The 70th Clare Drama Festival runs from Thursday 23rd March to Saturday 1st April in Scariff Community College Hall.
From its humble beginnings in 1947, in an age of paraffin lamps, dry batteries and simple sets, Clare Drama Festival has developed into one of the foremost showpieces of the amateur drama movement in Ireland. It is one of the oldest festivals in the country. The only break was 2001 which was the ‘Foot and Mouth’ year.
Helped by the Catholic Church who banned dancing during lent but allowed ‘drama’ the fledgling event established itself firmly in the East Clare community. A night at the ‘Drama’ was an acceptable night out during the ‘dark days’ of Lent.
One of the features of Scariff festivals has been the number of children that attend. They are the best barometer of how a performance is going. I have a memory of the late John Butler in Torch Players production of Moliere’s ‘The Miser’. He literally engaged with the children and had them ‘eating out of the palm of his hand’.
The committee ensure that visiting groups are well catered for. This ensures that they return year after year.
The festival continues to have a loyal following, who are all ‘adjudicators’, from the local community and beyond. The hardworking committee are determined to keep it going for many decades to come.