Last Friday night saw the curtain come down on the 80th Portadown Drama Festival, following 10 nights of varied and enjoyable drama.
Once again, the drama committee was inundated with entries from all over Ireland, and had the difficult task of only choosing 10 to compete.
Festival director Susan Gates, said, “Once again we had a very high standard and varied programme which was well supported by the Portadown public and beyond.”
The plays were judged by adjudicator Brian Marjoribanks and the awards were presented by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Darryn Causby.
The premier award for best overall production (Guinness Trophy) went to Bridge Drama (Co Wexford), for their production of ‘Lost in Yonkers.’
Directed by Pat Whelan, who won best producer, the County Wexford theatre group lifted six awards in total including most promising actor for Sean Byrne.
The other winners for Best Overall Production were 2, Lislea Dramatic Players, 3 Belvoir Players, 4 Newpoint Players.
Portadown Players Cup for Best Comedy: ‘Lost in Yonkers’ by Bridge Drama; Campbell Jewellers Shield Best Play in Confined Section: ‘Prisoner of Second Avenue’ by Lislea Dramatic Players.
Mrs Warnock Cup for Best Producer: Pat Whelan (Bridge Drama); Gerard McCreesh Memorial Cup for Director’s Interpretation of a Straight Play: Maureen Dunn (Theatre 3) with ‘A Walk in the Woods.’
RV Hawthorne Challenge Cup for Straight Play: Belvoir Players with ‘After Dresden’; The Clonavon Cup for Best Play by an Irish Author: Belvoir Players with ‘After Dresden.’
Topsy Wilson Challenge Cup Highest Audience Appeal (by season ticket holders): Lislea Players ‘Prisoner of Second Avenue’; The William McKay Kenny Cup for Best Moment of Theatre: Lislea Players, (for the water scene on balcony).
Portadown Festival Association Cup for Most Promising Actor/Actress: Sean Byrne (Bridge Drama) ‘Lost in Yonkers’; Charles Cooper Cup for Best Actor: Aidan McParland (Lislea Dramatic Players) ‘Prisoner of Second Avenue’.
Mandeville Cup for Best Actress: Sarah Donnelly (Rosemary Drama) ‘Kinder Transport’; R Spence & Son Trophy for Best Supporting Actor: Austin Branagh (Belvoir Players) ‘After Dresden’; Eric Thompson Trophy for Best Supporting Actress: Mairead Ryan (Bridge Players) ‘Lost in Yonkers’.
Bertil Gallagher Award for Stage Presentation: Lislea Dramatic Players; Gateway Theatre Award for Stage Management Bridge Drama: B&H Martin Cup for Lighting: Newpoint Players; Rowel Friers Certificate for Decor: Lislea Dramatic Players.