Lockdown and Before

On Thursday 4 June we had the first of two very successful Zoom Play Readings — Don’t Dress For Dinner by Marc Camoletti.

The second reading on Thursday 6 August was Funny Money by Ray Cooney.
We’re greatly indebted to Andrea Brown who organised both readings.

A third reading, again organised by Andrea, on Thursday 10 September was Plaza Suite by Neil Simon.

On Thursday 1 October we had a great Evening of Improvisation organised by Andrea Brown.

On Thursday 29 October we had a Hallowe’en Spooktacular — an evening of readings and improvisation superbly organised, once again, by Andrea.

Andrea organised a Night of Festive Fun for 17 December which included everything from an interesting performance of The Twelve Days of Christmas to the evergreen ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, with a few improvisations and ‘cracker’ jokes thrown in for good measure.

Full Length Production 2020

Our Three Act festival production is Tina Howe’s Painting Churches, directed by Frances Hastie.

It tells the story of Mags Church, a young painter just launching a successful art career in New York, who returns to the Boston home of her aging parents with a dual mission: to help them pack up their house for their move to downsized, elderly living, and to paint their joint portrait for her important upcoming one-woman gallery show.

You can also catch Painting Churches at the following festivals:

Ballymoney — Thursday 5 March 2020

Larne — Thursday 12 March 2020

Newtownabbey — Monday 16 March 2020

Portadown — Tuesday 17 March 2020

Bangor — Wednesday 18 March 2020

Ballymoney Festival

Congratulations to Stephen Connolly on his Best Actor and Best Moment of Theatre awards and to Dorothy Wiley for her Acting Certificate.

Larne Festival

Congratulations to Stephen on yet another Best Actor award. Overall we came third.

Newtownabbey Festival

Although we opened Newtownabbey Festival, it subsequently closed as did Portadown, due to the coronavirus outbreak. Bangor had previously taken the decision not to run.

One Act Festival Production 2019

Our One Act festival production is Hugh Leonard’s The Last of the Last of the Mohicans, directed by Des Loughridge. It can be seen at the following festivals:

Moira Festival on Saturday 26 October

Bangor Festival on Thursday 7 November and

Newtownabbey Festival on Friday 8 November.

Moira Festival

Congratulations to Des Loughridge and the team on winning the ferstival.

Congratulations also to Con McAlister and Stephen Emmerson on their Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor awards.

Bangor Festival

The company came third in the Open Section.

Newtownabbey Festival

We took second place in the Open Section and third place overall. Con McAlister received the award for Best Actor.

Northern Ireland One Act Drama Finals

Congratulations to Con McAlister on his Best Actor Award and to Alan Marshall on gaining the Adjudicator’s Award for his set. Congratulations too to Lorraine Stevenson for her Best Actress nomination and to director Des Loughridge and the team for coming second overall.

Summer Theatre Production 2019

Full Length Festival Production 2019

Our full-length festival production was Brian Friel’s Give Me Your Answer, Do!, directed by Frances Hastie.

It ran at the Belvoir Players’ Studio Theatre on Friday and Saturday 22nd and 23rd February 2019 and at the following festivals in March:

Ballymoney (7th), Newtownabbey (12th), Portadown (14th), Larne (16th) and Newry (28th).

Give Me Your Answer, Do! is set on a sunny August afternoon in the old manse in Ballybeg in County Donegal, now the home of novelist, Tom Connolly, and his wife, Daisy. They are visited by an American agent who may, or may not, purchase Tom`s papers for an American College library. Joining them is their novelist friend, Garrett Fitzmaurice, and his wife, Grainne, whose marriage may, or may not, outlive the year. Absent from the occasion but overshadowing it by her tragedy is Bridget, the mentally-ill daughter of Tom and Daisy, who has been institutionalised since she was a child.

Ballymoney Drama Festival

Our production took second place and Jackie Wilson received the Dalriada Cup for Best Actress, for her portrayal of Daisy Connolly. Included in the nominations were Frances Hastie for Best Director, Rick Andrews for Best Actor, Stephen Connolly for Best Supporting Actor, Dorothy Wiley for Best Supporting Actress and Alan Marshall for Decor.

Newtownabbey Drama Festival

The company received the David Brown Orr Runner-up Trophy. Congratulations to Jackie Wilson, Dorothy Wiley (as Maggie Donovan) and Stephen Connolly for their Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Moment of Theatre Awards. Stephen was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Others nominated were Frances Hastie (Best Director), Roger Jennings (Best Actor) and Alan Marshall for Decor and Set Design awards.

Larne Drama Festival

Give Me Your Answer, Do! took the Festival of Britain Commemoration Trophy for highest overall marks at the festival. The Major Williamson Memorial Trophy for Production went to Frances Hastie. The Joan McCully Award for Best Actor went to Stephen Connolly, as Jack Donovan, and the Elizabethan Coronation Trophy for Best Actress to Jackie Wilson. There were nominations for cast members Rick Andrews, Andrew McNeill, Dorothy Wiley and Lorraine Stevenson and for Costume, Lights and Set.

Portadown Drama Festival

Congratulations to Stephen Connolly on picking up the Best Supporting Actor award (the R Spence and Son Trophy) and his second Best Moment of Theatre award (the William McKay Kenny Cup). Congratulations too to Jackie and Dorothy on their nominations for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. Overall, we came fourth.

Newry Drama Festival

While the company wasn’t placed two members were nominated for acting awards — Dorothy Wiley (Best Actress) and Stephen Connolly (Best Actor). We were also nominated for costumes and Best Moment of Theatre.

Ulster Drama Festival — Theatre at The Mill, Newtownabbey

We were delighted that Give Me Your Answer, Do! qualified for the Ulster Drama Festival and took to the boards on Wednesday 17 April 2019.

Ulster Drama Festival

Congratulations to Stephen Connolly, as Jack Donovan, on being awarded the Richard Cochrane Award for the Best Performance by an actor in a Supporting Role and to Dorothy Wiley, as Maggie Donovan, for her nomination in the best supporting actress category.

Churches Drama League Festival

Congratulations to Jackie Wilson (Best Actress), Jackie and Dorothy Wiley (Best Theatrical Moment), Andrew McNeill (Most Promising Young Player) and Alan Marshall (Decor).

Director, cast and crew also received nominations in the following categories: Best Director (Frances Hastie), Best Supporting Actress (Dorothy Wiley), Best Supporting Actor (Stephen Connolly and Andrew McNeill), Best Actor (Rick Andrews), Most Promising Young Player (Oonagh O’Flaherty), Best Cameo Performance (Lorraine Stevenson), Comedy (Dorothy Wiley and Stephen Connolly), Best Theatrical Moment (Moment of Silence after the wallet is recovered) and Backstage Achievement (Crew).

One Act Festival Production 2018

This was Nancy McPherson’s The Night I Danced With Cyd Charisse, directed by Alan Marshall, and was performed at the following One Act festivals:

Belfast — Friday 26 October, Belvoir Studio Theatre

Newtownabbey — Saturday 3 November, Courtyard Theatre, Ballyearl

Bangor — Friday 9 November, Studio 1A, Hamilton Road, Bangor.

Belfast Festival

Congratulations to Andrew McNeill on being awarded the Best Supporting Actor award. The company also won the Adjudicator’s Award for sustaining their accents throughout.

Newtownabbey Festival

The Night I Danced With Cyd Charisse took the Newtownabbey Festival Trophy for best production. Director Alan Marshall lifted the Best Producer award, Des Loughridge the Best Actor award and Dorothy Wiley and Andrea Brown shared the Best Actress award.

Bangor Festival

We were placed fourth overall and Des Loughridge was nominated in the Best Actor category.

Northern Ireland One Act Final

Our final outing was the Northern Ireland One Act Finals on Saturday 19 January 2019 in the Belvoir Studio Theatre.

Congratulations to Andrea Brown and Des Loughridge who were nominated for Best Actress and Best Actor.