Dungarvan Town Hall Theatre was the place to be this past week, as Curtain Call Productions Dungarvan staged the Irish premiere of Terry Johnson’s The Graduate. For six nights, the people of Dungarvan & beyond came in their droves, and each night, the cast and crew of Fidelma Meaney’s production delighted and entertained. The sound of heartfelt laughter was heard ringing up and down the streets of the town. The hard-working ensemble cast of 14, some of whom were taking to the stage for the first time in a drama, had a great week on stage, and were thrilled to receive a standing ovation from the audience each night. Feedback from theatre goers (including a lot of first-timers) and critics alike has been fantastic and very appreciative of the work put in by each an every member of the cast and crew.
A play adapted by Terry Johnson. Based on the novel by Charles Webb and the motion picture screenplay by Calder Willingham and Buck Henry, directed by Mike Leigh.
A cult novel, a classic film, a quintessential hit of the 1960s… now Benjamin’s disastrous sexual odyssey is brought to life in this Irish stage premiere production at Dungarvan Town Hall Theatre.
The main theme of this play is one of an innocent and confused youth who is exploited, seduced (literally and figuratively) and betrayed by a corrupt, decadent, and discredited older generation. There was already a growing dissatisfaction at the time with the status quo and middle-class values, and the breakthrough film mirrored that anarchic mood perfectly for America’s youth of the 1960s during the escalation of the Vietnam War.
Mike Leigh won an Oscar for Best Director in 1968. The film was also nominated for a further six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Dustin Hoffman), Best Actress (Anne Bancroft), Best Supporting Actress (Katharine Ross), Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Cinematography.
Curtain Call Productions Dungarvan
Curtain Call Productions Dungarvan is a community-based drama group, founded in April 2014 by Fidelma Meaney and Mary Kelly to provide members of our community with the opportunity to participate in quality drama productions.
Since April 2014, Curtain Call Productions Dungarvan has gone from strength to strength. Our first two productions, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (directed by Fidelma Meaney) and Steel Magnolias (directed by Mary Kelly) were a huge success! These popular plays have attracted many new theatre goers, and, so far, we’ve seen nearly twenty new faces on stage.
Curtain Call Productions Dungarvan was delighted to receive numerous nominations and awards from Waterford theatre critics Pat McEvoy (Waterford News & Star) and Liam Murphy (Munster Express).
Three CCPD team members were included in Liam Murphy’s 2014 Year in Review: Mary Kelly for her performance in DDC’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Kris Cowming was nominated in the Best Actor category for his performance as McMurphy in CCPD’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; and Emma Walsh won Best Actress 2014 for her performances as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. And the club featured highly in Pat McEvoy’s 2014 Green Room nominations and awards: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, was shortlisted in the Best Play category; Fidelma Meaney was nominated in the Best Director in a Drama category; Emma Walsh received the Best Female Performance in a Drama 2014 award for her chilling portrayal of Nurse Ratched in CCPD’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Kris Cowming was shortlisted in the Best Male Performance in a Drama category for his portrayal as the swaggering RP McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; and perhaps best of all, Curtain Call Productions Dungarvan, still in its first year, was nominated in the Best Theatre Company category.
In 2016, we’ll be hitting the road, taking part in the All-Ireland Drama Festival Circuit. It’s been a long time since Dungarvan was represented on the circuit, and we can’t wait to put Dungarvan on the festival map once again!
Fidelma Meaney – Director
Fidelma joined Dungarvan Dramatic Club in 2005. After that, Fidelma went on to perform in many DDC productions and was a very active DDC committee member, as well as taking the roles of Secretary and Vice President over the years.
In 2010, Fidelma made her directorial debut when she directed Arthur Miller’s The Crucible for DDC, her personal favourite play.
Kris Cowming – Benjamin Braddock
The Graduate will be Kris’ 17th production since April 2012. In 2013 and 2014, Kris reached the All-Ireland One-Act Finals with Take 5 Fermoy, picking up a total of 8 Best Actor awards along the way. In 2015 Kris became an All-Ireland 3-Act Drama Finalist.
Aaron Cowming – Mr. Braddock
The Graduate is his second production with Curtain Call, and his fourth production in under a year. He also played in Dungarvan Dramatic Club’s Plaza Suite, and in Dungarvan & West Waterford’s Sister Act.
Hugh O’Donnell – Mr. Robinson
Hugh got involved in CCPD’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest last year, playing the part of Dale Harding. In The Graduate, Hugh is tackling the role of Mr. Robinson – husband of the iconic Mrs. Robinson.
Mary Nagle – Mrs Braddock
Mary is a qualified drama teacher, studied theatre studies and drama in Colaiste an Chraoibhin in Fermoy and achieved a Diploma in Acting and Teaching through LAMDA and London College of Music.
Emma Walsh – Mrs Robinson
Emma has performed in many productions with various groups and she was awarded Best Actress 2014 by Liam Murphy (Munster Express) and Best Female Performance in a Drama 2014 by Pat McEvoy (Waterford News & Star).
Blathnaid Foley – Desk Clerk/Waitress/Wedding Guest
Blathnaid is now no stranger to theatre, both behind stage and treading the boards. After playing a nurse in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest she is active member of CCPD.
James Fraher – Carl Smith/Bell Hop/Barman
Although this is his first time on stage in a drama, he famously competed in Dungarvan Lions Club’s Jigs and Reels earlier this year, where his performance went down a storm!
Raymond Tobin – Reverend/Hotel Staff/Man in Bar
Raymond started acting in 2008. He has performed in Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs, All Shook Up and Sister Act and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Claire O’ Halloran – Elaine Robinson
Previously Claire performed dancing roles in Dungarvan & West Waterford Theatre Group’s Aladdin and Sister Act. She was honored to win the role of Elaine, the infamous Mrs. Robinson’s daughter in CCPD’s The Graduate.
Damien Canning – Nightclub Owner/Psychiatrist/Bestman
Damien starred in a local film, called Race the Drop, and recently was seen in CCPD’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, where he played Mr. Cheswick to great acclaim.
Martin Landers – Mrs. Smith/Man in Bar
Martin is trying all genres of theatre including; panto (Dungarvan Encore Stage Academy’s Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs), musicals (Dungarvan & West Waterford Theatre Productions’ All Shook Up, in April 2014), and drama Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Aoife O’Mahony – Exotic Dancer/Wedding Guest
Aoife has been busy performing roles in LovePowerMagik, Snow White, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and All Shook Up! She most recently impressed the audiences and critics alike, with her star turn as Shelby Eatenton in CCPD’s Steel Magnolias.
Debbie Collins – Exotic Dancer/Student/Bridesmaid
She decided to get involved in drama to inspire her children who are interested in drama themselves.nShe was most recently seen in Dungarvan & West Waterford Theatre Groups’ brilliant production of Sister Act.
Catherine Whelan – Mrs. Smith
became involved in a number of productions including Dancing at Lughnasa, Riders to the Sea and Eclipsed while living in New York, and Playboy of the Western World with Waterford Dramatic Society. Most recently seen in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Freedom of the City