Corn Mill Theatre triumph at Leitrim Drama Festivals

It doesn’t matter whether you attended Kiltyclogher or Ballinamore Drama Festival last week - you came out with the same exclamation “those Carrigallen ones are unbelieveable!”

It doesn’t matter whether you attended Kiltyclogher or Ballinamore Drama Festival last week - you came out with the same exclamation “those Carrigallen ones are unbelieveable!”

By Fiona Heavey

The Cornmill Theatre Group performing Conor Mc Phersons’s ‘The Seafarer” swept the boards at both local events.

The group took a number of top prizes in the Open Section of Kiltyclogher Drama Festival, they walked away with ‘Best Play’ and the Blue Riband as well as picking up Best Actor (Raymond Hackett), Best Supporting Actor (Ronan Ward), Best Director (Sean McIntyre), Best Set, Best Moment of Theatre and the Audience Award!

In Ballinamore, they also took the Best Overall Play (PJ Martin Memorial Cup), Best Open Play, Best Producer, Best Set, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and the Audience Award. It is fair to say, they probably went home happy!

The production packed the hall in both locations, and despite the high expectation of the local drama group, each year they seem to exceed it.

The black comedy centers on James ‘Sharkey’ Harkin, an alcoholic who has recently returned to live with his blind, aging brother, Richard Harkin. As Sharkey attempts to stay off the bottle during the holidays, he contends with the hard drinking irascible Richard and a past gamble he never thought he would have to repay. The language may be crude throughout, but the acting in anything but. Brian Reilly as the blind brother Richard makes you laugh, makes you sad and carries the play. Ronan Ward who plays Ivan is the real comedy, scruffy with a drinking problem and almost blind himself after losing his glasses, his role is the contrast to the tension. Raymond Hackett portrays the troubled soul of Sharkey, while Killian McGuinness is like the perfect devil disguised. Stephen Gray plays a small role as Nicky, but his ego on stage is quite the opposite.

To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.