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Manny Man Does a Trivia Tour of Ireland!

As we travel round the island of Ireland here’s some historical trivia for each of the locations we’re touring to, courtesy of Manny Man of course!

An Grianán Theatre, Fri 9 February 2019Alley Theatre, Strabane, Sat 10 February 2019Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny, Tues 12 FebRiverside Theatre, Coleraine, Wed 13 FebruaryBelltable, Limerick, Sat 16 FebMullingar Arts Centre, Thu 28 Feb & Sat 1 MarchAmharclann Gaoth Dobhair, Sat 2 MarchBackstage Theatre, Longford, Tue 5 MarchPlayhouse, Derry/Londonderry, Thu 7 MarchMarket Place Theatre, Armagh, Fri 8 MarchBalor Arts Centre, Ballybofey, Sat 9 MarchDunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, Tues 12 & Wed 13 March

Wexford Arts Centre, Sat 16 Marchglór, Ennis, Sun 17 March

 

See the tour dates here:

An Grianán on tour – Manny Man hits the road.

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Shaking the Tale… where did it come from?

It’s 2017 and I’m sitting with Philip Parr, drinking coffee in the March sunshine at the International Community Arts Festival (ICAF) in Rotterdam. We’re talking about the ICAF experience and also flying kites — floating ideas about working on something together. We’d met back in July 2015 at a symposium I was curating, entitled Beyond the Pale* – Meet the Makers. The weekend featured a number of theatre makers who create work outside of the usual urban supports. The conversations had continued after that and Philip and I had some vague ideas, but nothing concrete. As the Dutch coffee leaves dark rings in the cups, we hatch a plan, to make an off-site, community production of The Winter’s Tale… we stare at smartphone screens of Google Maps, looking a potential locations and I show Philip Greencastle and the tip of Inishowen in County Donegal, and the sands of Magilligan Point in County Derry and that is the beginning of a fascinating journey.

Shaking the Walls

It’s December 2017 and Philip calls me, saying, ‘I’m in the middle of a Creative Europe funding application, it might suit the Winter’s Tale. Would you and An Grianán like to come on board?’ All through Christmas we email each other and email Gdański Teatr Szekspirowski. There are budgets and forms, conversations and misunderstandings — we all speak English for ease of communication, but the colloquialisms and the curious habits sometimes need further explanation. There are more project descriptions and more budgets, but finally we agree and the application is sent.

It’s July 2018, and I get another call from Philip, ‘We got it!’ he says. “Got what?’ I reply. And so Shaking the Tale is born, and we can’t wait to tell the world of our plans. But we are also filled with apprehension and not a little concern… What did we say we’d do? That feeling lasts a few days while we search back and look through the folders of documents, long forgotten, hiding on out computers.

And go through those walls we will, whether they be political, sectarian, racist or simply the walls we build in our own lives.

It’s November 2018 and we’re sitting in the Green Room of Gdański Teatr Szekspirowski, chatting with the partners at our first meeting. Accents and faces new — ideas and conversations we thought were once simply a flying kite over Rotterdam, are now real. Shaking the Walls… diagnosing the walls that divide communities, and how through theatre we might break them down. The words of James McDyer, the priest from West Donegal come to mind, ‘If you come to brick wall, you either get over it or go through it.’ And go through those walls we will, whether they be political, sectarian, racist or simply the walls we build in our own lives.

By Guy Le Jeune

 

Production partners and funders: Shaking the Tale is produced by An Grianán Theatre and Parrabbola as part of Shaking the Walls. Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programmed of the European Union. Additional support comes from Donegal County Council, the Arts Council of Ireland and the Earagail Arts Festival.

Shaking the Tale is part of Shaking the Walls, a project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. The project is led by Gdański Teatr Szekspirowski (Poland), the other partners are Parrabbola (UK), Cooltour Ostrava (Czech Republic) and Ratatam (Iceland). As well as Creative Europe, our co-funders for Shaking the Tale include the Donegal County Council, Arts Council of Ireland and the Earagail Arts Festival.

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First Trad Week show sells out

Letterkenny Trad Week 2019

THIS year’s fourth Letterkenny Trad Week (January 19-27), brought to you in association with the Regional Cultural Centre, is quickly gaining momentum with the first show selling out.

Such was the demand for the show Zoe Conway + John McIntyre and Seamus McGuire + John Lee with support from Coirm that the show sold out very soon after the holidays.

There was particular local interest in this show thanks to the group Coirm which is made up by talented young musicians from the Ceol na Coille Traditional School of Music. If you missed out on this show, fear not, as Coirm will be performing a second time during Trad Week when they open for legendary Donegal trad group Altan at An Grianán Theatre on Sunday, January, 27. Tickets for this show are also selling fast, so book soon!

In the meantime, there is a host of other great shows, also selling well, taking place at the Regional Cultural Centre during the fourth annual Trad Week. One of Trad Week’s hottest tips is the opening show of Music Network Presents – Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Siobhan Miller, Damien Mullane & Anna Massie on Saturday, January 19.

While these artists may not be household names…yet, they are some of the brightest stars on their selected instruments and vocal genres who have performed with some of the biggest names in music and this is a chance to see them all together on one stage.

Music Network Presents – Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Siobhan Miller, Damien Mullane & Anna Massie - Trad Week 2019.

The show features the ethereal voice of award-winning Scottish songstress Siobhan Miller (vocals) and the honeyed tones of Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh (vocals/flute), recent winner of RTÉ Folk Awards ‘Best Traditional Folk Track of the Year’. Winner of the 2018 BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for Best Traditional Track, Miller was recently lauded as “the finest young interpreter of Scots traditional song”, while highly-acclaimed singer and flautist Nic Amhlaoibh is best known for her performances as a solo artist and with Irish super group Danú, and her work as a TV presenter.

Gifted accordionist Damien Mullane (accordion/melodeon) brings his unique creative talents to the collaboration. Winner of numerous All-Ireland titles on both accordion and melodeon, Mullane has played with stars from a wide range of genres including Ronnie Wood, James Taylor and Sting. Completing the line-up, fleet-fingered guitarist and banjo player Anna Massie (guitar/banjo/mandolin) is renowned for her work with Blazin’ Fiddles and such luminaries as Bella Hardy, Julie Fowlis, Kate Rusby, Capercaillie and Eddi Reader.

THE PRIDE OF MANCHESTER

ON Thursday, January 24, also in the Regional Cultural Centre, is another chance to see two artists who between them they have been members of Toss the Feathers, Stockton’s Wing, Capercaillie, Flook and Lunasa and have performed with Mark Knopfler, Eddi Reader, Sharon Shannon and Kate Rusby to name just a few.

Letterkenny Trad Week – Mike McGoldrick & Dezi Donnelly

Dezi ‘Fiddle on Fire’ Donnelly is a Manchester-based fiddle player and one of the founder members of the legendary Celtic Rock Band ‘Toss the Feathers’ often seen collaborating with the likes of Sharon Shannon and BBC instrumentalist of the Year, Mike McGoldrick.

Michael McGoldrick has been a member of several influential bands. In 1994 he was awarded the BBC Young Tradition Award, and in 2001 he was given the Instrumentalist of the Year award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.

All concerts begin at 8pm. For bookings or further information go to www.angrianan.com or call An Grianán Theatre Box Office on Tel +353 (0) 7491 20777.

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Coirm busy in rehearsals for Altan gig

A GROUP of young Irish traditional musicians is busy rehearsing for its fourth commission by an internationally-acclaimed musician and composer.

COIRM

Coirm is a group which was was set up by Letterkenny-based Ceol na Coille School of Irish Traditional Music as a platform for young musicians to perform nationally and internationally.

To-date some of its members have performed throughout Ireland, UK, Europe and also the USA with sister school, North Dallas and Austin school of Traditional Music.

The group has commissioned renowned musicians to write new music, raising the funding for the projects themselves, with additional support by Donegal County Council’s Arts Office.

Dr Seamus McGuire, Zoe Conway and Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh were the first artists to be commissioned and the fourth in as many years has been composed by Martin Tourish.

A current member of Altan, the Ballybofey native is a renowned musician in his own right and rehearsals are now underway with the group.

Paul Harrigan of Ceol na Coille, and director of Coirm, said there is great excitement surrounding the new commission being composed by a local musician held in such high regard in national and international music circles.

“We began the process a few years ago with our first commission from Seamus McGuire who is an internationally known musician living in Donegal.

“This was a great first project for the then newly-formed group and we were absolutely delighted that Seamus came on board in writing a piece of music for the group and was so encouraging for the young musicians and so generous with his time.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for these fine young musicians to travel, experience the performance and social side of our traditional arts and build knowledge and friendships that will other qualities through performance and sharing experiences.”

Past pupils and performers of Ceol na Coille and Coirm have continued to study music in Maynooth, University of Cork, Galway, University of Limerick at the World Center of Irish Traditional Music & Dance and University of Ulster.

Many of these have reached high achievements at London College of Music and SCT Examinations and at All Ireland Chomhaltas Fleadh competitions.

The new commission will be performed by Coirm officially during Letterkenny Trad Week where the group will be supporting Altan on the closing night at An Grianán Theatre, Sunday, January 27.

The group will also be performing Mairéad Ni Mhaonaigh’s Failte an Earraigh, Coirm’s commission from 2017 that evening, as well as supporting Dr Seamus McGuire, John Lee and Zoe Conway with John McIntyre earlier in the week on Tuesday, January 22, which is now sold out, during the week-long festivities.

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An Grianán on tour – Manny Man hits the road.

An Grianan Theatre presents John D Ruddy & Louise Conaghan in Manny Man Does the History of Ireland.

We had such a fun time making Manny Man Does the History of Ireland for last year’s Earagail Arts Festival that we just couldn’t keep it to ourselves! So we’re delighted to announce that we’ve reassembled the team and we’re taking Manny Man on the road!

We’ll be touring the show to 16 venues across the island of Ireland, north and south of the border, throughout February and March 2019. As well as performances here in An Grianán on 5, 6 & 8 February we’ll also be visiting Strabane, Kilkenny, Coleraine, Limerick, Mullingar, Gweedore, Longford, Derry, Armagh, Ballybofey, Portlaoise, Newbridge, Wexford and Ennis.

Tour Dates

Tuesday 5 & Wed 6 February at 11am
Fri 8 February at 8pm
An Grianán Theatre
Letterkenny
0749120777
www.angrianan.com

Sat 9 February at 8pm
Alley Theatre
Strabane
028 7138 4444
www.alley-theatre.com

Tues 12 February at 11am
Watergate Theatre
Kilkenny
056 776 1674
watergatetheatre.com

Wed 13 February at 8pm
Riverside Theatre
Coleraine
028 7012 3123
www.riversidetheatre.org.uk

Saturday 16 February at 2.30pm
Belltable
Limerick
061 953 400
www.limetreetheatre.ie

Thur 28 February at 8pm and Fri 1 March at 10am
Mullingar Arts Centre
044 934 7777
www.mullingarartscentre.ie

Sat 2 March at 8pm
Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair
074 953 2687
www.amharclann.com

Tues 5 March at 11am
Backstage Theatre
Longford
043 3347888
www.backstage.ie

Thur 7 March at 8pm
The Playhouse
Derry/Londonderry
028 7126 8027
www.derryplayhouse.co.uk

Fri 8 March at 7pm
The Market Place Theatre
Armagh
028 3752 1821
www.visitarmagh.com/marketplacetheatre

Sat 9 March at 8pm
Balor Arts Centre
Ballybofey
074 913 1840
www.balorartscentre.com

Tues 12 March at 7pm & Wed 13 March at 10am
Dunamaise Arts Centre
Portlaoise
057 866 3355
www.dunamaise.ie

Fri 15 March at 10am, 12pm, 7pm
Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge
045 448 327
www.riverbank.ie

Sat 16 March at 3pm
Wexford Arts Centre
053 912 3764
www.wexfordartscentre.ie

Sun 17 March at 12.30pm
glór
Ennis
065 684 3103
glor.ie

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Letterkenny Trad Week 2019

Letterkenny Trad Week brings top talent to town

Letterkenny Trad Week 2019, the week-long festival presented by the Regional Cultural Centre and An Grianán Theatre takes place from 19th to 27th January.

The festival features a great mixture of new talent on the rise, stalwarts of Irish and other Celtic traditional music, as well as a Grammy-nominated bluegrass band from the United States.Kicking off the week on Saturday, January 19 will be an exciting collaboration presented by Music Network – Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, Siobhan Miller, Damien Mullane & Anna Massie in the RCC.
The ethereal voice of award-winning Scottish songstress Siobhan Miller (vocals) and the honeyed tones of Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh (vocals/flute), recent winner of RTÉ Folk Awards ‘Best Traditional Folk Track of the Year’ will be complemented by gifted accordionist Damien Mullane (accordion/melodeon and fleet-fingered guitarist and banjo player Anna Massie (guitar/banjo/mandolin).
On Tuesday, January 22 the RCC will host a double delight of duos in husband and wife Zoë Conway and John McIntyre, as well as Seamus McGuire and John Lee. This gig is now Sold Out !
There is huge excitement around the artist taking to the stage in the RCC on Wednesday, 23rd. A former electrician who decided to become a musician after seeing Christy Moore perform on Irish TV, Dublin-born traditional singer and bouzouki player Daoirí (pronounced ‘Derry’) Farrell has been described by some of the biggest names in Irish folk music as one of most important singers to come out of Ireland in recent years.
The high calibre of music continues on Thursday, 24th when Mike McGoldrick (flute) and Dezi Donnelly (fiddle) perform together in the RCC. Between them they have been members of Toss the Feathers, Stockton’s Wing, Capercaillie, Flook and Lunasa and have performed with Mark Knopfler, Eddi Reader, Sharon Shannon and Kate Rusby to name just a few.
On Friday night, 25th the RCC is delighted to welcome back Special Consensus who have appeared in Letterkenny on a number of occasions and are sure to attract a great crowd. Special Consensus is a superb bluegrass outfit in a classic vein but with more than enough modern sensibilities to attract every ear in this now pleasantly fractionating genre.
The vocals are spotless, the playing as shiny as a newly minted penny, and music like this is the reason people come to love bluegrass.
Bringing the 2019 Letterkenny Trad Week to a close, our partners An Grianán Theatre will host world famous group Altan on Sunday, January 27.
Founded by Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh and her late husband Frankie Kennedy, the group has been bringing Irish traditional music and song to fans around the world for over three decades.
In May, 2018 Donegal County Council honoured the group with a civic reception at the County House in Lifford, celebrating the group’s achievements bringing Donegal music to the worldwide masses over the years.
All concerts begin at 8pm. For ticket bookings or further information go to www.regionalculturalcentre.com or call An Grianán Theatre Box Office on Tel +353 (0) 7491 20777.

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Christmas Box Office Opening Hours 2018

Our gift vouchers make a lovely Christmas for the theatre-goer in your life and come wrapped up in these luxurious gift wallets. You can buy them online here or in person at our box office.

Mon 17 Dec 10am to 5pm

Tues 18 Dec 10am to 5pm –  Pinocchio at 10.30am

Wed 19 Dec 10am to 5pm –  Pinocchio at 10.30am and 12.30pm

Thur 20 Dec 10am to 5pm –  Pinocchio at 10.30am

Fri 21 Dec 10am to 5pm, 6pm to 7pm –  Pinocchio at 3pm and 7pm

Sat 22 Dec 10am to 6pm –  Pinocchio at 2pm and 4pm

Sun 23 Dec 6pm to 8pm  – Little Hours at 8pm

Christmas Eve Closed

Christmas Day Closed

St Stephen’s Day Closed

Thur 27 Dec Closed

Fri 28 Dec 6pm to 8pm – Seven Drunken Nights at 8pm

Sat 29 Dec 6pm to 8pm – In Their Thousands at 8pm

Sun 30 Dec Closed

Mon 31 Dec Closed

Tues 1 Jan Closed

Wed 2 Jan – Open as normal.

Please note that any box office queries received after Sat 22 December will not be dealt with until normal box office hours resume on Wed 2 January.

Any postal orders received after Thur 20 December will not be posted until normal box office hours resume on Wed 2 January.

You can buy gift vouchers online here.

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Pinocchio Relaxed Performances

An Grianán Theatre will hold two specially adapted relaxed performances of their Christmas Show Pinocchio on Wednesday 19 December at 12.30pm and Sat 22 December at 2pm.

What is a relaxed performance?

Relaxed Performances are specifically designed to welcome people who will benefit from a more relaxed performance environment, including, but not limited to, people with an Autism Spectrum Condition, sensory and communication disorders, or a learning disability.

  • There is a relaxed attitude to noise and movement and some small changes made to the light and sound effects.
  • Theatre lights will stay on and people will be warned of sudden noises.
  • For anyone overwhelmed during the performance, a “chill out” area will be provided in the upper foyer.
  • An easy way to understand the atmosphere is perhaps, ‘the opposite of the quiet carriage on a train’.

Why do a relaxed performances?

Many aspects of a standard theatre experience can cause difficulties for children. Busy foyers, unexpected music, lights going up and down and applause can all be unsettling. Even the interval can confuse because it may seem strange to leave the auditorium in the middle of an event.

These performances are for anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed performance environment, including people with an autistic spectrum condition, sensory or communication disorders, or a learning disability, or just those who are uncomfortable being in a darkly lit room, or those who feel they can’t sit quietly for an extended period of time.

Can everyone come to this performance?

Yes everyone is welcome, it’s important that those for whom it is intended get to share the experience with their peers and siblings. That’s the joy of a relaxed performance!

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Shaking the Walls: The Winter’s Tale Summer 2019

Creative Europe funding

This week we learned we were successful in receiving Creative Europe funding for an exciting new project called Shaking the Walls with partners from across Europe. The project is led by Gdański Teatr Szekspirowski (Poland), the other partners are Parrabbola (UK), Cooltour Ostrava (Czech Republic) and Ratatam (Iceland).

2019 marks An Grianan Theatre’s 20th anniversary and we are really pleased that the Creative Europe funding will allow us to engage so many artists and creatives in making a work of scale and spectacle, in an off site location. The Shaking the Walls project is a great opportunity for us to examine the political and economic context of our place in the borders of the North West in association with our international partners.

The Winter’s Tale

We will be producing an off-site, immersive presentation of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, in partnership with Parrabbola Theatre Company. The production will take place in July 2019, in Donegal and Derry, crossing the borders, the traditions and the waters of the North West.

Two Kingdoms, Sicilia and Bohemia divided by an ocean; two kings, raised together, but at odds over the love of a woman; lost princes, prison sentences, tragic deaths, bears and ocean voyages, and finally, a mysterious and magical ending that reconciles the kingdoms; It is a problem play, a text with multiple personalities, but ultimately it explores conflict, reconciliation and borders. It is Shakespeare’s Brexit masterpiece.

Following on from the production, the theatre’s writer in residence, Guy Le Jeune, will travel on to Gdańsk, Ostrava and Reykjavik, working with Parrabbola’s Director, Philip Parr, to create a new piece work that addresses the nature of the walls we build, both physical and metaphorical, to presented at the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre in 2020.

 

Production partners and funders: Shaking the Tale is produced by An Grianán Theatre and Parrabbola as part of Shaking the Walls. Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programmed of the European Union. Additional support comes from Donegal County Council, the Arts Council of Ireland and the Earagail Arts Festival.

Shaking the Tale is part of Shaking the Walls, a project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. The project is led by Gdański Teatr Szekspirowski (Poland), the other partners are Parrabbola (UK), Cooltour Ostrava (Czech Republic) and Ratatam (Iceland). As well as Creative Europe, our co-funders for Shaking the Tale include the Donegal County Council, Arts Council of Ireland and the Earagail Arts Festival.

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#SaveStageLighting

If a proposed ban on the use of tungsten lamps in the entertainment industry comes into force the future will be dark for many theatres, An Grianán included.

The European Commission has begun the process of changing the regulations (EC) 244/2009, (EC) 245/2009 and (EU) 1194/2012 on EcoDesign Requirements and (EU) 874/2012 on the labelling of electrical lamps and luminaries, including those used in performance lighting.

These proposals pose an enormous threat to the way theatrical productions are presented. The impact of these proposals across Europe would be immediate, and overwhelming.

These new regulations, which come into effect in September 2020, will ban the production, sale or purchase of replacement tungsten bulbs for lighting fixtures such as those used in theatre lighting. This is being carried out in a bid to reduce energy usage across the sector by forcing the industry to move towards LED equivalents. While this may seem like a laudable endeavour, a number of key issues arise.

Tungsten and Arc light bulbs would rapidly become unavailable. This would mean that the majority of lighting fixtures in the majority of theatres – big theatres, small theatres, amateur theatres, colleges, schools, clubs, pubs, village halls – would immediately become obsolete. Fixtures that have given tireless service for years, sometimes for decades, with just a little regular maintenance and a new bulb every now and again would become yet more scrap metal and glass.

High-quality LED lighting units, which have made their way onto the market in recent years would also be banned under the proposals.

The entertainment industry will have almost no tools whatsoever with which to light plays, musicals or concerts.

Even if it was within the possibilities of physics to create a lighting unit that was capable of meeting these proposals, it would be completely unreachable in a financial sense. It would require the immediate overhaul of infrastructure and stock of almost every venue in Europe.

For larger venues, this would be both hard to budget for and impossible to implement within the next two years. For smaller venues, it would be ruinous. They would, quite literally, go dark.

Phil Jennings of the Riverbank Arts Centre, Kildare, outlines the likely impact of the proposed legislation on their venue:

Expense:
Riverbank Arts Centre is estimating an incurred cost of approximately €400,000 to replace its current infrastructure with an LED equivalent. It is important to note that this does not necessarily constitute an upgrade or improvement in quality to the current equipment but merely the installation of an LED equivalent. The extent of the re-fit will not be confined to the individual lighting fixtures. New lighting infrastructure including control consoles, dimmers and improved cable and data management would also be required. This change will also mean that the number of personnel required to to fit-up a production will increase.

Time Frame:
For small to medium sized venues, it is unlikely that adequate, standalone funding could be arranged before 2020. The larger venues, for whom budgets may not be a problem, will find it difficult to implement sufficient ‘dark time’ to carry out such works before 2020.

Quality of the Product:
Currently, this is no commercially available LED lighting fixture that meets with the proposed regulations of 85 Lumens per Watt.

Assumed Energy Usage:
Studies at Seattle Rep and for the Mayor of London showed that on average, performance lighting forms less than 5% of the total power consumption of a theatre building. This is because performance lighting is only ever used for a small number of hours daily (typically between 8pm and 10pm) and even then, the lighting fixtures are never at full output or all operational at the same time.

This problem is far bigger than just Riverbank Arts Centre and will effect schools, colleges, town halls, cultural organisations, places of worship, tv studios and theatres locally, nationally and internationally.

For Riverbank Arts Centre, I estimate that from September 2020 when the ban is introduced, the theatre will continue to function unaffected for a period of approximately 18 months on pre-purchased, stockpiled tungsten bulbs. After this point however – and as supplies of pre-purchased tungsten bulbs diminish, the theatre will have fewer and fewer lanterns available for use until it gets to a point where there are simply not enough fixtures to light a production adequately. It is at this point that we will no longer be capable of receiving performances.

Sign the petition: “Keep stage lighting exempt from proposed legislation changes.”

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