A History of Drama in Tydavnet
Drama productions became a tradition in the Parish during the Lenten season going back to the 1950s. However it wasn’t until the completion of works at Tydavnet Community Centre in 1986 that the seeds of Tydavnet Dramatic Troup really took root. The new stage in the Community Centre Hall became the launching pad for many a budding actor in the area. “A Man Of Ideas” was the first play to be performed in the village for a number of years. Drama in the Parish had found a new home but it would be another 5 years until the next production. The 1991 performance of ‘Big Maggie’ by John B. Keane was the first of what would be a memorable decade of drama in Tydavnet.
The stage design of ‘Tarry Flynn’ in 1992 was a true masterpiece, but still only a sample of the effort put in over the next number of years to guarantee a string of successful productions by the time the nineties were drawing to a close. Scripts by John B. Keane, George Shiels and Sam Cree were skilfully performed and widely acclaimed.
As the new millennium dawned, Tydavnet Drama was preparing for its tenth successive show ‘A Damsel From Dublin’ in 2000. However that would be it until 2003 after the sudden passing of troupe member Bill Hayden which was a major set back to the troupe and left a void impossible to fill.
The Sound of a Bodhrán echoing through the village in the spring of 2003 gave notice to one and all that rehearsals were underway and that opening night was near.. The production of ‘Sive’ by John B. Keane was warmly welcomed even though the tragic closing scenes had managed to bring a tear to many eyes in the large audiences. The 2004 production saw a return to the work of John B. Keane with the troupe performing ‘The Highest House On The Mountain’.
The 2005/2006 season production brought the house down with the play ‘Anyone could rob a bank’. Scores of disappointed people had to be turned away each night due to the large crowds.
‘Never More To Offend’ by Tom Coffey was the play of choice for 2007. The tragic and moving storyline had a heart-breaking end that left audiences in tears. This was followed by a change of pace for the 2008 performance of ‘I do not like thee Dr. Fell’ by Bernard Farrell. This black comedy proved the versatility of the troupe.
In 2009 ‘All The King’s Horses’ by John O’Donnell told the story of a dying woman who left half of her house to her Catholic nephew and the other half to her Protestant nephew. As you can imagine, hilarious antics ensued. Extra shows being performed owing to the demand for seats.
Following the success of ‘All The Kings Horses’ a second play by John O Donnell was performed in 2010. ‘Silver Wedding’ told the story of a man more concerned about getting to the races than celebrating with his wife. There is nothing funnier than a woman who feels scorned, but it all worked out in the end.
That brings us up to 2011 and the Tydavnet Dramatic Troupe production of ‘Don’t Tell The Wife’. This was a particularly exciting production as we were invited to bring the production to Luton by the Luton-Irish Forum as part of their St Patrick’s Day celebrations.
The 2012 Production of ‘Widows Paradise’, another by Sam Cree was well received throughout Cavan and Monaghan Venues. For a glimpse of the backstage work that went into getting the Stage set up have a look at this wonderful YouTube Clip