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Feel Good Opera The Gondoliers this October

North West Opera present Gilbert & Sullivan's The Gondoliers

The North West Opera return to An Grianán this October for an evening of beautiful melody and light-hearted banter with their production of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Gondoliers on Fri 27th & Sat 28th October.

Packed with crowd-pleasing vocal arrangements and tongue-in-cheek humour, The Gondoliers is a tale of the search for the heir to the throne of the fictional state of Barataria and all the plot twists that follow before the matter is resolved.

William Gilbert’s laugh-out-loud lyrics and Arthur Sullivan’s sumptuous and often giddy music will be performed by a combination of professional singers, orchestra and a veritable feast of local talent.

Billy Patterson and soprano Ann Jennings play The Duchess and Duke of Plaza-Toro in The Gondoliers.

Soprano Ann Jennings and former LMS director Billy Patterson play The Duchess and Duke of Plaza-Toro, combining fabulous vocals with natural comic flair.

The eponymous Gondoliers are portrayed by professional tenor Arthur Swan and James McLaughlin formerly of the D’Oyly Carte opera.

Donal Kavanagh, a devotee of all things Gilbert & Sullivan, is relishing the role of the Grand Inquisitor Don Alhambra.

Fresh from his success in the lead as the Phantom of the Opera, Robert Kelly takes on the role of Luiz, secretly in love with Casilda played by professional soprano Diana McLaughlin.

Following North West Opera’s critically acclaimed and tremendously entertaining production of Die Fledermaus last year, Deigh Reid is returning to employ his directorial, musical and comic instincts.

Rehearsals for The Gondoliers

Rehearsals for The Gondoliers

Ann Jennings Musical & Artistic Director of NWO is excited about having assembled such a talented team: “The Gondoliers contains some of Sullivan’s most inspired music – all the principals have fantastic pieces and the chorus have their fair share of glorious music too. We have put together a great cast that can do justice to the score but also have great comic acting ability to make the most of Gilbert’s humour”

Not the type to sit on her heels, Ann Jennings will then be jetting off to Europe in December where she has been signed up as Musical Director to lead a team of West End singers & dancers, in a new Andrew Lloyd Weber International gala, putting the soloists through their paces both vocally and musically.

You can follow the show’s rehearsal progress on Facebook northwestoperaireland.

Book now.

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Theatre Lovett: World class theatre for children

We’re dedicated to bringing you the best artistic shows for your children to see, it’s lovely to have shows with mass appeal but it’s equally important to bring you shows that will warm your hearts and widen your children’s imaginations. Theatre Lovett are among the very best creators of child centred drama working today.

Their latest show They Called Her Vivaldi is currently touring Ireland once again due to popular demand and can be see here at An Grianán on Sat 4 Nov. The tour culminates at the Irish National Theatre on the Peacock Stage, 30 November – 23 December 2017. This acclaimed production was selected from 100’s of performances for young audiences to showcase in the USA at IPAY (International Performing Arts for Youth) in January 2017 and will undertake an extensive US tour in 2019.

Judges Special Award nominee Irish Times Theatre Awards 2017

They Called Her Vivaldi is an upbeat comedy adventure about a sensitive musical-prodigy who makes a quiet name for herself in a cacophonous world. As our young heroine journeys over cobblestones and canals, we learn about love, loss, the place of salt in our diet and the courage to lose our footing without losing our way.

The production stars the inimitable Louis Lovett, Ireland’s most experienced and critically acclaimed performer for young audiences and well known on the adult stage. Renowned for his natural, playful ability to entertain, engage and enthral, Louis most recently starring in ‘Dublin By Lamplight’ with Corn Exchange and ‘The Train’ with Rough Magic both at The Abbey Theatre.

About Theatre Lovett

Theatre Lovett produce work for all ages, both child and adult, young and old, chicken and egg.  Artist Directors Muireann Ahern and Louis Lovett believe that children and young people can enjoy and understand theatre that does not pretend the adult world is anything other than a complex and occasionally dark place where we must make moral choices for ourselves as individuals. THEATRE LOVETT WANT TO BRING MORE THEATRE TO MORE CHILDREN, MORE OFTEN, touring in Ireland and raising the bar for international touring of Irish theatre for young audiences.

Performance Date:
Sat 4 Nov at 12pm and 2pm.
Tickets: €10/€7, family of four €30
Suitable for children ages 7+ and adults of all ages.
BOOK NOW

See our Theatre Lovett event page for further information.

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ANNOUNCEMENT from Letterkenny Musical Society re: Singin’ in the Rain

Letterkenny Musical Society present Dolly Parton's musical 9 to 5.The Letterkenny Musical Society have decided to replace their intended production of Singin’ in the Rain with the Dolly Parton musical 9 to 5 instead.

Here is their statement:

There’s no business like show business and the LMS are in the business of only producing superb shows.

We have been thoroughly enjoying our initial preparations for Singin’ in the Rain, but unfortunately, due to scheduling of our very busy Principals and committee, we find ourselves fighting with the one thing that can’t be rearranged… time.

Rather than rushing the spectacular production we had planned, and in order to avoid unnecessary pressure on our cast, we have decided to shelve this show… for now. We will continue this project at a future time, but rather than going Singin’ in the Rain this February, we’re excited to announce that we shall be taking you all on a journey to Nashville with Dolly Parton’s Infamous musical, 9-5.

Think sass, think dancing, think big voices and big lungs… 9-5 will blow your minds with a comedy filled story of three incredible women who take on the ‘Big Man’. With a superb script and addictive soundtrack, 9-5 will have you dancing in the aisles on An Grianán Theatre.

We are continuing our choral rehearsals and are happy to announce that auditions for all roles will take place in the next two weeks. Our registration for chorus has been extended for 2 weeks also, so if you fancy getting your 9-5 on, come join us!

ENDS

If you have already purchased tickets for Singin’ in the Rain they will remain valid for 9 to 5: The Musical – dates and times have not changed. If you would prefer to cancel your booking please contact the box office to arrange a refund.

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Druid’s Waiting for Godot now open for booking

Druid Theatre’s award-winning production of Waiting for Godot embarks on an extensive Irish and international tour in 2018 and will come to An Grianán for three nights only in March.

Tues 13 to Thur 15 March 2018 – Book now.

 

On a bare road in the middle of nowhere, two world-weary friends await the arrival of the mysterious Godot. While waiting, they speculate, bicker, joke and ponder life’s greater questions. As dusk begins to fall, two figures appear on the horizon.

Regarded as one of the most significant plays of the twentieth century, Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett is a masterpiece that draws endless interpretations and Druid’s production has won acclaim from audiences and critics alike, and multiple Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards.

Marty Rea as Vladimir and Aaron Monaghan as Estragon in Druid’s production of Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett directed by Garry Hynes. Photo Matthew Thompson.jpg

Druid’s interpretation of this Beckett masterpiece premiered at the 2016 Galway International Arts Festival, captivating both audiences and critics alike. There wasn’t a ticket to be had for the subsequent Unusual Rural Tour, which played outdoors in Glencree, Inis Meáin and the Céide Fields. The sell-out production earlier this year had a month-long run at the Abbey Theatre in April prior to heading to Spoleto Festival USA in June.

“Our 2016 Unusual Rural Tour showed us just how much of an appetite there is for this production so it’s great to take it to so many corners of the country, and internationally, in 2018.” said Artistic Director, Garry Hynes. “It’s also fantastic to continue working on this extraordinary show with members of our Ensemble and creative team who have shaped something very special.”

Aaron Monaghan as Estragon, Garrett Lombard as Lucky and Marty Rea as Vladimir in Druid’s production of Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett directed by Garry Hynes. Photo Matthew Thompson.

Waiting for Godot stars members of the famed Druid Ensemble Garrett Lombard, Aaron Monaghan, Rory Nolan and Marty Rea.

Druid actors are at the centre of the company’s creativity and a permanent Druid Ensemble was announced in 2013. The ensemble meet throughout the year and feed into Druid’s artistic programme. Waiting for Godot stemmed from the Druid ensemble and is testament to the shared commitment of both the company and the ensemble in investigating new creative possibilities.

Druid & An Grianán

Druid first performed at An Grianán with The Beauty Queen of Leenane in 2000.
Other productions performed here include DruidSynge (2004), The year of the Hiker (2006), The Cripple of Inishmaan (2008), The Gigli Concert (2009), DruidMurphy (2013) and most recently DruidShakespeare (2015): Richard II, Henry IV (Part One), Henry IV (Part Two) and Henry V in a new adaptation by Mark O’Rowe.

Marty Rea as Richard II in DruidShakespeare. Marty Rea plays Vladimir in the upcoming Waiting for Godot. Photo by Matthew Thompson.

Marty Rea as Richard II in DruidShakespeare. Marty Rea plays Vladimir in the upcoming Waiting for Godot. Photo by Matthew Thompson.

A bold idea

Druid began as a bold idea: to create Ireland’s first professional theatre company outside of Dublin. There were few resources with which to build a theatre company in the west of Ireland in 1975, but, through sheer dedication, and with the support of the Galway community, founders Garry Hynes, Marie Mullen and Mick Lally made this bold idea a reality. That reality has since become an international success story of extraordinary dimensions.

NUIG graduates, Garry Hynes, Marie Mullen and Mick Lally founded Druid in the mid 1970s and rehearsed in various buildings around Galway – the Jesuit Hall, The Fo’castle Hotel – before they found a home on Druid Lane. It was in that first year that Druid produced Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World and in it, found a playwright they would go on to explore and find success with at home and abroad.

The company’s first won success outside of Ireland was the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Druid quickly gained an international reputation with productions such as At the Black Pig’s Dyke (1992), Conversations on a Homecoming (1985), and Bailegangaire (1985) featuring Siobhan McKenna in one of her finest dramatic performances.

In 1996 Druid premièred Martin McDonagh’s debut work The Beauty Queen of Leenane, in a co-production with the Royal Court Theatre. It opened in Galway and played in London, Sydney, Dublin, and on Broadway, where the production won four Tony Awards, including Best Director for Garry Hynes, the first woman to win an award for directing in the history of the Tony’s.

To this day, while Druid works with a core group of actors, designers and production crew on a consistent basis, at its heart is the working relationship between Garry Hynes and Marie Mullen, one of the most successful and significant actor-director relationships of the modern theatre. Druid founder and actor, Mick Lally, passed away in August 2010 and up until that time had been one of Druid’s core group of actors.

http://www.druid.ie

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All Ireland One Act Drama Finals launch

Photocall from yesterday’s official launch of the All Ireland One Act Drama Finals which will be held in Letterkenny for the first time this December.
3 October 2017: Official launch of the All Ireland One Act Drama Finals which will be held in Letterkenny for the first time this December. Front row left to right: Jean Curran, John Travers, Mayor of Donegal Cllr Gerry Mc Monagle, Mayor of Letterkenny Municipal District Cllr Jimmy Kavanagh, Plunkett O'Fearraigh and Anne Mc Gowan. Back row left to right: Sean Mc Cormack, Cllr Ian Mc Garvey ,Cllr Michael Mc Bride, James Mc Laughlin A.I.B.and John O'Donnell.Front row left to right: Jean Curran, John Travers, Mayor of Donegal Cllr Gerry Mc Monagle, Mayor of Letterkenny Municipal District Cllr Jimmy Kavanagh, Plunkett O’Fearraigh and Anne Mc Gowan.
Back row left to right: Sean Mc Cormack, Cllr Ian Mc Garvey ,Cllr Michael Mc Bride, James Mc Laughlin A.I.B.and John O’Donnell.
 

Letterkenny has been fortunate to be asked to stage The All Ireland One Act Finals this year in An Grianán Theatre from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd December. This is a great opportunity for the people of Letterkenny and Donegal to see the top 11 plays presented at all the one act festivals from around the country during November 2017. Ticket sales are already flying even though we won’t know who the finalists are until the end of November!

There will be 3 plays shown on Friday and Saturday nights, 3 on Sunday afternoon and 2 on Sunday night with the presentation of awards straight afterwards.The Festival Club will be held in An Grianán Theatre each night after the performances when the groups and audiences can mingle and let their hair down. Music will be provided each night.

A large crowd is expected in the town during the festival and there will be other fringe events occurring as well to entertain the visitors while in town – Visits to Glenveagh National Park & Grianán of Aileach, Historic walks of the town, traditional music /jazz sessions locally, golf competition etc. All these will be announced at a later date.

The All Ireland One Act Finals is hosted by Letterkenny One Act Festival under the auspices of Drama League of Ireland and The Amateur Drama Council of Ireland.

Tickets can be purchased at our box office on 0749120777 or online here. Cost is €18/€16 per session. Attend all four sessions for the great price of just €60 (discount automatically deducted when you add tickets for all four sessions to your cart).

Visit the official website for the latest festival news – www.oneactfinals2017.ie

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Relaxed Performance of The Nutcracker

After last year’s warm response to our relaxed performance of Peter Pan we are pleased to announce that we will hold a relaxed performance of our Christmas Show The Nutcracker on Thursday 14 December at 11am.

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. It is also a good way to introduce younger children to live performances in a less formal setting than regular theatre events.

  • 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!

Will it be very different from attending a regular performance?

Audience feedback to our Peter Pan relaxed performances was very positive. We made a few subtle alterations – the auditorium lights were only partially dimmed (no blackouts) and any especially loud noises were reduced. Most people felt that it did not affect their enjoyment of the show.

Please contact Daithi or Nicola at the box office on 0749120777 if you have any questions or are interesting in bringing a group.

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Joseph O’Connor’s Guide to starting a book club

We have a wonderful stage adaptation of Joseph O’Connor’s Star of the Sea coming up in November and feel that it would be terrific opportunity for a night out for book club members. So if you haven’t already decided what your November book is going to be, why not consider picking Star of the Sea?

Already a popular choice with book clubs, Joseph O’Connor has created his own guide to Star of the Sea especially for reading groups which can be downloaded from his website here

Moonfish Theatre's Star of the Sea is freely adapted (with the author's blessing) from Joseph O'Connor's acclaimed novel.

Moonfish Theatre’s Star of the Sea is freely adapted (with the author’s blessing) from Joseph O’Connor’s acclaimed novel.

But what if you’re not in a book club?

To find a book club near you visit the Donegal Country Library as they facilitate and support a number of Book Clubs around the County including those hosted and run by the library as well as those held outside the library. See their website for further info.

Start your own?

If you want to get proactive and start your own book club check out these handy tips from Joseph O’Connor:

THE PEOPLE

  • Decide how many people you would ideally like in your group. Less than 5 can be a bit small but more than 15 is a bit too large.
  • Ask your local library, college or bookshop to put up an ad for you on their notice board.
  • Spread the word amongst friends – get word-of-mouth going about the group.
  • Hopefully you’ll end up with a diverse group of people which will make discussions all the more interesting.

THE LOCATION

  • Libraries, colleges and bookshops are a great help as they may have a room where you can hold meetings.
  • You may prefer to meet in more relaxed environments such as a separate room in a pub or restaurant or even in members’ homes – alternating for each meeting so everyone has an opportunity to host.

THE MEETING

  • Decide how often you would like to meet – most groups tend to meet once a month giving everyone plenty of opportunity to read the chosen book.
  • Try and meet on the same day each time. This will give the group continuity, the meeting priority and will make it easier for people to keep it free and attend regularly.
  • Decide how long you would like the meetings to last – but be flexible in the course of each meeting.

THE BOOKS

  • Everyone in the group is going to have slightly different tastes in books so try and choose a real cross-section of authors and genres so that all tastes are covered and you all get to try different writing.
  • Decide how you are going to select what books are to be discussed – a rota system or drawing suggestions from a hat are a couple of commonly used systems.
  • Look to your local bookshop for suggestions through staff recommends and promotions such as fresh talent and book of the month.
  • Write to publishers and ask for their new title catalogues to get a head start on up and coming new titles.
  • Don’t forget to scour the shelves for older more established classics that you may not have read but have always meant to.
  • Think about whether every few meetings you’d like to have a themed evening, such as crime, or Booker prizewinners and choose two or three books to compare.

THE DISCUSSION

  • Discuss what everyone wants from the meetings – everyone’s expectations for the groups need to be fulfilled as much as possible.
  • Think about having a different facilitator at each meeting. Their role could be to present the book with a little background information on the author and book, this can help set the scene for the discussion to come.
  • Have some discussion points ready to get things going. A little structure at the start can be beneficial.
  • Try to avoid letting one voice dominate proceedings, this can be intimidating to other group members and hinder discussion.
  • Be aware as to when the discussion is getting bogged down and needs to be moved on.

GET GOING

Remember being a member of a reading group is meant to be fun and will enhance your reading – enjoy yourself.

Source: http://www.josephoconnorauthor.com/for-book-clubs-star-of-the-sea.html

Blending language, song, movement and imagery, this exciting and inventive production by award-winning Moonfish Theatre brings Joseph O’Connor’s epic novel to the stage as part of their national tour. Set in 1847, Star of the Sea is a famine-ship sailing to New York. Among the passengers are those with secrets to hide – a silent maidservant, a ruined landlord, and an infamous murderer.

Moonfish Theatre present their adaptation of Star of the Sea on Tues 21 November. Tickets are €18/€15 but if you are coming as part of a group please contact Daithi or Nicola at the box office on 0749120777 to avail of a generous discount. We’d love to hear from you! 

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News for teachers: Manny Man the stage show

John D Ruddy brings his creation Manny Man to the stage with An Grianán Theatre in 2018.A youtube sensation, a hit book and soon to be a stage show! See Ireland’s tumultuous millennia of history turned into a fun and easy-to-understand story.

We are currently developing a stage adaptation of John D Ruddy’s Manny Man Does the History of Ireland with a view to presenting it to schools audiences in May 2018.

Manny Man brings history to life with clarity and hilarity in videos that have amassed millions of views around the world.

Why did the Celts love stealing cows? What was the Norman Invasion, and were they all called Norman? From the Ice Age up to the present day, through the Vikings and Tudors, British rule and the fight for independence, he covers it all – with his tongue in his cheek, of course.

Ideal for 5th & 6th national school classes and second level history students.

Rehearsed reading

We will hold a rehearsed reading of the play with its cast John D Ruddy and Louise Conaghan on Thursday 19 October to an invited audience only. If you are a teacher interested in attending please get in touch with Nicola or Daithi at the box office on 0749120777. This will be a great chance to get a preview of the show and feedback and suggestions will be welcome.

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News for teachers: Christmas show and free workshops

An Grianán Theatre Productions in association with Zona Dance present The NutcrackerUPDATE: ALL AVAILABLE WORKSHOP SLOTS HAVE NOW BEEN FILLED.

Join us this December for a sparkling new version of Christmas favourite The Nutcracker, and our version is for boys every bit as much as it’s for girls!

Adapted by Guy Le Jeune from the folk tales of ETA Hoffman and Alexandre Dumas and directed by choreographer Jessica Peoples of ZoNa dance, our Nutcracker is set in Donegal and brings exciting drama and dialogue to the show while retaining some of the ballet version’s more famous dance pieces, and we think your students will love it.

Like last year’s production of Peter Pan, this will be a youth led cast ages 8 to 21 and with 30 acting roles and 26 dancers it’s going to be huge!

In school workshops

In addition, we are supporting the show with in-school movement workshops which are available free of charge and will be taught by our show’s director Jessica Peoples. The workshops will take place in October or November and will include movement theatre and dance suitable for boys and girls and will explore one of the scenes of the Nutcracker where the Nutcracker soldier meets his nemesis… The Mouse King!

We expect these workshops to be filled pretty quickly so to schedule one for your class please contact Jessica directly on 086 8222189 or by eMail.

Performances Schedule:
Tues 12 to Friday 15 December at 11am. Sat 16 at 2pm and 7pm.

Special rate for schools: €8, teachers/SNAs are free. Book now on 0749120777.

The Nutcracker is produced by An Grianán Theatre in association with ZoNa Dance Co.

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An Grianán Supports: Radio Rosario

Little John Nee in Radio Rosario.Developed through FUEL – Druids Artist Residency Programme. Supported by The Mick Lally Theatre and An Grianan Theatre. Funded through an Arts Council Theatre Project Award.

Little John Nee’s Radio Rosario. Developed through FUEL – Druids Artist Residency Programme. Supported by The Mick Lally Theatre and An Grianan Theatre. Funded through an Arts Council Theatre Project Award.

Little John Nee is a performer we’ve enjoyed a long, creative relationship with. In 2010/ 2011 he was our theatre artist in residence leading many workshops, performing shows, working on the book of his three ‘Donegal’ plays The Derry Boat, The Mental and Rural Electric, and creating a daily haiku. Subsequent to this work he recorded an album of songs with the Highly Strung Caledonian Orchestra. 

We are delighted to be able to support the making of his latest play, Radio Rosario, which is part of the Dublin Theatre Festival this September. Set in Galway city, in the very near future in Radio Rosario John plays Valve Hegarty, a man who sings audio jingles to pay the rent; a drudgery that weighs heavily on him. He has a hankering for something of substance and is drawn to the beauty of 20th-century valve radios. A chance meeting in Clifden leads him to the site of the Marconi Station where a soundscape of ghostly broadcasts begins. Meanwhile, Rosario is… well, Rosario is Rosario.

In Radio Rosario, Little John Nee brings his musical storytelling on another step with long-time collaborator and creator Laura Sheeran, who we last saw on our stage with Little John in The Mental, she also performed in the foyer at the Crash Cabaret with her band Nanu Nanu,  and a multi-award winning team. We very much hope to present Radio Rosario at An Grianán Theatre at some point during 2018.

 

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