The Clarence Players

Present Productions

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Festival Play

Our festival play this year is Henrik Ibsen's John Gabriel Borkman in a translation by Nicholas Wright, directed by Frances Hastie.

You can catch it at Belvoir Players' Studio Theatre on Friday 23 and Saturday 24 February, 2018 and at the following Festivals — Larne (Monday 5 March), Ballymoney (Friday 9 March), Newtownabbey (Thursday 15 March), Portadown (Friday 16 March) and Newry (Friday 23 March).

John Gabriel Borkman, a former 'pillar of the community' has been in voluntary seclusion in an upstairs room since enduring a prison sentence for embezzlement. His wife, her twin sister, his son and even Borkman himself are all trapped in the suffocating atmosphere of this claustrophobic household.

Larne Drama Festival

John Gabriel Borkman took second place overall and Jackie Wilson, as Ella Rentheim, won the Mary Hewlett Trophy for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role. Stephen Connolly, playing John Gabriel Borkman, and Des Loughridge, as Vilhelm Foldal, were nominated for best actor and best supporting actor respectively as was Dorothy Wiley for costume design.

Ballymoney Drama Festival

Our production took third place and Jackie received the Dalriada Cup for Best Actress. Alan Marshall won the O'Cahan Cup for Decor and Drew McConnell, Paul Parkhill and Rosamund Monteith were awarded the Malachy McLaughlin Cup for Stage Lighting. Included in the nominations were Frances Hastie, for direction, Stephen for best actor and Des for best supporting actor.

Newtownabbey Drama Festival

Our production of John Gabriel Borkman took the Newtownabbey Drama Festival Trophy for the Overall Winning Team. Shaunagh McKirgan, as Gunhild Borkman, and Des Loughridge, as Vilhelm Foldal, were awarded the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor trophies respectively. Alan Marshall took the award for Best Set Design. We were also nominated for Best Director (Frances Hastie), Adjudicator's Award (costumes), Best Actress (Jackie), Best Actor (Stephen), Best Supporting Actress (Lorraine Stevenson,as Malene), Technical Merit and Decor.

Portadown Drama Festival

Congratulations to Shaunagh McKirgan, as Gunhild Borkman, on winning the Mandeville Cup for Best Actress. There were nominations for Stephen (Best Actor), Frances (for interpretation of a straight play and Best Producer), Stage Presentation and Lighting.

Newry Drama Festival

As runners-up our production of John Gabriel Borkman was awarded The Lions Cup and the Owen Mooney Cup for Most Ambitious Choice. Frances Hastie won the Sean Hollywood Cup as Best Director and Stephen Connolly, playing John Gabriel Borkman, took the Ardmore Cup for Best Actor.

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Ulster Drama Festival 2018

We have qualified for this year's Ulster Drama Festival in The Theatre at the Mill, Newtownabbey (Monday 21 - Saturday 26 May) and will perform on Friday 25 May.

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WE WON! The Clarence Players took the Premier Challenge Cup at the Ulster Drama Festival on Saturday night with their production of John Gabriel Borkman. As Best Director Frances Hastie was awarded the Belfast Newsletter Cup and Andrea Brown (Mrs Gunhild Borkman, above centre) and Jackie Wilson (Ella Rentheim, above left) shared the UTV Hubert Wilmot Award for Best Actress. Newcomer, Amanda Rankin (Frida Foldal, above right) walked away with the Colin Blakely Award as the most promising young player and Alan Marshall gained The Friers Award for Best Decor.

Stephen Connolly (John Gabriel Borkman) was nominated for Best Actor.