The Gala Awards Night

Ballyduff Drama Group, directed by Ger Canning, were crowned RTÉ All Ireland Drama Champions for their performance of Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire at the Gala Awards ceremony in Athlone’s Radisson Blu Hotel on Saturday May 14th, as the curtain came down on the 70th year of the RTÉ All Ireland Drama Festival.

Bunclody/Kilmyshall Drama Group, directed by Kieran Tyrell, who performed The Good Father by Christian O’Reilly were placed second and Palace Players, directed by Danny Buckley, who performed Chapatti also by Christian O’Reilly were placed third.

Adjudicator Michael Poynor commended Director Ger Canning for ‘extracting all the humour and pathos from the play and inspiring a remarkable ensemble performance from the group’. In addition to Best Director, the Ballyduff group also took home the Award for Best Stage Management and Best Stage Setting, with actor Ronan Bennett winning the ADCI/DLI Summer School Scholarship.

The Ballyduff Drama Group were also announced winners of The Abbey Theatre Award, and have been invited to perform their winning production on the Abbey’s Peacock stage in June.