news

New local production premieres at An Grianán

The Letterkenny Music and Drama Group’s Beneath An Irish Sky, a new play by local author Kieran Kelly.Letterkenny Music & Drama Group are delighted to be presenting a brand new play for their drama festival production this year. “Beneath an Irish Sky” will receive its premiere in An Grianán Theatre on Tuesday 13th February 2018 prior to competing on the demanding Drama Festival Circuit.

Inspired by archive reports and eyewitness testimonies, “Beneath An Irish Sky” is written by Kieran Kelly and looks at the events of the ‘decade of change’ from a Donegal perspective. Set in the town of Letterkenny between the years 1914-1924, it tells the fictionalised account of one man’s journey through those turbulent times, questioning what made him pick up a gun to fight for his country.

Originally written as a dramatic reading as part of An Grianán Theatre’s 1916 commemorations two years ago, the overwhelmingly positive response to that performance prompted Kieran to return to it and adapt it for a full production. “When it was first performed as a reading in 2016, it concerned an elderly man being interviewed in 1966 as he looked back on the events that affected him as a young man,” said Kieran. “However, when it came to adapt it for a full production, I found it more interesting to focus on the actual events in the past to drive the story forward rather than a piece of retrospection and so it is now set firmly between 1914 and 1924.”

Direction is in the sure hands of Pluincéad O’Fearraigh who is very much looking forward to producing a brand-new play for the Letterkenny audience and beyond. “I’m thrilled and delighted to be directing and producing this thought provoking and intriguing play by Kieran for its world premiere in An Grianán Theatre and then on the 3-act drama festival circuit. It’s not that often that you get the opportunity to direct a newly written play and I hope I do justice to the challenge of bringing the characters and the situations portrayed in this play to life for the audiences to enjoy. I cannot praise Kieran highly enough for his courage and skill in writing such a fantastic play.” Although he is keen to point out that you don’t have to be from Letterkenny to enjoy it. “While the situations and characters in the play are based in the town of Letterkenny, they are as relevant in any part of Ireland during the turbulent times in which this play is set.”

The play depicts how the central character of Brendan McDevitt (Eoin Callaghan) was affected by the seismic events unfolding around him – from World War 1, through the War of Independence and up to the Civil War – and shows how these events convinced him to gradually move from the peaceful Nationalism of the Ancient Order of Hibernians into the more militant Republicanism of Sinn Féin. This life altering decision will have far reaching implications for both himself and his family. The various decisions he makes throughout his journey are all influenced by those around him, from the attitude of his parents Barney (Kieran Kelly) and Cassie (Elaine Gillespie), the actions of his brother Michael (Loic Cech), his neighbour Mary (Laura Doherty) and the political allegiances of both the local priest Father Crawford (Michael Leddy) and the persuasive Doctor McBride (Martin Hasson).

The play opens in An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny on Tuesday 13th February 2018 at 8pm prior to touring the drama festival circuit throughout February and March. It will also be performed in the Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair on Wednesday 21st February. For more details, find the Letterkenny Music & Drama Group on Facebook and for tickets for what promises to be a dramatic night of entertainment contact An Grianán Theatre on 0749120777 or www.angrianan.com.

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Workshop for theatre practitioners and educators

Workshop with Cliodna Noonan for theatre practitioners, drama facilitators and educators

UPDATE 26/1/18: THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW FULLY BOOKED.

A special workshop for theatre practitioners and drama facilitators.

When: Monday 12 February 10 AM – 1 PM

Where: An Grianan Theatre.

Who is it for? Theatre practitioners, drama facilitators and educators who work with early years and younger children.

How much does it cost? It’s free but places are very limited so book quickly!

We are delighted to offer a free workshop with Cliodhna Noonan. Cliodhna has been funded through the Arts Council YPCE scheme to develop a new work for young children based on the theme of the book Swedish Fairy Tales illustrated by John Bauer.

To date she has worked with a mentor in Lithuania. Vitalijus Mazuras, a puppet maker of grotesque trolls to create a puppet experience for young babies and their families on the theme of John Bauer’s Swedish Fairy Tales.

In her workshop she aims to share these skills with educators and theatre practitioners and draw feedback for the development of the new work which will be produced later in the year.

Below is the outline of the workshop:

· Introduction of the YPCE bursary and the ideas I came up with. (10 mins)

· Presentation storytelling activity with the Troll landscape and the story (15 mins)

· Challenging artistic practice: learning to do something new like the children are asked to do daily

· Storyboard activity – Make a grotesque scene and present the story in groups of three with sounds. (30 mins)

· Video and explanation about my research – intergenerational expertise; perspectives on a different way of doing things in the past; (20 mins)

· The grotesque style and its place in Mazuras’ life history. (10 mins)

· Playing with the 3 puppets of Mazuras. Give a voice to something you want to say in 3 groups. (30 mins)

· “We all have the grotesque inside” Make your own troll and present it. Build the troll kingdom and take a photo. Use the lights provided. (45 mins)

· Feedback forms – Siolta reference : points to consider especially regarding artists and the bridge between education and culture/the arts. (30 mins)

The workshop is free but places are very limited. Please call the box office on 0749120777 to register.

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Job Vacancies

An Gtianán Theatre - playlist in progress for Little John Nee and the Caledonia Highly Strung Orchestra, Culture Night 2017. Photo by Paul McGuckin.
We wish to recruit the following staff under the Community Employment Scheme:

Box Office Assistants

Front of House Ushers

Community Employment Rates and Conditions apply. Please note the eligible age for participation on Community Employment is 21 years. Please contact your local Department of Social Protection office for details of any exceptions to this.

To apply please send your CV and PPS number to:

Martina Murphy

Community Employment Supervisor

An Grianán Theatre

Port Rd

Letterkenny

Co Donegal

eMail

 

 

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Swan Lake: Why you should go see this show

Swan Lake/Loch na hEala comes to An Grianan Theatre Letterkenny in January 2018.Our costume designer Anne-marie Kilfeather on why you should definitely go and see Swan Lake / Loch na hEala:

You can go to one show this year, just one, and feel unbridled satisfaction for the rest of your days.

I saw Loch na hEala last year in Belvedere’s theatre during the Dublin Theatre Festival. I didn’t know what to expect, I just heard it would be pretty special and that the entire ensemble had been living together, not just practicing moves but breaking bread together each day and generally following a holistic lifestyle in preparation for performances. I was intrigued and rightly so.

The energy of that performance remains with me.

Live music was performed by seated musicians upstage, while dancers who moved as though channelling another realm, twisted and turned, even balanced majestically on breeze blocks.

It was mesmerising.

The simplicity of the colours in the costumes and set only heightened the tremendous prowess of these wonderful people as their stories unfolded. Every movement, from lightness to gut-wrenching torment was somehow translated through motion and stillness. I hardly remember the dialogue, even though it was delivered by the fantastic man that is Mikel Murfi.

I left that theatre with one thought, that I was so glad to be alive at that moment, witnessing it.

That is what great live theatre can do  – show you that there is magic in this world and all it takes is being there to know this.

Watching a documentary on the making of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’ album, I was struck by these words as they said what I feel about the power of being at a live performance. This was how I felt when I saw him live a few years ago, but it also applies to all live experiences. I felt this way when I saw ‘Swan Lake’ too.

I’ll leave it to The Boss and Patti Scialfa to explain it better. Patti begins by describing the live experince…

Patti:
“First time I saw Bruce was in 1978. I’d never seen anything like that. It was shocking! I was surprised that you could be in such a large venue and still feel that you’re having a personal experience.”
Bruce: “When you come out there in that dark, and you make that magic, you pull something that doesn’t exist out of the air. Doesn’t exist until any given night when you’re standing there in front of your audience. Nothing exists in that space until you go, “One, two, three, four, voom!” Then you and the audience together manifest an entire world, an entire set of values, an entire way of thinking about your life and the world around you, and an entire set of possibilities. That can never be taken away.”

You only need to go to one thing in the theatre for 2018 but perhaps go on the first night as you might just want to go again.

Swan Lake / Loch na hEala is here for two nights only, Wed 31 Jan and Thur 1 Feb. Tickets available at our box office on 0749120777 or online at www.angrianan.com.

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Christmas and New Year Opening Hours

We are open:

Saturday 23rd December 10am to 5pm
Sunday 24th December Online Only
Christmas Day Online Only
St. Stephen’s Day Online Only
Wednesday 27th December 6pm to 8pm
Thursday 28th December 6pm to 8pm
Friday 29th December 6pm tp 8pm
Saturday 30th December to Monday 1 January Online Only
Tuesday 2 January 9.30am to 5.30pm

 

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Christmas Posting and Christmas Holidays Opening Hours

The last day for guaranteed Christmas posting (within Ireland) is Wednesday 20th December before midday.

We close on Sat 23rd December at 5pm

We will be open for 2 hours from 6pm- 8pm on December 27th, 28th & 29th. We then close again until Tuesday 2nd January at 9.30am.

you can still book online at any time during the holidays, and there will be no online booking fees during the time we are closed.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at An Grianan Theatre.

 

 

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An Grianán Ambassador: John Ruddy

You may have noticed our new series of brochure covers, featuring local people, our first was Angel Humm from Portsalon and the current brochure features Letterkenny man John D. Ruddy.

We asked John what An Grianán means to him.

I grew up in a house watching the John Player Tops and Little Shop of Horrors. I grew up in a house of the Rainbow Theatre Group and variety shows in the Community Games. I grew up in the house with the woman who helped bring Caisleáin Óir to the stage and brought us all along for the ride! I remember the opening night of An Grianán Theatre. I was 10 years old and I remember the LMDG’s Magic of the Musicals. I remember LMS’s Jesus Christ Superstar. I remember Familie Flöz’s Teatro Delusio and Restorante Immortale. I remember so many shows on that stage. I first performed on that massive stage in 2000 in children’s chorus of Caisleáin Óir. In 2013, I’d play Cearrbhach in the same show, and get my favourite photo with me and my wee mammy taken in the green room! I’ve long lost count of how many times I’ve performed on that stage; pantomimes, musicals with the LMDG, and of course The 39 Steps. When we were out on tour, it was always a pleasure to play the home pitch. I knew the dimensions, I knew the acoustics, and as I turned pro, it was even more satisfying to return not just to the home stage, but the team behind the magic, the family of An Grianán Theatre that keeps this stage in the North West one of the best! An Grianán has always supported me as I have grown professionally; through my acting in their many productions, directing the Youth Theatre in Black Adder Goes Forth, and now writing, with my upcoming Manny Man Does the History of Ireland On Stage in October 2018! An Grianán is the theatre of Letterkenny and the theatre of my heart!

John D. Ruddy, December 2017.

Want to know more about John and his work?

Here’s Manny Man’s history of Ireland

Here’s His Book https://www.collinspress.ie/manny-man-does-the-history-of-ireland.html

And here’s his facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JohnDRuddy/

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Winter Spring 2018 brochure available to download now

Cover of An Grianan Theatre's winter/spring 2018 events guide brochureOur latest brochure is currently being printed and will be available next week. In the meantime you can download a digital copy here: http://www.angrianan.com/ang_winterspring_brochure-2018/

 

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Change to drama class location Sat 2 December

Sat 2 December
Due to An Grianán’s packed schedule this weekend we have had to temporarily relocate this Saturday’s drama classes to Pinehill Studios on the Mountaintop. Class times remain the same.

Sat 9 December
We are back in the theatre for the final class of the year. This will be our end of course showcase.
Can all students please be at the theatre for 10.30am.
Showcase: 12.30pm in the auditorium.

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Want to work with us? Vacancies on our CE scheme.

Random photos of An Grianan. Dinosaurs of Donegal. Culture Night 2017. Photo by Paul McGuckin.

We wish to recruit the following staff under the Community Employment Scheme:

Box Office Assistant

Front of House Ushers

Community Employment Rates and Conditions apply. Please note the eligible age for participation on Community Employment is 21 years. Please contact your local Department of Social Protection office for details of any exceptions to this.

To apply please send your CV and PPS number to:

Martina Murphy

Community Employment Supervisor

An Grianán Theatre

Port Rd

Letterkenny

Co Donegal

eMail

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