Top class performances at the 85th Portadown Drama Festival

This was the festival’s first year after two years of the pandemic, with nine nights of great performances and performances.

On Friday evening the final curtain fell.

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Festival Director Emeritus Susan Gates said: “It was great to get the Drama Festival up and running again after such difficult times, especially since we were gambling and making plans while we were still under strict restrictions.

The ‘Class’ of County Wexford’s Kilrush Drama Group won 10 awards at the Portadown Drama Festival.

“Fortunately it was worth the effort and once again we had a very high quality and varied program of three closed and six open sections, all of which were well supported by the Portadown community and beyond,” said Susan.

Following the Lislea Dramatic Players’ production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Judge Scott Marshall rendered his final decision and read out the final results.

The main award for the best production (Guinness Trophy) went to Kilrush Drama Group for the production of “Class”.

The County Wexford group won a total of ten awards and the Enniskillen Theater Company won three awards for its Portadown debut.

The full results are as follows:

Guinness Trophy for Best Overall Production, 1 Kilrush Drama Group (Class), 2 Holywood Players (Absent Friends), 3 Newpoint Players (The True Story of Mary C.), 4 Bart Players (Cemetery Club).

Portadown Players Cup for Best Comedy: “Absent Friends” by Holywood Players.

Campbell Jewelers Shield Best Play, Limited Section: “Family Plot,” Newtownstewart Theater Company.

Mrs. Warnock Cup to Best Producer Pat Whelan (Kilrush).

Gerard McCreesh Memorial Cup for Directing a Direct Play: Pat Whelan (Kilrush) with Class. RV Hawthorne Challenge Cup for Straight Play: Kilrush Drama Group with “Class”.

Clonavon Cup for Best Play by an Irish Author: Kilrush Drama Group with “Class”.

Topsy Wilson Challenge Cup Highest Audience Interest (according to season ticket holders): Kilrush’s The Class Drama Group.

William McKay Kenny Cup for Best Theater Moment: Newtownstuart Dramatic Group (Family Story).

Portadown Festivals Association Cup for Most Promising Actor/Actress: Conor Friary (Enniskillen Theater Group) Live Night.

Charles Cooper Cup for Best Actor: T. S. Smith (Holywood Players), Absent Friends.

Mandeville Cup for Best Actress: Katherine Stafford (Kilrush Drama Group), Class.

Fiona Hughes Memorial Cup for Most Promising New Actor/Actress Aidin McNamara (Enniskillen Theater Company) Live Night.

R Spence & Son Trophy for Best Supporting Actor Christian Karbin (Enniskillen Theater Company) Live Night. Eric Thompson Award for Best Supporting Actress: Caroline Forsythe (Holywood Players), Absent Friends.

Bertil Gallagher Stage Performance Award: Newtownstewart Players (Family Story). Gateway Theater Award for Stage Management: Kilrush Drama Group (class).

B&H Martin Cup for lighting: Kilrush Drama Group (class). Rowell Fryers Decoration Award: Kilrush Dramatic Group (class).

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