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Nine nights of the very best of Amateur Theatre reached a finale in Warrenpoint Town Hall on Saturday night when the 64th Newry Drama Festival was declared, by all and sundry, from Audience to Adjudicator, a resounding success.

Gerry McNulty Chairperson, Newry Drama Festival. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Gerry McNulty Chairperson, Newry Drama Festival. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

The climax came on the Final Night, when adjudicator Tony Rushforth declared Dundalk Theatre workshop the winners with “Glengarry Glen Ross” by David  Mamet. Prosperous Dramatic Society came second with their production of “One Man Two Guvnors” by Richard Bean. Ballyshannon were third with their presentation of “Old Times “by Harold Pinter.

The Festival, which was held in Warrenpoint this year, exceeded all expectations, with great plays and performances, which attracted very large nightly audiences and created experiences which will live long in the memories of the many theatre-goers.

In fourth place came Lifford Players, who presented “A Crucial Week in the Life of a Grocer’s Assistant” by Tom Murphy.  

Many of the Groups travelled long distances to play in Warrenpoint  Town Hall and to them our  theatre-goers are deeply indebted. 

It might be worth noting that the first four places went to Drama Groups from Southern Ireland.  

Sponsorship has been growing year-on- year and this year the Festival attracted  some new Warrenpoint Sponsors. The main Sponsor of the Festival, the Quays Shopping and Leisure Centre, was singled out for special praise, having been the Principal Sponsor of the event for twelve years.

Nightly Sponsors, Middle Page Sponsors and Season Ticket Holders also got a big “Thank you”. 

For the third year, it was three-a-row for TESCO Newry Extra, who provided delicious ice cream for everyone in the audience. This was received with great aplomb by a “Full-House” at Warrenpoint Town Hall.

All in all, this was a terrific year for Newry Drama Festival and the planning now begins for the 65th Festival in 2017. 

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