This year’s supreme award recognises the single most impressive arts spectacle to take place anywhere in the County in 1997. Last August, the Athenry Festival truly surpassed itself with a magnificent reimagination of the town’s quasi mythical past.
The outdoor theatre spectacle “Avelina’s Revenge” was written by Charlie McBride, directed by Rod Goodall, organised and funded by the near-legendary women of the Athenry Committee. Performed by hundreds of the citizens of Athenry and their friends, ably assisted by a troupe of Clanricarde witches saw their eventual defeat in a wonderful marriage of classic community arts practise with the natural chutzpah and 61an of the town of Athenry.
As night fell over Athenry, and the longbowmen of Ulster were firing wave after wave of floodlit arrows at the Castle battlements where the bewitched women of Athenry pranced triumphantly behind their broomsticks, the thousands present knew that they were experiencing one of the most remarkable nights ever for the arts in this county.
The Athenry Festival surmounted considerable challenges to stage this wonderful synthesis of light, music, theatre and magic, the centrepiece of an ever-increasingly imaginative Summer feast of arts promotion. It is for this remarkable spectacle that the Athenry Committee receives the overall award. Photo – Drama 3 Arts Spectacle
Written by To be confirmed!
Published here 22 Mar 2023 and originally published Easter 1998