History

Outside 1st programmeClonmel Theatre Guild was formed on 23 February 1969 when a group of dedicated people with a passion for drama came together for a meeting in Hearn’s Hotel. When asked about that fateful meeting one of the founding members Margo Prendergast recalled “Nowdays when an organisation is being formed, there are matters to be considered beforehand, viz, venue, funds and members. We had the members but no venue and no funds! However, we had what we considered important – talent, commitment and a passion for drama. We quickly formed a committee and very soon we had two plays in rehearsal”.

Within two months of its foundation the Guild presented two full length plays “The Playboy of the Western World” and The Importance of Being Earnest”. Both plays were performed during the same week with two completely different casts. An ambitious undertaking indeed! This courage and passion for providing high quality local drama to the people of South Tipperary has remained in the Guild down through the years since 1969. We produce two or three productions each year which are hugely popular the hundreds of people who come to see them.

Inside 1st programme

Fatal Attraction

Brendan LongWhen asked why do you do this, the late Brendan Long, founding member and artistic director of the guild for many years replied, “We embark on an exercise in self-expression in a medium to which we are fatally attracted…We proceed to the inevitable moment when we earnestly assure one another that we really ought to have our heads examined and despairingly ask ourselves ‘how in the hell did I get into this?’. We promise ourselves that never, never again will we be so misled and we most sincerely mean every word of it. In the end, however, when the final curtain falls, there is an exhilarating sense of achievement, of something worthwhile having been accomplished in which the enjoyment and companionship of doing it and the fulfilment of having done it, far outweighs the tribulations and sacrifices along the way. Thus the cycle starts all over again and again and again.”

The Guild has used a number of venues over the past 45 years. From 1969 to 1981, Old Lady’s Hall (now demolished) in Morton Street was our home. In March 1981 we moved to the White Memorial Theatre owned by St Mary’s Choral Society. Then in November 1987, under the directorship of Stella O’Sullivan, we commenced Dinner Theatre productions in the Clonmel Arms Hotel, thus creating a whole new form of theatre and indeed audience in Clonmel. We currently hold our Dinner Theatre productions in Raheen House Hotel, with an occasional production in the White Memorial Theatre.

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