Killoe Group Takes on the One-act Circuit

Well known in Longford for their ambitious productions and talented casts, Cilleo Yew Tree Players took on a new challenge last winter – performing on the All-Ireland one act circuit.

A fixture in the local drama scene since the late 1980s, the group has a membership of approximately thirty, from school age upwards.

“Usually once a year, we would normally do a full length play in March or April,” explained group Chairperson and Director of their one-act offering ‘Brenton vs Brenton’, Damien Bennett.

“We had talked about going on the one-act circuit for a long, long time, so we applied for as many festivals as we could.”

Giving the reason for their show selection, Damien revealed; “We had done farce before in the group, so it seemed suitable to do it.”

A cast of six also meant that more people got to take in the experience of the circuit.

The group learned a lot from their first foray into the competition, Damien admitted. With an extensive set, and a large cast, the experience was often a difficult one, but one which they greatly enjoyed, nonetheless.

They had remarkable success at the festivals too. They performed at five festivals, earning second and third place in Cavan and Manorhamilton, respectively for the American spoof, which is set in an advertising agency in Chicago.

Paul McCarthy, meanwhile, was awarded ‘Best Actor’ in Carrigallen, and received numerous nominations. Sharon Finneran was nominated for ‘Best Actress’, while the rest of the cast, including Damien himself, Mary Mahon, Mick Dunne and Carmel Kennedy put on a memorable performance. Damien was also quick to praise the crew for their invaluable input.

“Without them we wouldn’t have been able to do what we did.

“We’ll absolutely try again,” Damien continued. “The overall consensus was that it was a very enjoyable and very worthwhile experience.”
Attention now turns to the group’s 2017 production, ‘Belfry’, which will take to the stage in the first week of April, directed by Micky Kenny.