By Cian Cassidy
As the count down to the start of the 3-Act drama festival circuit continues, Ballycogley Players are preparing to begin their pre-festival run with their circuit entry for 2023, ‘The Red Iron’ by Jim Nolan.
The group are no strangers to Nolan’s work, having performed the amateur premiere of the Waterford playwright’s ‘Dreamland’ during the covid interrupted 2020 festival circuit.
Having just missed out on a place in the All-Ireland finals last year, the cast and crew, led by first time 3-Act director Ellen Cloney, will be eager to go one step further in 2023. The vastly experienced cast of Sean Carthy, Diarmuid Buttimer, Colm Doyle, Mag Cloney, Catherine Murphy and Pat Sinnott, who is making his debut with Ballycogley Players, having performed with Camross Drama Group for many years, began preparations under the guidance of director Ellen Cloney back in August.
‘The Red Iron’ was premiered under the direction of writer, Nolan, in his native Waterford in November of 2019. Set in September of 2017, as crowds gather on Waterford’s Quay to greet the county’s vanquished All-Ireland hurling team the now middle-aged members of a teenage gang return to the city’s long abandoned Red Iron Bridge to remember their recently deceased friend. The revelation of events surrounding the former hurling star’s death and the unexpected return of a long-exiled associate unravel the cords that bind the gang and expose the fragile nature of a thirty-year-old friendship.
The amateur premiere of the play will be held in Our Lady’s Island Community Centre, this coming Friday, February 3rd at 8pm, tickets are €10 and can be purchased on the door.
Just under two weeks later the group will perform at the National Opera House in Wexford for three nights between February 15-17th, with shows starting at 8pm nightly. Tickets are €15 and are available from https://www.nationaloperahouse.ie/whats-on/show/the-Ballycogley-players-present or by contacting the box office in the National Opera House.
The group will then begin their festival circuit journey in Kilmuckridge on March 1st, followed by performances in Kiltyclogher, Ballyduff, Charleville, Ballinamore and Shercock, before returning to home-turf to compete at Wexford Drama Festival on March 28th.