fitting finale for a momentous event in the 30th anniversary of the local drama festival running every year since its inception.

The best way to enjoy this feast of live theatre is with a Season Ticket priced at £45, £35 (con). As usual the festival Fringe events will take place in the Alley Theatre Bar each night from 7.15pm showcasing a wide range of local talent.

Tickets for all events are now available at the Box Office and online. The full Winter/Spring programme is now available for download at http://www.alley-theatre.com/brochure/ and further updates are available via fb.com/thealleytheatre and @TheAlleyTheatre on Twitter.