drama

NASC Network 2019 Commission

The Nasc Network is currently offering a bursary of €10,000 to a production company or producer interested in collaborating with the network to produce a new or existing piece of theatre with a view to touring to all Nasc venues in 2019.

The Nasc Network is a partnership of eight venues, including An Grianán Theatre, which was conceived in 2006 when a number of venue directors met to harness joint programming and marketing opportunities and develop touring projects. To date, Nasc has collaborated with Druid Theatre Company, Rough Magic Theatre Company, Cois Ceim and Livin’ Dred Theatre Company (amongst others), on many successful productions and tours.

The chosen production company/producer will receive the following support from the Nasc Network:

• A commissioning fee of €10,000 to part-fund the development/creation of the theatre piece.
• Nasc will act as lead applicant, or network support, on an application under the Arts Council’s touring and dissemination scheme to fund the costs of the production and tour to all Nasc venues.
• The Nasc venues will each offer a guaranteed fee in support of the production run at each venue.

Please note deadline to submit applications is Fri 27 Apr 2018.

See the pdf for further information and submission details.

The NASC Network: An Grianan Theatre / Backstage Theatre / Dunamaise Arts Centre / glór / Lime Tree Theatre / Pavilion Theatre / Siamsa Tíre / Town Hall Theatre Galway

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Coming in Spring 2018: Swan Lake/Loch na hEala

Swan Lake/Loch na hEala comes to An Grianan Theatre Letterkenny in January 2018.After sold out tours in Ireland, London, across Europe, and Australia, Michael Keegan Dolan’s genre-defying contemporary reimagining of one of the most famous ballets in the world comes to An Grianán in Spring 2018.

Daithi Ramsay, An Grianán Theatre’s Marketing Manager, saw Loch na hEala/ Swan Lake at the Clonmel Junction Festival in July 2017:

“I had intended after the show to go to the festival club. Instead I walked the mile and a half back to the house I was staying in, open mouthed, silent. I sat in this silence for a long time processing what I’d just seen. It was the most visceral theatre experience I’ve ever shared. It integrates the music, drama and dance fully, and each of the performers excels. The story, such as it is, flows around the performers, anchored by Mikel Murfi.

Swan Lake/Loch na hEala comes to An Grianan Theatre Letterkenny in January 2018.“The story draws from the Children of Lír and Swan Lake, which they have firmly rooted in the bogs of the Irish midlands. There is a lovely mythical Irish quality to much of it but for me it’s the influence of the tragic story of Bridgie Cleary that stayed with me. The intensity of these pieces will stay with me for a very long time, and Mikel Murfi’s expressions in particular. As will remain my surprise at the many unexpected moments, some of them so beautiful and uplifting. This is the very best that theatre has to offer you really should come and see it.

Swan Lake/Loch na hEala comes to An Grianan Theatre Letterkenny in January 2018.“From where I sat in the front row I looked around at the audience: everyone was sitting forward, hands on their knees, rapt. When it was funny they laughed loudly and naturally; when it was disturbing they were on edge; when it was uplifting they were overjoyed. I wish I had photos of their faces to show you. At the end many wiped away tears while smiling. It was as if we had been plugged straight into the mains of the company and the show’s creator Michael Keegan Dolan and then all of a sudden we were released, but the feeling, the emotions, the thoughts remained.”

Swan Lake/Loch na hEala can be seen at An Grianan on Wed 31 Jan and Thur 1 Feb 2018. See the event page for further information.

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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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Theatre Artist in Residence County Donegal, 2017/2018

Thanks to the Arts Council, Donegal has successfully secured a Theatre Artist in Residence for the third year running. This theatre artist residency is a three-way partnership between the artist Guy Barriscale, Donegal County Council Arts Office and An Grianán Theatre.

The residency is based on previous work devised and created by Guy Barriscale, who writes as Guy Le Jeune. Guy has created many projects celebrating the stories and history of the people of Donegal including ‘Fiesta’, a joyful celebration of the famous Ballroom of Romance; ‘I Would Walk These Fields Again about the life and times of Canon James McDyer and ‘Unified the Musical’ about the infamous yarn factory which was the highlight of last year’s Earagail Arts Festival.

I Would Walk These Fields Again, a play by Guy Le Jeune about Father McDyer of Glencolmcille, An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny

John D Ruddy and Louise Conaghan in I Would Walk These Fields Again, a play by Guy Le Jeune about Father McDyer  will be performed on 19  & 20 July 2017 in Glencolmcille.

In the forthcoming year Guy will be collaborating with the Killybegs Fisherman’s Organisation to create a new work called “Shoot The Gear” for the Donegal Bay and Bluestacks Festival. This will be premiered in Killybegs at the end of September. He will also be working with the University of Ulster, in researching and devising a piece of touring theatre exploring the experiences of people with dementia and their primary carers, with a view to a production in 2018. He is also excited to be working with Ionad an Chrois Bhealaigh, Árainn Mhór, to create a work celebrating their unique island life experience.

Next week in Glencolmcille there will be two more performances of “I Would Walk These Fields Again”. This celebration of the life of James McDyer, featuring the acting talents of John Ruddy and Louise Conaghan will be shown in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Folk Village. Performances are on 19 and 20 July.

The girls recreate a night at the Fiesta ballroom. Photo by Declan Doherty. Fiesta, July 2014

The girls recreate a night at the Fiesta ballroom. Photo by Declan Doherty. Fiesta, July 2014

Guy is a writer, theatre maker and reminiscence facilitator who has lived and worked in Donegal for almost 20 years. He has over thirty years of experience in professional theatre in a wide variety of roles. He is also a writer of short stories and is working on the drafts of a number of novels. His short story Jamesy was commended in the 2011 Sean O’Faolain Prize. 22 Kilos was short listed for the Fish Short Story Prize 2012. Small Town Removal was placed third in the inaugural Costa Book Awards, short story prize in January 2013. He has recently completed a second draft of a novel with the working title The Swimmers, which explores emigration and the experiences of the Irish in England. He is also working on a further draft of Essex Road, a bleak comedy set in the London-Irish community. A previous draft of Essex Road was Highly Commended in the 2014, Irish Writers’ Centre, Novel Fair Competition. An early draft of The Cake and Condiment Rules, a satirical and caustic crime novel, was long listed for the 2016 Irish Writers’ Centre, Novel Fair Competition.

 

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Bag for Life – new thriller from Colin Bateman

“PAISLEY/McGUINNESS” SCREENWRITER RETURNS WITH TAUGHT NEW PYSCHOLOGICAL THRILLER BAG FOR LIFE.

An exciting new play from Colin Bateman is on tour through April and May 2017 taking in over 11 different venues and comes to An Grianán on Wed 10 May (Book now) .

‘Bag for Life’ is the second play from renowned Northern Irish writer Colin Bateman. In Colin’s career he has written 36 novels as well as writing TV show Murphy’s Law and BBC NI’s Scup. He has also recently garnered great acclaim for his screenplay ‘The Journey’ which explored the political relationship between Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness.

His second stage play asks the question, can forgiveness overcome the want for revenge in 21st century Northern Ireland? It’s a tense, gripping thriller as well as a study of modern psychosis, all shot through with Bateman’s trademark pitch black humour.

Bag for Life writer Colin Bateman

Above: Bag for Life writer Colin Bateman

“There is a lot of different aspects to it,” explains Bateman, “it is quite a dark piece but it’s also very funny. It’s a thriller but it will also make you think. You’ll come out asking questions about how you would deal in certain situations.”

The show tells the tale of Karen, a young bored mother, who is out shopping one Saturday when she turns and runs slap bang into a figure from her past. Initially unable to place the person it is with horror that it dawns on her that this happy family man is none other than the ex-paramilitary who 22 years earlier murdered her brother. Thus begins a cycle of revenge, psychosis and obsession.

Actress Julie Addy delivers a real tour de force performance as Karen. The characters thoughts, whims and delusions brought to sparkling life by an intricate series of video displays perfectly capturing her frantic fractured mindset.

“I think it’s a very exciting play,” explains director / producer Kieran Griffiths, “there is a tempo and pace to it… of course though the audience are given time to breathe and ask themselves questions… but it’s a ferocious episode in Karen’s life. Electric. Exciting. Captivating. And I think from its initial outing a lot of people are still talking about it and asking themselves questions.”

Julie Addy stars in Colin Bateman's Bag for Life, Wed 10 May at An Grianán Theatre.

Above: Julie Addy stars in Colin Bateman’s Bag for Life, Wed 10 May at An Grianán Theatre.

Commissioned as a legacy project for Derry Londonderry’s 2013 UK City of Culture, this powerful and captivating play received a hugely successful premiere at The Playhouse in April 2016 before going on to a sellout run at The Open House festival in Bangor and standing ovations at The Lyric Theatre Belfast.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAID:

“One of the strongest pieces of theatre ever produced in Derry…. believable, near the knuckle in places, entertaining and disturbing…”

– Derry Journal

“A raw, powerful and no-holds-barred journey through the deepest, darkest emotions we have all…Bag for Life will stir the darkest recesses of the Northern Irish soul”

– The Irish News

“Addy delivers a tour-de-force in her eighty minute monologue”

– Culture NI

“Intense, realistic and filled with mountains of black humour”

– PastieBap.com

“One of the most visually arresting plays of the year”

– alaninbelfast.blogspot.co.uk

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Blinkered – audience response

Blinkered comes to An Grianán on Wed 8 and Thurs 9 March.

Sole Purpose Productions’ Blinkered opened on Thursday 9th Feb in Derry’s Playhouse receiving standing ovations at both matinee and evening performances. Audience’s commented:

“Extremely powerful!”

“Absolutely outstanding performance of a very important play”

“Went tonight to see Blinkered with friends, there are no words to describe it. Amazing is all I can think of now.”

Audience members who stayed for the post show workshop commented:

“The idea of the audience setting the scene was great”

“Innovative, interactive – fantastic chance for audience to have input”

“I learned that it really is ok not to be ok, make the call…”

Blinkered will be with us on Wed 8 March at 8pm and Thur 9 March at 11 am. Book now.

Sole Purpose present Blinkered, March 2017

Patrick McBrearty plays Ryan in Sole Purpose’s Blinkered.

Local actor Patrick McBrearty takes the central role of Ryan. Patrick will be familiar to An Grianán audiences from roles in plays such as Frank Pig Says Hello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Philadelphia, Here I Come!

Starring alongside him are Gemma Walker, Pat Lynch and Cathy Brennan Bradley. Written  by Patricia Byrne and directed by Shauna Kelpie, Blinkered follows the story of Ryan, a young man trying to cope with everyday life, and his family, who are busily doing the same. Promising another challenging performance, the play shines a light on the loneliness of depression and its impact on families. Professional representatives working in suicide prevention will be present at each performance.

Sole Purpose present Blinkered, March 2017

Sole Purpose Productions’ reputation for engaging theatre audiences in issues that are sometimes uncomfortable and raw continues with this latest production.

Recommended ages 16+. Find out more about the show here.

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Night two of the Letterkenny One Act Festival 2016

Here are tonight’s plays for the second night of the Letterkenny One Act Festival. First play begins at 7.30pm. Tickets available on the door.

Open
Bangor Drama Club, Bangor

A Galway Girl
By Geraldine Aron

Maisie – Clare Mc Kelvey
Dermot – Sean Greer
Producer/Director Patrick Grimshaw
Lighting:- Patrick Grimshaw
Sound:- Olive Mc Dermott
Setting Ireland / London
Period 1950 /60’s

Synopsis: ‘Set in Ireland and London during the 1950s and 1960s, A Galway Girl involves a couple, Maisie and Dermot, talking about their married life. They seldom communicate with one another, choosing instead to disclose their ideas direct to the audience. Yet this seems somehow appropriate for a couple who seem totally incompatible with one another. Maisie, a well-brought up village girl, is close to her mother and very much concerned with outward appearance; Dermot thinks of himself as working-class and proud of it – although perpetually justifying his actions, especially after he has had a jar or three.’
Bangor Drama Club began in 1935 when a group of theatre loving people got together each week to read plays. This naturally progressed to putting on their first productions in 1938, and the club hasn’t looked back since. The club has produced almost every type of play, from Shakespeare to farce, high drama to light comedy and everything in-between. Currently the club is in its third building: Studio 1A on the Hamilton Road and is undergoing renovation work to turn it into a modern and welcoming theatre space for its members, audiences, and guests.

Open
No Drama Theatre, Dublin

Hardboiled
By Jonathan Shortall

Frank – Declan Ryan
Donna – Kate Cosgrave
Titania – Charlotte Keating
Winston – Malcolm Bolton

Producer Louise Dunne
Director/ Sound/ Lighting Jonathan Shortall
Synopsis:- The rain hammers down. Parts of the puzzle are starting to slot into place, but are the clues all they seem? The pieces are moving on the board, but is everyone playing the same game? Somebody is dead, stabbed through the heart. Somebody is running from the law, looking for a saviour. Somebody is out for revenge, relentlessly tracking their prey. Somebody doesn’t see why this couldn’t all wait till the morning. But Frank O’Hara is on the scene, and that means someone’s body on the floor.
.
No Drama Theatre: Initially founded on boards.ie in 2008, No Drama has grown immeasurably since its conception. 8 years on and the group has held hundreds of diverse weekly drama workshops, various full productions and showcases, and appeared on the bills of numerous festivals. No Drama aims to nurture its members by creating a welcoming and easy-going environment; all the while encouraging them to be all that they can be. It is the passion of its members that drives the momentum and this momentum is showing no signs of slowing down.

Confined
Glenamaddy players, Galway

The Problem
by A.R. Gurney

Wife – Niamh Flanagan
Husband – Michael Tevenan
Producer / Director Ann C Molloy
Lighting Nigel Cassidy
Sound Mary Connolly
Mark Newman
Props Rachel Mc Nally
Stage Crew Mark Newman, John Reilly, Stephen Burke
Synopsis: The Problem” is a comedy of great wit where the wife reveals a shocking secret to her husband only to find that he has some secrets of his own !!! In a very funny dialogue, the couple’s inability to communicate with each other properly keeps bringing them back again and again to ”the problem”. The story has some imaginative swerves along the way with a twist at the end.
Glenamaddy Players: There is a long tradition of drama in Glenamaddy going back to the 1950s with plays being performed locally in the Town Hall. Glenamaddy Players were formed in 1972 and have competed on the full length amateur circuit ever since. The group have enjoyed considerable success in several All Ireland appearances. with plays, such as “Translations”, “The Playboy of the Western World” “The Field” and “Eclipsed. This is their second year back participating on the 1 Act festival circuit.

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Programme announced for the Letterkenny One Act Festival

Amateur drama societies from across the island of Ireland will converge in Letterkenny this November for the One Act Festival.

This year’s festival features the following plays:

Thursday 10 Nov 2016 at 7.30pm

Two Sisters by Caroline Harding
Rush Dramatic Society, Rush

Homeless by Kieran Doyle
Tadhg An Astna Players, Cork

Lone Star by James McClure
Ballina Dramatic Society, Mayo

Friday 11 Nov 2016 at 7.30pm

A Galway Girl by Geraldine Aron
Bangor Drama Group, Down

Hardboiled by Jonathan Shortall
No Drama Theatre, Dublin

The Problem by A. R. Gurney
Glenmaddy Players, Galway

Saturday 12 Nov 2016 at 7pm

Tom Clarke’s One True Love by Killian McGuinness
Corn Mill Theatre Group, Leitrim

Subtraction by Kevin McFillen
Lucan Drama Group, Dublin

Pizzazz by Hugh Leonard
Gunpowder Productions, Cork

Followed by adjudication and presentation of awards.

Adjudicator: Paula Dempsey

Plays last from 30 mins to 55 mins max.

Tickets are €8 (€6 concession) nightly or you can become a Festival Friend. Friends membership for a couple is €30 and entitles you to two free tickets for each night of the festival. A single Friends membership is €15 and entitles you to one free ticket for each night of the festival. Friends memberships can be purchased at our box office on 074 912 0777.

The Letterkenny One Act Festival is kindly supported by Pramerica.

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Donegal! Are you ready for Lexie?

Donegal may never be the same again – a one man tsunami is planning an invasion of Letterkenny!

As an advanced warning to the people of Donegal we are advised to tell you that Lexie is on his way in your direction and like the tsunami he will leave a trail of disruption in his path….. Half reared in the hills of Donegal, Lexie is one of the stars in the forthcoming production of ‘Packie’s Wake‘ which opens in An Grianán Theatre on the 20th October for three nights. But be warned the impact of Lexie is not for the faint hearted as he will confront the audience with his tales of his constant battle with bodily dysfunction and ‘9 wains’. People in Derry call him ‘Lexie Bomb Scare’ as he can empty a room in 20 seconds.

Letterkenny native Paddy Taylor plays Lexie in Eddie Kerr's hit comedy Packie's Wake at An Grianán Theatre October 2016.

Letterkenny native Paddy Taylor plays Lexie in Eddie Kerr’s hit comedy Packie’s Wake at An Grianán Theatre October 2016.

Lexie is the latest character to invade the wake of Packie Pearse Devlin; the well known Derry layabout, part time philosopher and full time drunk. Packie found himself ‘stone dead’ on the first day of the 1994 ceasefire and has been telling audiences all around the world what death is like and what he thinks of the ‘whole carry-on’ since. The last time ‘Packie’s Wake’ played An Grianan Theatre tickets were as hard to find as a Shinner at a DUP comedy night so make sure you have your ticket and don’t let that happen again. Chronic hypochondriac Lexie boasts 37 diseases some not even known to medical science yet and more ailments will appear as he knows how to pronounce them.

By the way the hilarious character Lexie is played by Letterkenny’s own exiled son Paddy Taylor and he brings the house down with his outrageous performance:  ‘I have played some really great comedy characters in my time but I never played anything like Lexie Bomb Scare…. he is such as comic dream for an actor and I can’t wait to introduce the people of Donegal to this ‘character’.. I am sure that my family will be cringing in the front row as I bring Lexie to life on the stage of the An Grianan.. I can’t wait but is Donegal ready for Lexie?  I promise you a absolute treat so don’t miss it!!’

Packie’s Wake
Thur 20 to Fri 22 October at 8pm
Tickets: €20/€16 Book now!

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Waking Packie Again!

Great news for local theatre-goers as after a twelve year absence the sensational play ‘Packie’s Wake’, by Eddie Kerr, makes a long overdue return to Letterkenny.

The Derry based PlayStation Theatre Company present this hilarious play for a three night run at An Grianán from Thur 20th to Sat 22nd October. Last time it was at An Grianán it sold out every performance so don’t leave it too late to book!

Recognised as the most successful play in the history of theatre in Derry ‘Packie’s Wake’ tells the uproarious story of how Packie Devlin through an ironic quirk of fate is allowed to attend his own wake. The poor misfortunate has the opportunity to find out what his family and friends really think of him as he participates in the hysterical play that has become a theatrical masterpiece in black comedy.

Rehearsing for Packie's Wake.

Rehearsing for Packie’s Wake.

According to the Director, Martin Meenan, ‘we have given Packie a spring clean and made more than a few changes to the production and to the personnel but hopefully we have still maintained the overall quality of the play. Packie’s Wake appears to have hit a chord with people, not just here but everywhere it’s played. The play deals with universal themes about ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events and deals with impact that death has on this, rather dysfunctional, family. It deals with the sadness attached to the death of somebody’s husband, father and friend but has managed, and I don’t know how, to balance that with the humour associated with our wakes and the social importance that ritual has on the grieving process. We love doing Packie’s Wake as much as audiences love seeing it, and if I am not being too facetious, it almost taken on a life of its own now’.

With Gerry Doherty in the role of Derry’s favourite antihero, Packie Devlin, and Carmel McCafferty as his wife Annie, supported by an extremely talented cast of 15 talented actors you are definitely guaranteed a night to remember.

Packie’s Wake
Thur 20 to Fri 22 October at 8pm
Tickets: €20/€16 Book now!

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