2016 Festival - dates, new youth section

It is now time to invite entries for the 39th Bray One Act Drama Festival, which will be held once again at the Mermaid Arts Centre, Main St., Bray, from Tuesday 26th January to Saturday 30th January 2016

In line with the Festival Committee’s on-going desire to promote Youth Theatre and yet maintain the integrity of the Bray One Act Festival, the committee is delighted to announce that the opening night of the Festival in 2016 will be exclusively for performers of Secondary School age. This decision is in line with the on-going development of the Festival and commitment to Youth Theatre.

The Festival will be divided into two sections. Section A will be for youth groups/schools at teenage levels and will be held on the Tuesday. Section B will be for adult groups as heretofore and cover the remainder of the week.



The Bray One act Drama Festival was founded in 1977 by the late Fred Lee, initially to raise money to purchase show curtains and stage lighting so performances could be put on in the Parochial Hall in Bray. The first festival was such a success it was decided to run on an annual basis. 

A dedicated committee under the chairmanship of Fred Lee, then the late David O’Brien and now Peter Harrison has resulted in not only the continuation of the Festival over 38 years but its development into one of the top amateur festivals in Ireland. Having spent its first 28 years in the Parochial Hall, the festival moved to the wonderful surroundings of the Mermaid Theatre where it still resides today. 

Taking place every January over the last 38 years the festival has put on nearly 530 plays and given close to €100,000 to local charities, which include Jack and Jill, Bray Cancer Support, MS Ireland, Bray Stroke Club, the Irish Heart Foundation, Meningitis Trust, Our Ladys Hospital for Children, Aware, 5 Loaves, Bray Lakers and many many more. Most importantly, with packed houses every night of the 5 night festival, it has brightened many a dark January night for the hundreds of audience members that support it, thanks to a wonderful community which gets behind the festival every year and the many volunteers which give up their time every year to make sure each year is better than the last. As other festivals around the country are dying out, we can be so proud here in Bray to have our own One Act Drama Festival, which is thriving and which drama groups all over Leinster cue up to take part in every year. 

We would like to now acknowledge the wonderful committee and the hard working team of the Bray One Act Drama Festival and ask Peter Harrison to come up and accept the award for Arts and Culture on their behalf.