The programme for the forth annual Blackwater Valley Fit Up Festival will be unveiled in the New Year, with four plays set to run at several venues along the course of the River Blackwater in January and February 2019.
A colourful feature of Irish country life during the post-war period,’fit-up’ theatre saw professional companies touring the country, bringing productions of plays to small venues in rural towns and villages across the country.
In 2009 the West Cork-based Blood in the Alley Theatre Company, in association with Cork County Council and the Arts Council, resurrected the tradition with the aim of bringing contemporary Irish plays to the stages of venues across the region.
In 2016 the initiative was successfully expanded, with the inaugural Blackwater fit-up Festival bringing communists across the North/East Cork region together through the medium of theatre.
The festival’s artistic director Geoff Gould, said the Fit-Up’s were a hugely popular part of rural life during the middle part of the last century.
“Popular actors of the day such as Harold Pinter and Andrew McMaster would regularly visit small towns and villages, often performing plays in tents or even on the back of trucks.
He said that since its inception the Blackwater festival has proved to be “an unqualified success” and he anticipated this years event to be just as popular with theatre goers.
“The festival is a wonderful opportunity for people across the region to see some great new Irish plays performed by a talented group of actors.”