Rush Drama Festival

Under the auspices of the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland, the Rush Drama Festival was founded in 2004 and is now an important part of the Millbank Theatre calendar.

Festival 2020

We are delighted to be hosting our 17th Festival with a spectacular line-up of 9 plays never before performed at The Millbank Theatre. With our fingers tightly crossed for a snow free Festival we have at least tried to get some warm Dramas to whet your appetites. We are sure there is something there to suit all tastes.

Bookings on 01 843 7475

Walker
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Adjudicator

Walker Ewart

Please meet Walker Ewart our Adjudicator for Rush Drama Festival 2020 to be held at The Millbank Theatre #DramaFest2020

WALKER EWART has been adjudicating at local and national levels in Ireland, Scotland and England for twenty-one years this year. Retired, he was formerly a French/Spanish teacher for 24 years before becoming Schools’ Inspector. He was awarded the O.B.E. for ‘services to education’ in the 2013 New Year’s honours list.

At age 14 he first took to the stage in the role of Sir Oliver Surface in Sheridan’s ‘School for Scandal’ and has been active in drama ever since. He took part in his first competitive drama festival in 1975. For over the past 50+ years he has been involved with the amateur drama circuit as an actor, director, and administrator.

A past chairman of the Association of Ulster Drama Festivals, he appeared in several AUDF finals in the Grand Opera House and the Lyric Theatre, Belfast most notably as Torvald in ‘A Doll’s House’ with Bangor Drama Club (also in Athlone), ‘The Gentle Island’ with Bangor (this play later went to Florida), ‘Observe the Sons of Ulster …’ (winners) with Bangor and ‘ Amadeus’ (winners) with Holywood Players (also in Athlone).

He has adjudicated the All-Ireland Full-length Finals in Athlone in 2008 & 2015, the All-Ireland One-Act Finals in 2003 & 2012; the All-Ireland Full-length Confined Finals in 2005 & 2012, the N. Ireland One-Act Finals in 2006 & 2016, the British One-Act Finals in Enniskillen in 2009 & Belfast 2017, the Scottish Community Drama finals in Inverness in May 2011 and the Ulster Drama Finals in May 2013. In Scotland, he has adjudicated in such diverse locations as Portree in Skye, Grangemouth, Orkney, Birnam & Edinburgh.

Walker is proud to have held several posts, including Chairman, of Bangor Drama Club and Bangor Drama Festival in the past. In his retirement, he continues to teach French to members of U3a (the University of the Third Age). He also takes weekend drama courses for local groups throughout Ireland. He is currently the Chairman of the judging panel for the recently introduced New Play-writing Competition in Ireland.

He is delighted to be making his first visit as an adjudicator to Rush.

Dreamland

By Jim Nolan

Dreamland is set in the fictional coastal town of Seafield. It is June 1934 and conditions are oppressive as a 70-tonne whale, washed up on the strand, stinks, rots and bakes in a heat wave. Johnny Kinanne, an Irish man referred to by some as “the Yank” because of his thirty years in New York, has bought the salvage rights to the whale whose skeleton he intends to display as the first of many attractions in his planned theme park, the eponymous Dreamland.

21st Feb 2020

8PM

Ballycogley Players Wexford

The Communication Cord

By Brian Friel

The Communication Cord centres around scheming barrister Jack McNeilis and his hapless friend, junior lecturer Tim O'Donoghue, and their attempts to get bombastic Senator Dr Donovan to allow his daughter Susan to be Tim's fiancée and, hopefully, at the same time secure a fulltime lecturing position for him

22nd Feb 2020

8PM

Phoenix Players, Sligo

Sharon's Grave

By  John B Keane

Sharon's Grave is a play that deals with a man's ruthless lust for land, which overrides all family loyalties, and can ultimately lead to tragedy. The action takes place in a small farmhouse on an isolated headland on the south-western seaboard of Ireland.

23rd Feb 2020

8PM

Kilmeen Drama Group, Cork

Daughter from Over the Water

By  MJ Molloy

A farmer and his wife from the west of Ireland learn that their emigrant daughter in England is about to marry "a black atheist"

24th Feb 2020

8PM

Kilmuckridge Drama Group

Gut

By  Frances Poet

Frances Poet's play Gut is a drama exploring parental anxieties about child abuse, and what happens when trust breaks down between family members. It was first… Frances Poet's play Gut is a drama exploring parental anxieties about child abuse, and what happens when trust breaks down between family members

25th Feb 2020

8PM

Thurles Drama Group, Tipperary

The Year of the Hiker

By John B Keane

The Year of the Hiker written in 1963 by John B. Keane, tells the moving story of a man nicknamed the Hiker who returns home looking for forgiveness from the family he walked out on 20 years ago. The Story begins with his son Simey being urged by no-nonsense Aunt Freda to get ready for his sister's wedding...

26th Feb 2020

8PM

Camross Drama Group, Wexford

At the Black Pig's Dyke

By Vincent Wood

At the Black Pig's Dyke is a story of murder, mystery, fairy tale and tragic love. ... The story is told using the pagan ritual of the mummers' play as a metaphor for Ireland at a time where people laughed at a wake and cried when a child was born

27th Feb 2020

8PM

Sillan Players, Cavan

Our Few and Evil Days

By Mark O'Rowe

They find themselves unexpectedly hosting their daughter Adele's new boyfriend, Dennis, while Adele herself is attending to a crisis-stricken… Mark O'Rowe's Our Few and Evil Days is a play about a married couple whose apparently normal life conceals a dark secret.

28th Feb 2020

8PM

Prosperous Drama Group, Kildare

Chapatti

By Christian O'Reilly

Romance is a distant memory for two lonely animal lovers living in Dublin. When forlorn Dan and his dog Chapatti cross paths with the amiable Betty and her nineteen cats, an unexpected spark begins a warm and gentle story about two people re-discovering the importance of human companionship

29th Feb 2020

8PM

Palace Players, Cork

Results of Rush Drama Festival 2020

Rush Drama Festival Nominations & Winners in the Confined Section

Adjudicators Award Nominations
  • Set Design – Kilmuckridge Drama Group – Daughter from over the Water
  • Costumes – Sillan Players At the Black Pigs Dyke
  • Lighting – Sillan Players At the Black Pigs Dyke

Winner – Costumes – Sillan Players At the Black Pigs Dyke

Best Actress Nominations
  • Mary Barry as Nora Dan in Phoenix Players The Communication Cord
  • Yvonne Seymour as Lizzie Boles in Sillan Players At the Black Pigs Dyke

Winner – Yvonne Seymour as Lizzie Boles in Sillan Players At the Black Pigs Dyke

Best Actor Nominations
  • Francis Brennan as Tim Gallagher in Phoenix Players Tubbercurry -The Communication Cord
  • Shane Lofus – as Jack McNeilis in Phoenix Players Tubbercurry - The Communication Cord
  • Pat Sinnot as Simey Lacey in Camross Drama Group - The Year of the Hiker

Winner – Francis Brennan as Tim Gallagher in Phoenix Players Tubbercurry - The Communication Cord

Best Director Nominations
  • Peter Davey - Phoenix Players Tubbercurry - The Communication Cord
  • Paddy Farrelly – Sillan Players – The Black Pigs Dyke

Winner – Paddy Farrelly – Sillan Players – At The Black Pigs Dyke

3rd Place - Kilmuckridge Drama Group – Daughter from over the Water
2nd Place - Phoenix Players Tubbercurry - The Communication Cord
1st Place - Sillan Players - At the Black Pigs Dyke

Rush Drama Festival Nominations & Winners in the Open Section

Adjudicators Award Nominations
  • Set Design – Ballycogley Players Drama Group - Dreamland
  • Set Design – Prosperous Dramatic Society – Our Few and Evil Days
  • Set & Lighting – Palace Players – Chapatti

Winner – Ballycogley Players Drama Group - Dreamland

Best Actress Nominations
  • Norah Scannell as Trassie Conlee in Kilmeen Drama Group - Sharon’s Grave
  • Ashleigh O’Neill as Adele in Prosperous Dramatic Society – Our Few and Evil Days
  • Mary Colbert as Betty in Palace Players – Chapatti

Winner – Mary Colbert as Betty in Palace Players – Chapatti

Best Actor Nominations
  • Robert Massey as Michael in Prosperous Dramatic Society – Our Few and Evil Days
  • Colin Malone as Dennis in Prosperous Dramatic Society – Our Few and Evil Days
  • Sean Ahern as Dan in Palace Players – Chapatti

Winner – Sean Ahern as Dan in Palace Players – Chapatti

Best Director Nominations
  • Christy O’Sullivan in Kilmeen Drama Group - Sharon’s Grave
  • TJ Duggan in Prosperous Dramatic Society – Our Few and Evil Days
  • Danny Buckley in Palace Players - Chapatti

Winner – Danny Buckley in Palace Players - Chapatti

3rd Place – Kilmeen Drama Group - Sharon’s Grave
2nd Place – Prosperous Dramatic Society – Our Few and Evil Days
1st Place - Palace Players - Chapatti