THE Enniskillen Drama Festival starts this weekend at the Ardhowen Theatre in Enniskillen, running from Friday, March 3 to Saturday, March 11 with eight nights of quality amateur drama from across the island of Ireland.

The drama productions are competing for coveted nominations to both the Association of Ulster Drama Festivals (AUDF) Ulster Drama Finals and the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland (ADCI) All-Ireland Drama Finals, and the winners will be announced on the final night.

Each performance will be followed by an adjudication from Declan Drohan, of the Association of Drama Adjudicators.

The festival opens at 8pm, with Pomeroy Players’ production of ‘Hen Night Epiphany’, by Jimmy Murphy.

In the production, five women come together to help clear out a run-down cottage a week before the wedding of its new owner, Una. But Una is keeping a secret that, if revealed, will destroy all hopes of having her dream wedding and living happily ever after.

Moving on to Saturday, March 4, and Rosemary Drama Group presents ‘Toast’ by Henry Filloux-Bennett.

Based on the British Book Awards Biography of the Year, Toast is the story of Nigel Slater’s childhood, told through the tastes and smells he grew up with, and is a funny, touching and truthful portrait of a boy who finds the courage to follow his own recipe in life.

Next up, and Theatre 3 presents ‘The Price’ on Sunday, March 5, hailed as one of the most personal plays by the consummate voice of the American everyman, Arthur Miller.

The Price is a riveting story about the struggle to make peace with the past and create hope for the future as two estranged brothers learn the cost of dividing the family spoils.

Following that, Tuesday, March 7 sees Clontarf Players bring Oscar Wilde’s madcap farce about mistaken identities, secret engagements, and lovers’ entanglements, ‘The Importance of Being Ernest’ to the Ardhowen.

The play still delights readers more than a century after its 1895 publication and premiere performance.

Butt Drama Group return after last year’s huge success, with another new Shaun Byrne play, ‘Darkness Echoing’, on Wednesday, March 8.

Here, Joe returns home to Donegal from London under a cloud to find his father seriously ill and is forced to deal with issues concerning his own young son’s passing some years earlier, helped by Marie, his father’s home help.

After last year’s stunning production of ‘All My Sons’, Ballyshannon Drama Society present ‘A Delicate Balance’ by Edward Albee, on Thursday, March 9.

The play follows Agnes and Tobias, a wealthy middle-aged couple, who have their complacency shattered when their long-time friends Harry and Edna appear at their doorstep, claiming an encroaching, nameless “fear” has forced them from their own home.

The festival’s penultimate night sees Newtownstewart Theatre Company bring ‘Midden’, by Morna Regan, to the Ardhowen stage on Friday, March 10.

Midden is a sharp, funny, moving story of five women across three generations, and a prodigal daughter’s return.

The final performance on Saturday, March 11 comes from Bart Players with ‘One Man Two Guvnors’ by prizewinning playwright Richard Bean – hailed as a wonderful comedy that has become a classic.

The Enniskillen Drama Festival is sponsored by local businesses including the Killyhevlin Hotel, Experience Enniskillen, Lochside Garages, Modern Tyres, O’Doherty’s Butchers, Crudden Dolan Ltd, and Enniskillen Credit Union, and is supported by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, and the Department for Communities.

Note that some of the productions may include strong language and adult content, and all performance start at 8pm.

For the full programme of Ardhowen events, see, follow the theatre’s Facebook page @ardhowentheatre, or email

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