fiesta

Casting Call: Fiesta Auditions

We are reviving our very successful production of Fiesta this autumn and will be holding auditions to recast three of the main roles as well as some chorus positions.

Date and time:

Thursday 13th August at 7pm in An Grianan Theatre

Main Cast
2 female
1 male

Plus chorus roles

Adults only roles available.

The performance dates are Wednesday 4 to Saturday 7 November 2015.

A sell out hit at the 2014 Earagail Arts Festival, Fiesta is a celebration of the dancers, the chancers and the lovers who graced the Fiesta Ballroom, Letterkenny – the famous dancehall venue that formed a hugely important part of the social history of Donegal and the wider North West region.

Fiesta was originally commissioned for the Earagail Arts Festival as a co-production with Earagail Arts Festival, An Grianán Theatre and Donegal County Council Arts Office and supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Failte Ireland and Donegal County Council.
IMPORTANTeMail with name and contact number if you are interested in auditioning.

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Fiesta: Extra show added!

We’ve had such  a great response to our production of Fiesta that we’ve added an extra performance!. We will now run from Sat 12 right through to Tues 15 July.

You can book tickets now on 0749120777  or online here.

Fiesta is a celebration of the dancers, the chancers and the lovers who graced the Fiesta Ballroom, Letterkenny – the famous dancehall venue that formed a hugely important part of the social history of Donegal and the wider North West region. Find out more.

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Writing Fiesta – Guy Le Jeune

“There are a hundred thousand stories about the Fiesta, some of them may have happened, some of them may have been altered by time and experience. Our memories are strange things. I like to think of them as a favourite book. Every time we open the pages, we scribble notes in the margins or cross out some of the printed words. We might remember strange things such as the scent of perfume or the colour of a wall, but we put other memories away and they are only triggered when we hear a piece of music or see an old photograph.

The tea ladies of Letterkenny's Fiesta Ballroom. Relive the memories at An Grianán Theatre this July!

The tea ladies of Letterkenny’s Fiesta Ballroom. Relive the memories at An Grianán Theatre this July!

“The stories I’ve heard about the Fiesta would fill an entire book, though some of them might not be printable. Some of the people I spoke to remembered the sense of magic, the faces and the music. Others remember not getting turned because of the crowds and the cigarette smoke that filled the room, stinging eyes.

“I’ve heard stories of dress hems going up and down, depending on the fashions; orders from Leo that there were to be ‘No hotpants’; the bouncers and their own code of honour; the sandwich makers and the mineral bar ladies; the terror of a lost cloakroom ticket; wives meeting husbands with two left feet; husbands meeting wives, dancing to a certain tune; the lines of couples courting out the back while the bus drivers, parked up, smoked cigarettes and watched the side-show; sailors from Scotland, Holland and Cape Verde, dancing the nights away; the musicians’ stories of playing there, either in the relief bands or as the main act, the girls all lined up at the front, staring at them; the Austins towing cut-off Morris Minors, converted into trailers; the glowing false teeth under ultra-violet lights; the bingo nights and the concerts.

The opening night of the Fiesta Ballroom, Oct 1962. Photo from the Derry People Donegal News.

The opening night of the Fiesta Ballroom, Oct 1962. Photo from the Derry People Donegal News.

“I’ve also heard stories beyond the Fiesta, of Letterkenny and how it developed; the factories and industry of Knitcraft, Gaeltex, Oatfields, Cortaulds, the Model bakery, the old port at Ballyraine. I’ve heard stories of emigration and return, the Glasgow connections, the boats that took people away and brought them home again for the summer.

“The Fiesta wasn’t just a dancehall, it was the story of this corner of Donegal, its rise and fall part of the social and economic history of the town. For the people I talked to, the Fiesta was a special place, full of sound and life; the dances and the music; the people who owned it, worked in it, played in it. It was simply the Fiesta and for those who slid and shimmied across the dance floor, it was magical.”

Guy Le Jeune is the author of Fiesta, a new drama commission co-produced by Earagail Arts Festival, An Grianán Theatre and Donegal County Council Arts Office and supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Failte Ireland and Donegal County Council.

His previous work for An Grianán includes the reminiscence theatre project A Sense of Memory and the play On the Camel’s Hump. His short story ‘Jamesy’ was commended in the 2011 Sean O’Faolain Prize, he was shortlisted for the Fish Short Story Prize 2012 and his story ‘Small Town Removal’ was placed third in the inaugural Costa Book Awards, short story prize in January 2013. His novel extract ‘Essex Road’ was Highly Commended in the 2014 Irish Writers’ Centre, Novel Fair Competition.

Fiesta, Sat 12 to Mon 14 July 2014 at 8pm. More info here.

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Cast announced for Fiesta

We have finalised our main cast for Fiesta, our Earagail Arts Festival show!

In the lead roles are Sorcha Shanahan, Orla McGranaghan, Joseph Gallagher and Jason Daly. Playing other roles in the ensemble are Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhrighde, Fionn Robinson, John Ruddy, Valerie Bryce, Sinead Gallagher and Margaret Hannon.

In addition we will have a supporting cast of 16 people who have been attending weekly workshops with director Sean Donegan and choreographer Aoife Toner since April.

Fiesta is a celebration of the dancers, the chancers and the lovers who graced the Fiesta Ballroom, Letterkenny – the famous dancehall venue that formed a hugely important part of the social history of Donegal and the wider North West region. While the ballroom  has been closed for many years, the building itself still exists and trades as Cable and Accessories on the Port Rd.

Fiesta is a new drama commission co-produced by Earagail Arts Festival, An Grianán Theatre and Donegal County Council Arts Office and supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Failte Ireland and Donegal County Council.

Performance Dates: Sat 12 to Mon 14 July at 8pm. Tickets €15/€12. Book now!

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Earagail Arts Festival 2014 at An Grianán Theatre

The 2014 Earagail Arts Festival will be taking place 12 to 26 July and we have three of our festival events open for booking right now!

We are opening the festival with Fiesta, a new drama commissioned especially for Earagail. It is a  celebration of the dancers, the chancers and the lovers who graced the Fiesta Ballroom, Letterkenny – the famous dancehall venue that formed a hugely important part of the social history of Donegal and the wider North West region. Fiesta runs for three nights, Sat 12 to Mon 14 July.

Little Howard’s Big Show for Kids at An Grianan Theatre Letterkenny 2014 Earagail Arts Festival

Little Howard’s Big Show for Kids at An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny – 2014 Earagail Arts Festival

Little Howard’s Big Show for Kids is on Tues 22 and Wed 23 July and is suitable for children and family audiences. Little Howard is the world’s only live interactive animation. He’s won so many awards and fantastic reviews and he’s only just celebrated his 6th birthday (for the tenth year in a row)! He’s also a published author and has done lots of television stuff, like The Royal Variety Performance, The Slammer (CBBC) and Little Howard’s Big Question (BBC1) – yes, he’s even had his own television show!

Comedy for adults comes from the Lords of Strut who are Cork performers Cian Kinsella and Cormac Mohally. In their new show Chaos, they  combine comedic theatrics with dance and acrobatics. Taking on the persona of celebrity-obsessed but socially impaired brothers these boys can move, they can lift, and they can make you laugh. A show with heart and muscle! It’s on Thurs 24 and Fri 25 July.

More events will be announced soon so make sure you are signed up to our newsletter for all the latest news.

[box style=”red” closable=”un-closable”] An Grianán Theatre is the official box office for the Earagail Arts Festival – two weeks of music, theatre, visual arts, film, literature, circus & carnival on Ireland’s North West Atlantic seaboard. More at www.eaf.ie.[/box]

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Fiesta playwright on Highland Radio this Tuesday

Tune into Shaun Doherty on Highland Radio this Tuesday 15 April for an interview with Fiesta playwright Guy Le Jeune.

Guy is due on air around midday and will be discussing his work so far on this new drama commission for the Earagail Arts Festival.

Fiesta is a celebration of the dancers, the chancers and the lovers who graced the Fiesta Ballroom, Letterkenny – the famous dancehall venue that formed a hugely important part of the social history of Donegal and the wider North West region.

It will be staged at the Earagail Arts Festival from Sat 12 to Mon 14 July. Find out more here.

Fiesta is a new drama commission co-produced by Earagail Arts Festival, An Grianán Theatre and Donegal County Council Arts Office and supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Failte Ireland and Donegal County Council.

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Auditions for Fiesta

An Grianán Theatre will soon be holding auditions for its forthcoming production Fiesta, due to be staged at July’s Earagail Arts Festival.

Fiesta’s director Sean Donegan is looking for actors, male and female, of any age and from all walks of life, to take part in this show which celebrates Letterkenny’s famous Fiesta Ballroom.

Fiesta is a new drama commission co-produced by Earagail Arts Festival, An Grianán Theatre and Donegal County Council Arts Office and supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Failte Ireland and Donegal County Council.

It is inspired by the story of Letterkenny’s legendary dancehall venue which formed such an important part of the social history of Donegal and the wider North West region. It will be one of the feature highlights of this year’s 26th Earagail Arts Festival (12-26 July 2014).

The theatre would like to meet skilled actors with some amateur and/or professional acting experience. NB: all principal performers in this production will receive financial renumeration.

If you would like to audition, please email a CV and photograph to thefiestaballroom@gmail.com or send to An Grianán Theatre, Port Rd, Letterkenny.

  • Please write clearly in the subject line ” Application to Audition for Fiesta”.
  • Your CV should summarise acting experience and mention any singing, dancing and music experience.
  • Your photograph should be recent, in a natural pose and from the shoulders up. It doesn’t matter if the photo is in colour or black and white and it does NOT have to be a professional acting headshot.

Successful applicants will receive an email inviting them to audition on Thursday 1st May between 2pm and 9pm at the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny. Auditions will be held in groups and will last approximately one hour.

In your email please indicate any times you are NOT available between 2pm and 9pm on the audition day.

Please note that all applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

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Sweet Fiesta Memories: Got a story to share?

Do you have any stories of the Fiesta Ballroom from 1962 to the Roller Disco years? Do you remember the Banana Lemonade and the Club biscuits, the music and the mirror balls? Do you remember who you danced with and what tunes were playing? Do you remember the stewards, the chairs, the sounds and the smells? Did you meet your husband or your wife there? Did you trip, stumble, shake or twist to the music? If you have any stories, then we would love to hear from you.

If you’d like to lend your story to us then please get in touch with the project coordinator, Guy Barriscale on 086 832 6157 or e-mail thefiestaballroom@gmail.com.

Fiesta is a new  drama commission co-produced by Earagail Arts Festival, An Grianán Theatre and Donegal County Council Arts Office.

It is a celebration of the dancers, the chancers and the lovers who graced the Fiesta Ballroom in Letterkenny, the famous dancehall venue that formed a hugely important part of the social history of Donegal and the wider North West region. Fiesta will be one of the theatre highlights of this year’s 26th Earagail Arts Festival. (12-26 July 2014).

This new production is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Failte Ireland and Donegal County Council.

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Fiesta: An Grianán’s new community drama project is looking for participants

An Grianán Theatre in association with the Earagail Arts Festival is launching a new community theatre drama training project on Wednesday evenings, 6:30pm to 9pm. The first session will be on Wednesday 9 April. Sessions will be facilitated by actor/director Sean Donegan and dance/drama facilitator Aoife Toner.

The sessions will consist of an introduction to basic acting technique and classes will be suitable for beginners but should also be engaging for performers with a bit more experience. Participants in these classes may be invited to perform in a large-scale community theatre production in July which will be one of the highlights of the Earagail Arts Festival programme. Performances are scheduled for An Grianán Theatre from 12 – 15 July.

About Fiesta
Fiesta  is a celebration of the dancers, the chancers and the lovers who graced the Fiesta Ballroom, Letterkenny – the famous dancehall venue that formed a hugely important part of the social history of Donegal and the wider North West region. Fiesta will be one of the theatre highlights of this year’s 26th Earagail Arts Festival (12-26 July 2014).

The play will require a ‘chorus’ of actors to play the crowds attending the dance, so there will be some training given in the various dance forms that would have been seen in the Fiesta over the years. Actors in the chorus may also have some small amounts of dialogue.

How to take part
If you would like to come along and find out more – please email a paragraph on why you might like to participate in the project – e.g. what you could offer, what you hope to get out of it. Your paragraph should be no more than 250 words and should be emailed to: thefiestaballroom@gmail.com

This should be submitted by Monday 31st March at 5pm.

From those who apply a group of 24 people will be selected to attend on Wed 9 April.

(NB: Make sure your paragraph is 250 words or less or it will not be read. Make sure you put the text in the main body of the email – attachments will not be read. There is no need to send any CVs or photographs. Don’t worry if writing is not your strong suit, just do a list or bullet-points – you are not being selected on how well you can write, we just want to know you are keen to take part.)

If you know someone you think might like to get involved – tell them about the project as well.

Please note that the show will also feature a number of experienced performers playing the main roles. Auditions for these roles will take place after Easter, more information to follow.

Fiesta  is a new drama commission co-produced by Earagail Arts Festival, An Grianán Theatre and Donegal County Council Arts Office and supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Failte Ireland and Donegal County Council.

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