Lights, Camera, ACTION! October saw the Level2 Drama festival for secondary schools in the Ulster area in the Garage Theatre. This week long festival involved several schools from the Monaghan and Cavan area, performing Irish plays. St Macartan’s of course, had to enter. With the quick assembly of the school’s first Transition Year Drama Group, they entered an adaption of Mikel Murfi’s “It Only Ever Happens In The Movies”. Organised and directed by the students themselves, with aid from Ms Gallagher, this hilarious and outrageous comedy focusing on Derek, a boy who can’t get a girlfriend, saw a rapturous response from the crowd on the night, receiving a standing ovation. The students involved were Aidan Traynor, Cian McElroy, Ben Brogan, Sean MacElwain, Fintan McKenna, Eoin McAdam, Ultan O’Rourke, Niall McManus, James McKenna, Daniel McCaul, Andrius Poskus and Darragh McCague. With huge competition amongst the teachers for the role of curtain puller, the final decision of who made the cut (or should I say “who made the pull”) was curtainly a hard one!
Four weeks of hard work went into this play, built for 16 actors but with a cast of only 10, many of the students played multiple roles and, as the infamous past pupil Tommy Mc Ardle, joked, continued the long theatre tradition of men dressing up as women. The play saw unique and very surreal humour and several fast costume changes, interrupted by the occasional musical interlude.
“It Only Ever Happens In The Movies” opened the festival on the Monday night, and was a huge success, for the Garage Theatre, and the school. Drama is one of the more expressive art forms, and it brings out emotion and feeling in the audience. As Dr. Seuss once said “anyone can eat green eggs and ham, but it takes real courage to dress up as a woman in front of your peers and make a fool of yourself, especially if you enjoy it!”