Take your seats for drama festival

Newtownabbey Drama Festival committee members Maureen Dunn  (honorary secretary) and Ann Lorimer (chair) prepare to welcome audiences to the Courtyard Theatre's drama festival which starts on Monday.

Newtownabbey Drama Festival committee members Maureen Dunn (honorary secretary) and Ann Lorimer (chair) prepare to welcome audiences to the Courtyard Theatre's drama festival which starts on Monday.

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THE Courtyard Theatre, Ballyearl will play host to the Newtownabbey Drama Festival kicking off this Monday, March 18 and running to Saturday March 23.

The five-day festival, an annual event at the Courtyard Theatre, will feature a different play each night.

Featuring will be the Estuary Players with ‘The Boys Next Door’, Bangor Drama Club with ‘Midnight and Magnolias’, Rosemary Drama Group with ‘The White Rose’, Holywood Players with ‘Blood Brothers’, Theatre 3 Newtownabbey with ‘Eleemosynary’ and Butt Drama Circle with ‘The Madame McAdam Travelling Theatre’.

The 180-seat theatre which hosts a wide range of drama, music and comedy throughout the year is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

The council-run venue has recently had new seating installed after safety concerns were raised over the previous facilities.

It’s hoped the investment will add to audiences’ comfort as well as allowing more flexibility in terms of use of the floor space for a wider range of events such as jazz brunches and murder mystery events.

The new seating has also provided more accessibility at the Courtyard Theatre with disabled access and wheelchair seating now on the lower level, as well as handrails and stair lighting which has been installed to aid those who need it.

Alister Bell duty manager at the Courtyard Theatre said: “This year sees the Courtyard Theatre celebrate its 20th Anniversary and the new seating bank the council has installed demonstrates a significant investment in the future of the theatre, allowing us to develop even more events using this multipurpose space. I would encourage patrons old and new to come along and experience the intimacy of the Courtyard Theatre in our new comfortable seats.”

The drama festival starts on Monday, March 18 and runs until Saturday, March 23.

Tickets cost £8, or £6 concession and are available from the box office on 9034 0202 or online at www.thecourtyardtheatre.com.