Tullamore Amateur Dramatic Society’s (TADS) annual summer festival of one-act play performances ran last week upstairs in Hugh Lynch’s. This year, however, was a breakthrough one for TADS as three original plays were showcased and this exposed a wealth of local talent.
Audience members throughout the week commented extremely positively on the writing talent of all the playwrights involved (Ronan Berry - The Stars, The Moon and Iced-lollies, Dave Fahy - The Heisht and Padraic Seery - Deadmen Walking) and the acting ability of the performers in each piece. TADS is also proud to say that many of the actors were making their stage debut also, yet this fact was barely recognisable.
The Heisht, the first one act staged, was an energetic and playful piece set in a garage in the aftermath of a bungled robbery. Energy levels were kept high throughout, due to the commitment to the piece by the actors. Audiences, whilst provided with clues throughout the play as to the real nature of the robbery, clapped and laughed in delight as Dave’s clever twist of plot was exposed at the very end of the piece. The Heisht cast: Jed Cooke, Paul Farrell, Gillian Harrington and Mark Smyth
The Stars, The Moon and Iced-lollies, set outdoors on the bonnet of a car on a fine summer’s evening, was a multi-layered piece, which slowly revealed the true nature of the protagonists’ relationship with each other. Each night, as this was revealed, the shock was palpable. The subtle (and not so subtle) introduction to the actors’ characters was well developed and the physical comedy of the piece was received well. Cast of The Stars, The Moon and Iced-Lollies: Damien Mitchell and Mary Sherwin
Babel Rap, the third and only non-original play of the night, was performed just before the interval. It was a thought-provoking play which dealt with the relationship between two labourers, jointly involved on construction work on the Tower of Babel. Whilst many of us are familiar with the biblical parable, this original interpretation of the story was deftly directed by first-time TADS director Gillian Harrington. The first-time actors gave solid performances and captured the comedy element which was markedly evident at the end of the piece when the dialogue descended into incomprehensive babbling. Babel Rap cast: Jed Cooke and Rebecca Stapleton
The final play of the night, Deadmen Walking, was an honest (almost autobiographical?) up-to-date and relevant play, set in Tullamore. Local references were sprinkled throughout and these were a hit with the audiences each night. Whilst speed dating was the general theme of the play, an insightful exposure of the intricacies of single life in the 21st century was omnipresent. Characters were real, plausible and, judging by audience reaction each night, they were characters that the audience could relate to. Suffice it to say that by the end of the play one was glad to see that nice guys don’t always finish last! Cast of Deadmen Walking: Martina Fanning, Damien Mitchell, Charlotte Molloy and Chris Tyrrell
Finally, the inventiveness of the interpretation of each play by all actors involved and their courage in doing so was faultless. Bravo to all.
Check out TADS Tullamore on Facebook for opportunities to win tickets and for upcoming events. For those who didn’t have an opportunity to see the plays this time they may be staged in the near future in other venues. TADS also want to remind people that they are constantly looking for new members and the AGM will be held upstairs in Hugh Lynch’s Friday June 8 at 7.30pm. All welcome.