Melody (2006)

Written by Deirdre Kinahan
Directed by Gary Wall
Performed in Studio Space at The Mill Theatre and Five Venues around the Country

One Act Festival Winners Balally Players team won awards in the All-Ireland Final with 'Melody' in December 2006

The winning entry in the Open category of the National One-Act Festival was 'Melody' presented by Balally Players. This quirky play focuses on the peculiar passions shared by a bachelor and widow. These two lonely souls realise they share many common interests including classical music, ham and cheese sandwiches and massage parlours! All sorts of funny incidents and mistaken identities occur throughout 'Melody'.

This short comedy was written by Deirdre Kinahan. The play features two characters, 'Kathleen' played by Hilary Madigan and 'Mr. Kane' played by Geoffrey O'Keeffe.

Melody cast
Geoffrey O'Keefe as 'Mr Kane' and Hilary Madigan as 'Kathleen'
Back to Productions page
Top of this page



Background note on the play

Melody is about the length of a lunch break, or a break from Saturday shopping. It is itself a short story of lunch breaks and the possibility of romance and adventure at so simple a location as a bench in a city park. Mr Kane is a bachelor in his mid-forties. Kathleen is a widow. She is fastidious and cultured – he is clumsy, but gentle. Over a series of short scenes, they delicately advance their relationship. There are hints that something may be amiss, but only hints. And then catastrophe! The real world intrudes upon the idyll of their park bench - neither is quite who they seemed. The truth shatters their illusions of each other and, perhaps, the possibility of romance.


The play was directed by Gary Wall and the writer, Deirdre Kinahan, is co-founder and joint Artistic Director of Tall Tales Theatre Company where she works both as a writer and actor.

Mr Kane
Geoffrey O'Keeffe
Hilary Madigan
All Ireland Winners
Geoffrey, Hilary, Patricia (Festival Sec.), Cllr. Sean Begley, Gary at the All-Ireland Festival Finals presentation in Carrickmore, Co Tyrone on 3 December 2006


'Melody' sings sweetest at One-Act Festival Final

On the evening of Wednesday 13 December 2006, the winning cup was filled with champagne, raised high above the heads of the victorious cast and crew and then lowered in the time-honoured fashion by many members of Balally Players in Dundrum House. In expressing the joy that everyone shared in their success, Karen talked about how it was a long, but rewarding journey to this win. In reply, Gary, Geoffrey and Hilary thanked everyone for their support and congratulations and said that they felt it was a success that belonged to all in Balally Players and one that was built on a foundation laid by the many productions that had gone before theirs. They thanked the 'unseen' people directly behind the play, Jean, Pat and Oran - whose contributions were praised by adjudicators. The cast and crew made some references to their esteemed Director, describing him as a 'narky oul ?*!#', but it quickly became clear to those not in the know that this was an insider's term of endearment. They also spoke about how the process leading to the circuit tour was so enjoyable that the performances themselves were like icing on the cake - which they obviously ate before they got to Dundrum House!

Congratulations went to Gary and every member of the team involved in this production, which was recognised for its excellent work in each of the five venues visited on the circuit and also at the All Ireland One Act Festival Finals on Sunday 3 December in Carrickmore, near Omagh, Co. Tyrone.

The evening remembered many notable moments along the way from the first performances in the Studio Space at the Mill Theatre at the end of October and then on to the Festival Circuit.

Back to Productions page
Top of this page



Catalogue of success on the road to the National Finals

Geoffrey O'Keeffe
Geoffrey O'Keeffe

In Haulbowline, Geoffrey won Best Actor and the play came in second place overall. The production also received an Adjudicator's Award for Sound Design.

In Maudebawn, the production won first place and the Adjudicator's Award for the Technical Team.

In Ballymahon, Geoffrey once again won Best Actor, the play took first place and the Adjudicator's Award went to the Technical Crew.

Hilary Madigan
Hilary Madigan

In Manorhamilton, the team was awarded Best Play and Geoffrey and Hilary were named Best Actor and Best Actress.

In Skerries, the play took first place, Hilary was Best Actress, there was also a Merit Award for acting, Gary was awarded best Director and the production was awarded Best Staged Play.

And at the All-Ireland Festival Finals in Tyrone, the play was winner in the Open Category with Geoffrey and Hilary also taking the Adjudicators' Awards.

Cast and crew
Cast and Crew at the All-Ireland Finals on 3 December in Co Tyrone Pat Hand, Geoffrey O'Keeffe, Jean Monahan, Hilary Madigan & Oran O'Rua

The All Ireland One-Act Finals were held at The Patrician, Carrickmore, Co. Tyrone on Sunday 3 December 2006. The event was hosted by Mid Ulster Festival Adjudicator Mr Tom Doherty. The awards presented were as follows:

Open Category

Winner: 'Melody' by Deirdre Kinahan, performed by Balally Players

Gary Wall
Cllr.Sean Begley, Chairman of Omagh Distrcit Council presenting the All Ireland Open Trophy to Gary Wall, Balally Players, Director of 'Melody'


Runner Up : 'Geography of a Horse Dreamer' by Sam Shepard performed by Bradan Players

3rd Place: 'The Dreams Dream' by David McCall performed by The Haulbowline Theatre Group.

Confined Category

Winner: 'The Extraordinary Revelations of Orca the Goldfish' by David Tristram performed by Malthouse Players
Confined winner
Festival Secretary James Warnock presenting the All Ireland Confined trophy to Lorraine Corcoran of Malthouse Players


Runner Up: 'Seven Stages of an Affair' by Lorraine Forrest-Turner performed by Swan Music and Theatre Company

3rd Place: 'The Man Above by Des Waters' performed by Camross Drama Group

Best Overall Performance

Sinead Maloney as Alice Smith in 'The Extraordinary Revelations of Orca' from Malthouse Players, Mountbellew

Sinead Moloney
Best Performance Award presented by the Chairperson of the DLI Karen Carleton to Sinead Maloney, Malthouse Players


Adjudicators Awards

Hilary Madigan and Geoffrey O'Keeffe as Kathleen and William in 'Melody' from Balally Players, Dundrum

DLI Bursary

Dave McCall, writer of The Dream's Dream from Haulbowline Theatre Group

Following performances in the Mill Theatre, 'Melody' participated in the One Act Festival at the following locations:

Sat 4 Nov 2006 Haulbowline, Cork
Fri 10 Nov 2006 Maudebawn
Sun 12 Nov 2006 Ballymahon
Fri 17 Nov 2006 Manorhamilton
Sat 18 Nov 2006 Skerries
Sun 3 Dec 2006 All-Ireland Festival Finals in Carrickmore, near Omagh, Co. Tyrone.

On 19 June 2008 there was another chance to see both of the plays that brought Balally Players to the finals of the All-Ireland One-Act Finals and the overall award in 2006 and 2007. Directors Gary Wall and Geoffrey O'Keeffe presented their winning productions in the Mill Theatre on Thursday 19 June 2008.


A PDF copy of the poster is available here. To view it, click on the link. To download a copy, right-click on the link and select 'Save Link As' or 'Save Target As'. The file size is 356KB.

A video recording of the performance in the Mill Theatre was made on 19 June 2008. The following images are frames taken from that video.

Melody video still
Melody video still
Melody video still
Melody video still
Melody video still
Melody video still
Melody video still
Melody video still
Melody video still
Melody video still
Melody video still
Melody video still
Geoffrey O'Keeffe (William Kane) and Hilary Madigan (Kathleen) in 'Melody' at the Mill Theatre, Dublin on 19 June 2048.


Back to Productions page
Top of this page