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RTÉ announce 2024’s All Ireland Drama Festival finalists


RTÉ announce 2024’s All Ireland Drama Festival finalists

Amateur drama took centre stage as the All Ireland Drama Festival was officially launched in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin this week.

The launch was attended yesterday by Festival Director, Regina Bushell, RTÉ Director-General, Kevin Bakhurst, Chairperson of the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland and currently chair of the Arts Council NI, Mr. Liam Hannaway and representatives of the nine amateur drama groups who will battle it out in the Dean Crowe Theatre, Athlone from Thursday May 2nd to Friday 10th May.

Three plays never-before performed will feature in the finals of the 2024 RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival, including a new Irish play, ‘Margaret’. The festival is also set to feature performances by two first-time qualifiers (see list of finalists below).

Festival Director Regina Bushell:

“I can’t help but marvel at the calibre of the groups that have made it to the hallowed ground of the Dean Crowe Theatre. They have all done so well to make it this far, but the real spectacle has yet to come, in Athlone, at the RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival. This will be the ultimate test, where the cream of the crop will take to the stage and battle it out before the discerning eyes of our esteemed adjudicator, Tom Byrne.”

The 2024 All Ireland Drama Festival finalists are Bridge Drama will perform ‘The Wake’ by Tom Murphy on Thursday May 2nd, 2024. Wexford Drama Group will perform ‘How I Learned to Drive’ by Paula Vogel on Friday May 3rd while Ballyduff Drama Group, directed by Ger Canning, will present ‘The Ferryman’ by Jez Butterworth on Saturday May 4th.

Prosperous Dramatic Society will perform ‘A View from the Bridge’ by Arthur Miller on Sunday May 5th, first-time qualifiers Clontarf Players will premiere ‘Radium Girls’ by D.W. Gregory on Monday May 6th and Dalkey Players will present ‘The Crucible’ by Arthur Miller on Tuesday 7th May.

Newpoint Players present ‘In the Shadow of the Glen: Reimagined’ (after JM Synge) on Wednesday May 8th. First-time qualifiers Ballycogley Players, directed by Pat Whelan, will perform ‘Out of Order’ by Ray Cooney on Thursday May 9th and finally Ballyshannon Drama Society will premiere ‘Margaret’, a new Irish play by Shaun Byrne, on Friday May 10th.

Tickets are now on sale on the Dean Crowe website at and at the theatre box office, phone (090) 6492129. Admission €22. Concessions (€20) are available. The RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival is held under the auspices of the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland.

Festival Director Regina Bushell:

“And then of course, there is that other grand prize – the Abbey Award. To perform on the hallowed stage of the Peacock Theatre, a dream come true for the victorious group. The directors of the Abbey, Mark O’Brien and Caitríona McLaughlin, have once again lent their support to this celebration of amateur drama.

“As RTE marks its 20th year as title sponsor of our festival in Athlone, the partnership forged by the visionary, Bride Rosney, has continued to thrive, with coverage on the airwaves and social media platforms. Bride saw what drama had to offer our communities. Bride’s legacy will be honoured with a special award in her name in the 2024 festival, a testament to her unwavering dedication in supporting communities and the arts.”

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