Drama is part of the living heritage in the village and Parish of Cloughjordan. The parish once boasted four drama groups operating at the same time, Cloughjordan Drama Group, Cloughjordan COI Group, Ardcroney and Kilruane groups.
An article in The Nenagh Guardian of 1923 tells how the Cloughjordan Players had performed their latest production, the cast was named with a brief outline of the various roles and characters. Some of the cast surnames of Sheppard, Ryan and Costello are still involved today. Drama played an important role in the social history of Cloughjordan with local actor Paddy Gardiner going on to become a star of RTE TV Drama, playing Frank Treacy in the Riordan’s from 1965 to 1970.
Cloughjordan Drama Group in the modern era was re-formed in 1966 and has performed a play every year up to and including 2023. The groups offer a social outlet to people of all ages and professions who may never get involved in their community. The timing of the play performance in early spring was dictated for years by the number of farmers involved who needed it over before the calving season started. The group has always had an open invitation to those wishing to join and all ages are catered for. Commitment is the key, and this is the mantra from the very first reading to performance night. Over the years, over 350 have taken part in all roles from backstage to acting. This has been highlighted last year when Bawney Hayes was honoured on his 50th consecutive performance. The group has been fortunate in being able to be self-sufficient in having local directors in Vincent Tierney and Séamus Costello and always being able to attract local actors, set designers, lighting and sound and make-up artist to name but a few.
The group is full of enthusiasm for going forward and are blessed to have the local Parochial Hall always available. Heritage is what it is about, social heritage is the goal, creating a space for local artists to assemble, pick a play and produce top quality performances.