Smiles all round as the Guild celebrates 45th Anniversary

Members of the guild past and present gathered in Raheen House Hotel on Tuesday 22 April 2014 to remember and celebrate our 45th Anniversary. Since 1969, the Clonmel Theatre Guild has harnessed the best of local talent to direct, produce and act in many different genres of drama and many of those turned up on the night to celebrate with us. From the hilarious to the serious and everything in between, Clonmel Theatre Guild has brought many famous plays to South Tipperary audiences over the years.

It was a wonderful occasion with smiles all round as the years melted away with stories of days gone by and fond memories of those who have gone to their eternal reward. We were delighted to have three of our founding members, Denis O’Sullivan, Stella O’Sullivan and Mary Burke present with us on the night.

Cutting Cake 2Eamon O’Dwyer from Tipp FM was there to record a special episode of his show “Down your Way” to mark the occasion, while John Kelly took photos for The Nationalist.

When asked by Eamon O’Dwyer how the guild came into being, founding member Denis O’Sullivan told us it actually all started in 1968 when St Mary’s Choral Society decided for some unknown reason to produce a play. There was a huge interest in the town and so many people turned up to be part of the revival of local drama that rehearsals started for two plays. As drama was not the core activity of St Mary’s Choral Society, it was decided at a meeting in Hearn’s Hotel on 23 February 1969 to set up the Clonmel Theatre Guild and the rest as they say is history.

Joan & Anthony Dempsey told Eamon they actually first met while part of the cast of the guild’s first play The Playboy of the Western World in April 1969. Apparently, Joan was swayed by Anthony’s motorbike as well as his handsome good looks! Other members recalled stories of days gone by and what it meant to them to have been part of the guild.

Carol Acheson recited a poem she wrote about our last production “Prescription Murder”, where she played the part of Miss Petrie, who lamented the loss of her job as super sleuth Colombo trapped her boss into admitting to the murder of his wife.

Director James Whelan spoke about our next production called “Noises Off” while we were given a sneak preview of the play by some of the cast.

Entertainment for the evening was provided by Johnny Mac accompanied by Paul Kelly on the harmonica, while our Chairperson Esther Byrne sang “She moves through the Fair”.

The evening drew to a close with the cutting of an anniversary cake and the serving of light refreshments. All in all it was a great success.

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