Claregalway drama fans are in for a treat with the news that the local drama group is up and running with their latest production which has hit the stage in the last two weeks.
As they enter their twentieth year, Compántas Lir head back on the road this month after taking a year off from the amateur drama circuit. And they are back with a bang, with Malachy Noone making his three-acting production debut with George Shield’s comic masterpiece Professor Tim.
The play set in the 1920s tells the story of one family’s realisation that their esteemed relative overseas is not as they thought, and this realisation is brought sharply into focus when he arrives on their doorstep.
Philip Cribbin is excellent in the title role, playing the drunken, bedraggled “professor” who suddenly arrives back in the village at a most inopportune time for all concerned.
Triona Dunleavy makes her debut as his niece Peggy who is about to be married off to Joseph, the gombeen son of the local county councillor. Joseph is played with great aplomb by Padraig O’Connell, fresh from his debut in By The Bog of Cats last year. Others who feature well are Fidelma O’Rourke who plays the hawkish Bridget, demon of the household where she reigns with all the subtlety of a dictator; and Paddy Greaney who plays her “scarecrow” husband;
Vincent Moran, Eddie Fitzgerald, Mike Hession, Simon Kavanagh, and Evelyn Casserly are all outstanding in a play which is bound to entertain when it features in Claregalway on March 15th.
Last year, the Foot & Mouth disease crippled the amateur drama circuit and the plans of many groups were left in tatters as a result. Many of those groups have decided to put on last year’s play for this year’s circuit and consequently, the task of reaching the All-Ireland finals will be all the harder.
However, Compántas Lir are made of stern stuff and with the dedicated Malachy Noone at the helm and with another excellent set designed by the crew, there are high hopes that this play can make it three All-Ireland finals in a row. Lighting is by Lakeview’s Francis and Adrian Moran and the sound engineering is by Gortatleva’s answer to Bill Gates, Tom Maguire. Make-up is by Ann Moran and Sile Mannion, and the stage manager is Carmel Kenny.
Professor Tim features in the Claregalway Drama Festival on March 15th and is sure to be a sell-out.
Declan Varley, P.R.O.