Pure Drama from behind the Spotlight traces music and drama in Kildare Town and district from the 1800s to the mid 1950s. It looks at venues used for staging these productions down the years. From 1958 to 2008 it reviews the 50 years of the Kildare Drama Festival that hosted drama groups from the four provinces of Ireland. Performers, groups, winners, adjudicators reports, paper cuttings, photographs and stories bring back memories of those entertaining evenings. Many well known actors and producers from stage and screen have "tread the boards" at the Kildare festival. Tom Hickey, Gabriel Byrne, Deirdre Purcell, Myles Duggan, Pat Moylan, Simon Delaney and Moya Doherty who wrote the foreword for this book.
Amateur Drama, in Ireland, can be traced back for well over 100 years. Chapter 1 traces productions in the historic town of Kildare from 1884. Following the inauguration of An Tóstal in 1953 its cultural director was asked to prepare plans on holding an All-Ireland Amateur Drama Festival. With an Arts Council grant of £500 it has become the showcase of Amateur Drama in Ireland, held annually in Athlone. The Kildare Drama Festival became one of the earlier regional festivals. They are the starting point for many directors, actors and technical people who progress into professional Theatre and Television. The Kildare festival, down the years, launched Gabriel Byrne, Tom Hickey, Deirdre Purcell, Simon Delaney, Pat Moylan, Moya Doherty (Producer of Riverdance) who wrote the Foreword and many other well-known personalities. This 270-page “Pure Drama” with over 1,000 Photographs traces the history of these festivals and the hundreds of groups from around Ireland who staged some memorable productions. Topics:drama, theatre history, theatre plays, Ireland, Musical theatre, entertainment, entertainment biographies, music