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This is a very special year for the group as it is our 40th Anniversary.

In those forty years we have travelled to every corner of Ireland bringing with us sets, props, costumes, make-up, lighting and sound equipment and casts and crews who are now widely known throughout Ireland and are highly respected as one of the most talented drama groups in the country. Each member of our group joined Compántas Lir at a different stage along that forty year journey. Some are new to the group, some are with us for many years, there are others who joined the group and spent a number of years with us before life moved them on to other things and there are those who have taken their final bow and are sadly not with us anymore but who we will always remember fondly. All of these people have contributed to the success of the group.

There are a few people who deserve a special mention because not only are these people beavering away (as always) here tonight but back in 1983 when you were moonwalking with Michael Jackson, rockin’ your shoulder pads or clutching your cabbage patch doll or perhaps you hadn’t arrived on this planet at all, a small group of people included among them Carmel Kenn and Liz Hession met on a chilly night for the very first drama meeting and founded Compántas Lir. Carmel and Liz were founding members on that night forty years ago and have been with the group ever since. Thanks to those who met on that night members have had four decades of drama and friendships and audiences have had four decades of wonderful entertainment. The first play staged by the group was Ten Little Indians by Agatha Christie. Carmel and Liz performed in that play as did Philip Cribbin and Simon Kavanagh. These four people are still dedicated members of the group forty years on, The very first line spoken on stage by a cast member of Compántas Lir forty years ago was “I see a boat”….. and the voyage continues.

Along the way it’s fair to say there has been as much drama off stage as on stage, with winding country roads and city streets to be navigated, falling props and standing ovations, break down of vehicles and mischievous set ups, slip ups on stage…sometimes intentional and sometimes not but always to great dramatic effect. There have been tears and disagreements but what the group have always had is each others backs and lots and lots of laughs. The cast and crew have won many awards right up to All Ireland level but the most rewarding thing any drama group can achieve is to know they have entertained their audience. After we have entertained you here tonight we hope you can join us again next April for our three act production in An Taibhdhearc.

Drama is without a doubt a form of madness but also for cast, crew and audience it is a chance to escape the real world for a while. So sit back, relax and let us bring you a night of fun and laughter.

Scith a ligean agus taitneamh as.

Breda Hannon