Friday night saw the curtain come down on the 79th Portadown Drama Festival, following ten nights of great and varied drama.
Once again, this year’s drama committee were inundated with entries from all over Ireland, demonstrating the high esteem upon which the Portadown Festival is held.
“Unfortunately we are tied to ten nights only, and we had the difficult task of inviting only ten groups to compete,” commented Honorary Festival Director, Susan Gates. “But, once again, we had a very high standard and varied programme, which was well supported by the Portadwon public and beyond.”
Following a production of ‘Bookworms’ by Puddle Alley Theatre Group, Scottish adjudicator, Dr Russell Boyce, gave his final adjudication and the Mayor of Craigavon, the right honourable Colin McCusker, presented the awards.
The premier award for ‘Best Overall Production’ (Guinness Trophy) went to Newpoint Players, for their production of ‘Metamorphosis’. Directed by Sean Treanor, who won best producer, the County Down theatre group lifted seven awards in total - including ‘Most Promising Actor’ for Neil Heaney.
Wexford natives, Bridge Drama, certainly did not have a wasted journey as they lifted as lifted five trophies for ‘Pygmalion’.
The full results are as follows:
The Guinness Trophy for Best Overall Production: 1. Newpoint Players (Newry); 2. Bridge Drama (Wexford); 3. Lislea Dramatic Players; 4. Holywood Players.
Portadown Players Cup for Best Comedy: ‘Pygmalion’ by Bridge Drama.
Campbell Jewellers Shield Best Play in Confined Section: ‘Tea in a China Cup’ by Lislea Dramatic Players.
Mrs Warnock Cup for Best Producer: Sean Treanor (Newpoint Players).
Gerard McCreesh Memorial Cup for Director’s Interpretation of a Straight Play: Sean Treanor (Newpoint Players) with ‘Metamorphosis’.
RV Hawthorne Challenge Cup for Straight Play: Newpoint Players with ‘Metamorphosis’.
The Clonavon Cup for Best Play by an Irish Author: Bridge Drama with ‘Pygmalion’.
Topsy Wilson Challenge Cup Highest Audience Appeal (by season ticket holders): Bridge Drama ‘Pygmalion.’
The William McKay Kenny Cup for Best Moment of Theatre: Bridge Drama (Wexford) for scene changes.
Portadown Festival Association Cup for Most Promising Actor/Actress: Neil Heaney (Newpoint Players) ‘Metamorphosis’.
Charles Cooper Cup for Best Actor: Roger Jennings (The Clarence Players, Belfast) ‘Hedda Gabler’.
Mandeville Cup for Best Actress: Mairead Ryan (Bridge Drama) ‘Pygmalion’.
R Spence & Son Trophy for Best Supporting Actor: Killian Foy (Newpoint Players) ‘Metamorphosis’.
Eric Thompson Trophy for Best Supporting Actress: Majella McAteer (Lislea Dramatic Players) ‘Tea in A China Cup’.
Bertil Gallagher Award for Stage Presentation: Bridge Drama.
Gateway Theatre Award for Stage Management: Newpoint Players.
B&H Martin Cup for Lighting: Newpoint Players.
Rowel Friers Certificate for Decor: Holywood Players (‘A Month in the Country’).