Following a small notice in the Meath Chronicle, a meeting was called by Billy Goonan
on 13th June 1991, which resulted in the foundation of Navan Theatre Group. Thirty
six people attended this first meeting and all were very enthusiastic about having
a new drama group in Navan. The name was chosen by those at the meeting and one of
the group, Seamus Culligan, offered to design the logo. A committee was formed with
Billy Goonan as chairperson, and it was decided that the first production would be
held in November 1991 at the local Community Centre in Navan. The play chosen was
Juno and the Paycock.
The group continued doing major productions each November in the Community Centre
until in 2005. One production, The Communication Cord was performed at the Lyric
Cinema in Navan in 1993. The group went from strength to strength with playwrights
such as Sean O’Casey, Hugh Leonard, Brian Friel, Bernard Farrell, Henrik Ibsen, Philip
King, John B. Keane, Marc Camoletti, Norman Robbins and R. Abbott. Some of the more
popular plays were by John B. Keane. Former stage actors with Navan Theatre Group
were Moya Farrelly who went on to take part in major films including This is my Father,
and Michael Hayes who is well known on Dublin stage and with RTE.
The performances of Navan Theater Group moved with the production of Sive in 2006
to the newly built Solstice Arts Centre in Navan. It was very exciting for the group
to have a proper theatre at last in Navan, serving County Meath. Huge audiences turned
out to see Sive, and again in 2007 with Philadelphia Here I Come. Some founder members
are still very much part of the group and we enjoy ongoing help and support from
members of St. Mary’s Musical Society in Navan when needed.
Navan Theatre Group is affiliated to the Drama League of Ireland. We welcome new
members and look forward to the opportunities new faces bring to the group.
Ann Reilly Chairperson and Secretary Navan Theatre Group March 2008