david grant

Auditions for Unified the Musical

This summer we will be co-producing a new show with the Earagail Arts Festival called Unified the Musical. Inspired by stories from the factory floor, Unified will be a colourful show with live music, singing and a large cast.

AUDITIONS

Date: Sat 21 May
Venue: Regional Cultural Centre
Times: 11am to 1pm OR 2 to 4pm

Unified the Musical – Performance dates: Thur 21 to Sat 23 July (with an option to extend to Sunday 24)

Rehearsal Schedule: to be finalised but we would envision Saturdays and possibly one weekday evening with a more intensive rehearsal period in the run up to the show.

We are looking for adults, across a range of ages, male and female (must be 16+).

We will be holding workshop style auditions with the show’s director David Grant, music director Fionn Robinson and choreographer Aoife Toner.

Please prepare a song to give us an idea of your voice. Don’t worry if you are not a confident singer as we need chorus singers too.

IMPORTANT: If you would like to audition please call our box office on 074 912 0777 in advance to reserve a place as space is limited.

About Unified the Musical

Before Pramerica, Boston Scientific and Zeus came to Donegal there was Courtaulds-Lirelle which became UNIFI Textured Yarns, Europe Ltd. UNIFI was part of a textile industry that stretched across the North-West. Fruit of the Loom in Buncrana and Derry, Adria and O’Neills in Strabane, the shirt factories and the nylon spinners.

A million, million miles of yarn and thousands of people passed through the doors of these plants. For over thirty years, UNIFI in Letterkenny was the town’s major employer, in a time of rapid social change. Every department was a tribe and every shift had its own personality. Lives were changed, skills learned, friendships formed, partners met, and families reared on the wages.

We are going to take all those personal stories and wrap them up in one big rip-roaring, all-singing extravaganza.

UNIFIED the Musical is written by the creator of Fiesta, Guy Le Jeune; with original music written by Fionn Robinson and choreography devised by Aoife Toner. The production will be directed by An Grianán’s long-term collaborator, David Grant.

David Grant’s previous work with An Grianán includes a touring production of Frank Pig Says Hello, play readings of The Gentle Island and most recently Beneath an Irish Sky, and community theatre productions A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The O’Neill).

 

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Cast announced for Beneath An Irish Sky

We are pleased to announce our cast for this dramatic reading of Kieran Kelly’s new play.

This March as part of our season of events to commemorate the 1916 Rising we will be holding a dramatic reading of a new play by local author and historian Kieran Kelly. Beneath an Irish Sky looks at the events of 1916 from a Donegal perspective. It is a fictionalised account of one man’s journey through those those turbulent times, questioning what made him pick up a gun to fight for his country and how one moment in his youth affected the rest of his life.

CAST
Jack Quinn (Brendan McDaid)
Patrick McBrearty (Francis Doherty)
Charlie Bonner (Patrick McDaid)
Orla Carlin (Mary McDaid )
Hugh Carr (Michael McDaid)
Tomás Barriscale (Young Brendan)
Michael Leddy (Fr John McCafferty)
Jason Daly (Dr JP Mc Ginley)

Charlie Bonner in the Lyric Theatre 2015 production of Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel

Charlie Bonner in the Lyric Theatre 2015 production of Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel

A professional actor with 25 years experience, Charlie Bonner most recently appeared at An Grianán in the acclaimed Livin’ Dred production The Kings of the Kilburn High Road and in last year’s Lyric Theatre production of the Brian Friel classic Dancing at Lughnasa.

Patrick McBrearty in An Grianan Theatre's Frank Pig Says Hello touring Ireland Sept to Oct 2014. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved.

Patrick McBrearty in An Grianan Theatre’s Frank Pig Says Hello,  Irish Tour Ireland Sept to Oct 2014. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved.

From St Johnson, Patrick McBrearty made his professional debut in our production of Frank Pig Says Hello also with director David Grant. He is currently appearing in Sole Purpose’s Blinkered and will soon appear in Belfast Tempest, a huge Shakespearean production which will feature a cast of 200 performers.

Jack Quinn as Fr Jack in An Grianán Productions' Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel, Oct/Nov 2002. Photo: Declan Doherty

Jack Quinn as Fr Jack in An Grianán Productions’ Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel, Oct/Nov 2002. Photo: Declan Doherty

Jack Quinn has had a long and varied career and has appeared many times in An Grianán productions including our very first touring show, Brian Friel’s Translations in 1999. He also appeared in our Irish Times Theatre award winning production  of Dancing at Lughnasa in 2002.

Orla Carlin (right) in Fiesta, July 2014. Photo by Declan Doherty.

Orla Carlin (right) in Fiesta, July 2014. Photo by Declan Doherty.

Orla Carlin’s previous roles with An Grianán include Fiesta, Brian Friel’s Aristocrats. She has also performed with the Letterkenny Pantomime Society and in the Letterkenny Music & Drama Group’s Don’t Tell the Wife.

Cast members Martin McGinley, Michael Leddy, Valerie Bryce and Eoghan MacGiolla Bhride.

Michael Leddy (second from left) in Bread and Roses Theatre’s Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay, July 2015. Photo by Rik Walton.

Originally from Leitrim but now based in Letterkenny, Michael Leddy’s recent acting roles include Puddle Alley’s Bookworms and last year’s Earagail Arts Festival hit Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay!

Jason Daly in Fiesta, July 2014. Photo by Declan Doherty.

Jason Daly in Fiesta, July 2014. Photo by Declan Doherty.

Jason Daly appeared in our production of The Freedom on the City in 2013 before going to Dublin to study at the Lir Academy of Performing Arts. He also had one of the principal roles in our original production of Fiesta in 2014.

Hugh Carr and Tomás Barriscale are both graduates of our Youth Theatre programme. Tomás is currently studying science in Cork while Hugh is getting ready for his Leaving Cert and planning to study theatre and acting at college.

A Terrible Beauty: Remembering 1916

Tues 22 March at 8pm
Beneath An Irish Sky – rehearsed reading
Tickets: €5 Book now

Wed 23 March at 8pm
The Rising
Tickets: €15/€12 Book now

Fri 1 April
Left Behind: The Widows of 1916
Tickets: €15/€12 Book now

This performance supported by Donegal County Council and the Ireland 1916 Cetenary programme.

This performance supported by Donegal County Council and the Ireland 1916 Centenary programme.

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Beneath An Irish Sky: Letterkenny and 1916

A Terrible Beauty: Remembering 1916 is our short season of events inspired by the 1916 Easter Rising. We’ll have three shows, the first of which is a rehearsed reading of a new play by local writer Kieran Kelly.

Kieran Kelly with his book Letterkenny Where The Winding Swilly Flows

Kieran Kelly with his book Letterkenny Where The Winding Swilly Flows

Kieran Kelly will be well known to An Grianán regulars as he has performed many times on our stage in productions as diverse as A Midsummer’s Night Dream, The 39 Steps and Sister Act to name just a few. As a author he has written a book on the history of Letterkenny and a children’s play, Echoes of Time, commissioned by An Grianán to celebrate Letterkenny’s 400th anniversary.

Inspired by archive reports and eye witness testimonies, his new play Beneath An Irish Sky looks at the events of 1916 from a Donegal perspective. It is a fictionalised account of one man’s journey through those those turbulent times, questioning what made him pick up a gun to fight for his country and how one moment in his youth affected the rest of his life.

The Pulpit of the Four Masters in St. Eunan’s Cathedral, Letterkenny. Patrick and Willie Pearse both helped with the design and sculpting of this while working in their father’s business in 1900

The Pulpit of the Four Masters in St. Eunan’s Cathedral, Letterkenny. Patrick and Willie Pearse both helped with the design and sculpting of this while working in their father’s business in 1900

“Beneath an Irish Sky is my tale of a character from Letterkenny, Brendan McDaid, as he recalls years later how he moved from the peaceful Nationalism of the Ancient Order of Hibernians into the more militant Republicanism of Sinn Féin as a direct consequence of the 1916 Rising.” explains Kieran. “This life altering decision will have far reaching implications for both himself and his family. Based on research from eyewitness testimonies and archive newspaper reports, Letterkenny between 1914 and 1921 serves as the backdrop to his journey.”

This dramatic reading will be directed by David Grant and will feature a cast of 8 actors. David Grant has enjoyed a varied career in theatre throughout Ireland as director, critic and teacher. He has been Managing Editor of Theatre Ireland magazine, Programme Director of the Dublin Theatre Festival and Artistic Director of the Lyric Theatre, Belfast and has directed more than a hundred theatre productions ranging from Shakespeare to new and devised work. He currently lectures in drama at Queen’s University, Belfast. He has directed several productions for An Grianán: Frank Pig Says Hello (2014), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2008) and Thomas Kilroy’s The O’Neill (2007).

The British troops departing Letterkenny in 1922 following the War of Independence

British troops departing Letterkenny in 1922 following the War of Independence

Letterkenny has a few historic connections to the Rising – the Pulpit of the Four Masters in St. Eunan’s Cathedral was designed and sculpted by the family of Patrick Pearse, and Joseph Sweeney, who fought at the GPO, attended St. Eunan’s College.

A Terrible Beauty: Remembering 1916

Tues 22 March at 8pm
Beneath An Irish Sky – rehearsed reading
Tickets: €5 Book now

Wed 23 March at 8pm
The Rising
Tickets: €15/€12 Book now

Fri 1 April
Left Behind: The Widows of 1916
Tickets: €15/€12 Book now

This performance supported by Donegal County Council and the Ireland 1916 Cetenary programme.

This performance supported by Donegal County Council and the Ireland 1916 Centenary programme.

Read more

A Terrible Beauty: Remembering 1916

A Terrible Beauty: Remembering 1916 is our short season of events marking the centenary of the Easter Rising.

We have three shows which will look at 1916 from three different perspectives. We have a dramatic reading of Kieran Kelly’s new play Beneath An Irish Sky which looks at the impact that the Rising had on Donegal. Then we have two Letterkenny performers, John D Ruddy and Brian Gillespie, starring in The Rising, a fast paced and entertaining show which looks at the events that led to 1916 including the first World War. Finally we have Left Behind,  a music concert from Michelle O’Rourke and composer Simon O’Connor which is inspired by some of the women involved in the Rising.

The British troops departing Letterkenny in 1922 following the War of Independence

British troops departing Letterkenny in 1922 following the War of Independence

Beneath An Irish Sky, Tues 22 March 2016 at 8pm Tickets: €5

How did the events of Easter week 1916 affect the people of Letterkenny and Donegal? Based on archive reports and eye witness testimonies, Beneath an Irish Sky is a fictionalised account of one man’s journey through those those turbulent times, questioning what made him pick up a gun to fight for his country and how one moment in his youth affected the rest of his life.

Written by local author and historian Kieran Kelly, Beneath An Irish Sky will be presented as a rehearsed reading featuring a cast of eight actors directed  by David Grant (Frank Pig Says Hello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Find out more.

Ireland 1916 2016 The Rising  with John Ruddy and Brian Gillespie March 2016 Easter

The Rising: John D Ruddy reprises his role alongside new cast member Brian Gillespie (not pictured).

The Rising, Wed 23 March 2016 at 8pm. Tickets: €15/€12

Touring nationally to great acclaim, this production features two local performers –  John D Ruddy is a Letterkenny based actor whose recent roles include Fiesta, The 39 Steps and I Would Walk These Fields Again. A native of Letterkenny, Brian Gillespie now lives in London where he is the artistic director of B-Hybrid Dance.

Described by the Irish Times, as “90 minutes of exhilarating and terrifying factual theatre”, The Rising relives the tumultuous days of the 1916 Rising through the eyes of two friendly adversaries, O’Brien, a Catholic, and Mc Keague, a Protestant. Over an action packed performance O’Brien and McKeague will tell the story of this pivotal event in Irish history in vaudeville style, with humour, song and dance, as they re-enact the Rising and the events that led to it, including World War 1. Find out more.

Simon O'Connor and Michelle O'Rourke - Left Behind: songs of the widows of 1916. An Grianan Letterkenny April 2016

Composer Simon O’Connor and vocalist Michelle O’Rourke present Left Behind: Songs of the 1916 Widows. 1 April 2016.

Left Behind: Songs of the 1916 Widows, Friday 1 April 2016 at 8pm Tickets: €15/€12

Written by composer and curator Simon O’Connor, and commissioned and presented by vocalist Michelle O’Rourke, Left Behind is a new collection of songs to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.Drawing on the experiences of women closely connected to the conflict, including the wives of prominent rebel leaders, O’Rourke and O’Connor have created a unique suite of compositions that offer an emotional, human perspective on a narrative that is too often told in baldly male heroic terms.

Beginning life as simple vocal/piano pieces, these songs have been transformed with the addition of O’Connor’s former bandmates from celebrated Dublin rock band The Jimmy Cake.

This small ensemble brings a volatile, dramatic energy to the retelling of the stories of Lillie Connolly, Grace and Muriel Gifford, Agnes Mallin and others. Find out more.

This performance supported by Donegal County Council and the Ireland 1916 Cetenary programme.

These events supported by Donegal County Council and the Ireland 1916 Cetenary programme.

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Frank Pig Says Hello Again

After last year’s highly successful tour (standing ovations for every performance!) we’re very pleased to be taking our production of Frank Pig Says Hello out on tour again this April and May. In case you missed it last time here’s what audiences said about it:

“Congratulations on an absolutely amazing performance of Frank Pig says Hello in Monaghan last night. The interpretation was brilliant. Well done to everybody involved but especially Patrick and Stefan who told it all ‘perfectly’. They are so talented and can only have a great future to look forward to. I work in St Davnet’s complex – ‘The Garage’ so couldn’t stop thinking about it all day. ” Mary McArdle

 

 

Tour Dates 2015

Tues 21 April

Waterside Theatre, Glendermott Road, Derry/Londonderry, BT47 6BG

Box Office +44 (0) 2871 31 4000

http://www.watersidetheatre.com/

 

Thur 23 April

Pavilion Theatre, Marine Road, Dun Laoghaire

Box Office 01 231 2929

http://www.paviliontheatre.ie

 

Tues 28 and Wed 29 April

Everyman Theatre, 15 MacCurtain Street, Cork

Box Office 021 450 1673

http://www.everymancork.com

 

Thur 30 April

Mullingar Arts Centre, Lower Mount Street, Mullingar

Box Office 044 47777

http://www.mullingarartscentre.ie

 

Wed 6 May

Riverbank Arts Centre, Main Street, Newbridge, Co.Kildare

Box Office 045 448327

http://www.riverbank.ie/

 

Thur 7 to Sat 9 May

Civic Theatre, Tallaght, Dublin 12

Box Office 01 4627477

http://www.civictheatre.ie

 

Tues 12 to Thu 14 May

Lyric Theatre (in The Naughton Studio), 55 Ridgeway Street, Belfast, BT9 5FB

Box Office 028 9038 1081

http://www.lyrictheatre.co.uk

 

Fri 15 May

Alley Theatre, Railway Street, Strabane, BT82 8EF

Box Office 028 7138 4444

http://www.alley-theatre.com/

 

Sat 16 May

An Grianán Theatre

Box Office 0749120777

 

Tues 19 May

Strule Arts Centre, Townhall Square, Omagh BT78 1BL

Box Office 028 8224 7831

http://www.struleartscentre.co.uk/

 

Fri 22 May

Town Hall Theatre, Courthouse Square, Galway

Box Office 091 569777

http://tht.ie

 

Sat 23 May

Íontas Centre, Conabury, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan

Box Office 042 9753400

http://www.iontascastleblayney.ie

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Final Donegal dates: Last chance to see Frank Pig Says Hello this week.

Our latest touring production, the Pat McCabe classic Frank Pig Says Hello, returns to its home county for its final performances after its very successful tour of Ireland. The play has been receiving a great reception from audiences around the country with plenty of standing ovations and praise for its two actors, Donegal’s Patrick McBrearty and Stefan Dunbar from Fermanagh, both of whom are making their professional stage debuts.

“Outstanding – Theatre the way it should be” Dan Gordon

Our final Donegal dates are:

Wed 1 Oct: Abbey Centre, Ballyshannon Box Office 071 9851375

Fri 3 Oct: Glenties Community Centre Box Office 071 9851375

Sat 4 Oct:  An Grianán Theatre Box Office 074 9120777

Humorous yet harrowing, Frank Pig Says Hello is a black comedy with an inventive fusion of storytelling and role play which sees the two actors play 30 characters between them. Adapted from Pat McCabe’s acclaimed novel The Butcher Boy, the play is set in 1960s rural Ireland and is a poignant and provocative journey into the heart and mind of Francie Brady, a young man struggling with life.

Check out what audiences have been saying about Frank Pig right here!

 

 

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Frank Pig Says Hello: Here’s what audiences have been saying

 

“Congratulations on an absolutely amazing performance of Frank Pig says Hello in Monaghan last night. The interpretation was brilliant. Well done to everybody involved but especially Patrick and Stefan who told it all ‘perfectly’. They are so talented and can only have a great future to look forward to. I work in St Davnet’s complex – ‘The Garage’ so couldn’t stop thinking about it all day. “ Mary McArdle

Our tour of Frank Pig Says Hello continues until Sat 4 October. Check out the tour dates and further info here.

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Frank Pig Says Hello – Coming Sept 2014

After our Earagail Arts Festival show Fiesta our next inhouse production will be the Pat McCabe drama Frank Pig Says Hello. Adapted from Pat McCabe’s novel The Butcher Boy, Frank Pig Says Hello tells the story of a young boy’s breakdown in a rural Irish town.

Pat McCabe is one of Ireland’s most daringly original writers. Frank Pig Says Hello is his stage version of his highly acclaimed novel The Butcher Boy which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Set in 1960s rural Ireland, it is a poignant and provocative journey into the heart and mind of Francie Brady, a young man driven beyond the boundaries of his mental and emotional health. Over 30 characters are played by two versatile actors, Patrick McBrearty and Stefan Dunbar, in a powerfully evocative and rewarding theatre experience. Directed by David Grant.

Donegal born actor Patrick McBrearty

Donegal born actor Patrick McBrearty

Local actor Patrick McBrearty will be familiar to An Grianán regulars as he has performed many times here including a memorable turn as Puck in our 2008 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Patrick recently graduated from the prestigious  Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London and is now based in Belfast. In 2013 whilst in his final year of training, he was cast in a feature film called Still Waters starring John Hannah. He has also written and performed his one-man show The Just Jack Depression. Frank Pig Says Hello sees him reunite with director David Grant who directed our productions of The O’Neill and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Actor Stefan Dunbar

Actor Stefan Dunbar

Joining him in the production is fellow Central School of Speech and Drama graduate Stefan Dunbar.  Stefan began acting at the Ardhowen Theatre in Enniskillen in productions such as Dancing at Lughnasa, Beauty Queen of Leenane and The Playboy of the Western World. After performing as the lead in The Pajama Game (a cross-community production), Stefan was offered a scholarship to attend Walnuthill School for the Arts in Boston USA.

Frank Pig Says Hello will embark on a tour of  twelve venues this September and October. You can see it in An Grianán on Sat 20 Sept and Sat 4 October. There will also be a schools matinee on Mon 22 September.

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