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Billy Bragg and Joe Henry announced for Spring 2017.

A mighty gig to look forward to!

In March 2016 Billy Bragg and Joe Henry, guitars in hand, boarded a Los Angeles-bound train at Chicago’s Union Station looking to reconnect with the culture of American railroad travel and the music it inspired.

Winding along 2,728 miles of track over four days, the pair recorded classic railroad songs in waiting rooms and at trackside while the train paused to pick up passengers. The result is a new album, “Shine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad”. They’re hitting the road once more this time to play the music inspired by their epic trip and they’ll be here at An Grianán on Monday 30 January.

Now open for booking.

 

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Auditions: Peter Pan

Could you be our Peter Pan?

We are looking for someone in their mid to late teens. Male or female, ability to act, sing and dance a definite plus!

We are also casting for:
The Darlings:
Wendy – female, playing age approx 12/13 years old
John – male, slightly younger than Wendy
Michael – male, playing age 8 years old.

There are a variety of other roles suitable for children ages 8+, teens and adults.

Auditions will be held on Saturday 17th September from 2.30pm – 5pm at An Grianán, it is advised that you arrive close to 2pm to fill out an information sheet prior to the audition.

The audition will take the form of a group workshop and the team are seeking proficiency in acting, movement, singing and dance.

Rehearsals will take place every Saturday afternoon.

auditions for Peter Pan Sat 17 September 2016

 

NB: performance schedule includes week day matinee shows so please make sure that you are able to get time off school/work.

Performance dates are Tues 13 to Sat 17 December 2016.

Transition year students could use this production towards securing their President’s Award.

This new version will be adapted by Nora Kavanagh and co-directed by her with Trudy O’Donnell.

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We are Lighting Up Gold for Childhood Cancer

We are very pleased to be taking part once again in the Light It Up Gold campaign for the Childhood Cancer Foundation

We have joined in with some of Donegal’s most notable buildings and landmarks in lighting our building in gold light as part of the 4th annual Light It Up Gold campaign for the Childhood Cancer Foundation.

The Irish campaign, launched at the weekend following a candlelit walk in Dublin, is part of a wider international campaign originating in the USA, that has seen buildings across the world ‘Light It Up Gold’ in September to shine a light on the bravery of children dealing with cancer.

Mary Claire Rennick of Childhood Cancer Foundation said: “We are getting a great response from buildings across Ireland. The campaign is spreading every year with buildings across Ireland and the UK joining international landmarks. My own daughter was diagnosed with leukemia in February 2013 and prior to that I was completely unaware of childhood cancer. As parents who have experienced this disease, we want to ensure that everyone is aware. Increased awareness will improve early detection and understanding among policy makers and communities, which will hopefully reduce the isolation of families going through childhood cancer treatment and side effects. Awareness will also lead to improved funding for supports and services for families and funding for research into childhood cancer.”

In county Donegal, the Public Service Centres in Dungloe, Donegal Town and Milford are going gold. In Buncrana, the Council Offices and Castle Bridge are all already lit up gold. In Letterkenny the Polestar monument and An Grianán Theatre have been shining gold since the 1st of September as has the Castle Folly at Oakfield Park in Raphoe.

An Grianán Theatre ‘Light It Up Gold’ for Childhood Cancer Foundation

An Grianán Theatre ‘Light It Up Gold’ for Childhood Cancer Foundation

Mary Claire explained that over 200 children are diagnosed with cancer each year in Ireland.

“That’s 4 families each week who hear the devastating news that their child, brother, sister or grandchild has cancer. Childhood cancer is the biggest cause of death by disease in children in Ireland and the Childhood Cancer Foundation is committed to raising public awareness of the issues surrounding childhood cancer, developing early diagnosis programmes amongst health care professionals, advocating for improved services for children affected by cancer and assisting to fund vital services for children and families affected by this disease,” Mary Clare said.

She concluded: “Awareness is crucial to ensure the whole community recognises the immediate devastating effect of childhood cancer on children and families and also the long term effects of cancer and harsh treatments. Studies from the USA have shown that over eighty percent of childhood cancer survivors will have long-term health effects. We need awareness to guarantee these survivors get full access to health and education supports to ensure a long and happy life after cancer.”

http://www.childhoodcancer.ie

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Summer Schools at An Grianán Theatre

Love the performing arts? Want to learn more about acting, musical theatre, choreography and dance? And have lots of fun and make new friends at the same time? Then you should sign up for one of our summer schools.

McCool: A summer school of heroic proportions!

For an all round theatre experience join our pbm Performing Arts Summer School. Suitable for ages 9 to 21, this week long programme covers many aspects of what goes into bringing a theatre show to life. You will work alongside seasoned industry professionals and learn about choreography, acting, movement, vocals and stage craft.

pbm Performing Arts Summer School. Children taking part in a workshop at An Grianán Theatre. August 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

pbm Performing Arts Summer School. Children taking part in a workshop at An Grianán Theatre. August 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

At the end of the week you will perform in Paul Boyd’s rock musical McCool.

Commissioned in 2002 and first produced by Northern Ireland’s longest-running independent theatre producer Big Telly Theatre Company in association with the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, McCool celebrates Ireland’s superstar warrior, Finn McCool!

Staged as an exciting multi-media rock concert McCool charts the life of Finn McCool from his lowly beginning as an abandoned baby to his eventual position as Ireland’s first superstar. The show features an eclectic, non-stop mix of dance and pop music, culminating in a spectacular mega-mix finale. Songs include “Mythology”, “Gotta Grow Up”, “I Will Think of You” and “War”.

pbm Performing Arts Summer School at An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny, August 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

pbm Performing Arts Summer School at An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny, August 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

McCool toured Ireland extensively in 2002 and soon developed a cult following across the country.

The original 2002 cast included Rachel Tucker who went on to star as Wicked‘s Elphaba in both the West End and Broadway productions. Will we have any future West End stars in this year’s show? Only time will tell!

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Former pbm participant and An Grianán Youth Theatre member Patrick Quinn performing in Enda Walsh's Mistermen at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, February 2016.

Former pbm participant and An Grianán Youth Theatre member Patrick Quinn performing in Enda Walsh’s Mistermen at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, February 2016.

“PBM is where, many years ago, I found my love for Theatre. As a nine year old boy, I came to the camp unconfident, doubtful and shy. The PBM leaders installed a belief system in myself that I still rely on to this day.I will never forget the day when Christina told me that all that mattered was that I followed my heart and it’s the best advice I’ve ever received. I was part of PBM for 7 years, and I made friends that I cherish and consider some of my closest friends to this day. I cannot recommend PBM enough – the experience and the people I have met through this camp has had a huge influence on the person, and the actor, that I am today.”
Patrick Quinn, Drama Student at Queens University Belfast, Winner of Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Student Theatre Awards 2016.[/box]

pbm Performing Arts Summer School – Mon 1 to Sat 6 August – more info here.

Ballet Ireland Summer School

Our annual Ballet Ireland summer school gives you the opportunity to learn ballet alongside professional ballerinas from Ireland’s National Ballet.

Young dancers taking part in the annual Ballet Ireland Summer School, July 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

Young dancers taking part in the annual Ballet Ireland Summer School, July 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

Each day begins with class on stage with the dancers. Students become part of the creative process, helping to devise the choreography, create sets and costumes. This week will give aspiring performers a taste for all that goes into making a ballet and a peak into the life of a professional dancer.

Young dancers taking part in the annual Ballet Ireland Summer School, July 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

The Ballet Ireland Summer School is suitable for ages 6 and older. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

Together with the dancers, the young performers play an important role in the creation of their own full length ballet which is performed on stage at the end of the week for family and friends to come and enjoy.

Ballet Ireland Summer School 2015

Young dancers taking part in the annual Ballet Ireland Summer School, July 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

Novice and experienced dancers alike will learn loads about classical ballet and best of all you get to perform in a beautiful ballet at the end of the week in front of your family and friends. Suitable for ages 6+. Find out more here.

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Photo Gallery: Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards The Somme

July 1st 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest battles in human history. As part of the commemorations the Abbey Theatre present this major new production of Frank McGuinness’s classic war drama which tells the story of eight soldiers from Ulster and the terrible toil that war takes on them.

This iconic war play is a powerful portrayal of mortality, love and loss.

The play comes to An Grianán for two performances only – Fri 29 and Sat 30 July and is the major drama highlight of our 2016 season. There is local interest too as two of the cast are from Donegal – Sean McGinley and Letterkenny born actor Iarla McGowan, and of course Frank McGuinness is from Donegal.

The following images from the production are by photographer Johan Persson.

OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME

OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME,              , Writer -  FRANK MCGUINNESS, DIRECTED BY JEREMY HERRIN, Headlong, Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, UK, 2016, Credit: Johan Persson/

OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME

OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME

OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME

OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME

OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME

OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME

 

Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme is a co-production by the Abbey Theatre with Headlong, Citizens Theatre and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse. Co-presented by the Lyric Theatre.

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Musically On Cue Production Week notes

A reminder to our drama students of this week’s Production Week Timetable for Musically On Cue:

Wednesday 15th June
4pm @ An Grianan Theatre
Technical Rehearsal:  This final rehearsal is one of the most important for best Sound & Lighting, Props, Costume, and the first time the cast will see their set.    We aim to let mini stars away by 6.30pm all other groups will remain till 7.30pm.
Thursday 16th June
5pm @ An Grianan Theatre.
Doors open at 7.15pm. Show starts at 7.30pm

Please send children with a healthy snack as they will be quite a long time in their dressing rooms.

NB: On Cue Academy will also be holding an After Party on the following dates.
Letterkenny Pinehill Studios 24th June at 4pm – 6.30pm
OR
The Workhouse Dunfanaghy 28th June at 4pm – 6.30pm

An Grianan Students are welcome to attend either After Party but please bring €8 as the party has already been included in the On Cue students course fees.

For details contact: oncueperformingarts @ gmail .com.

Enjoy the show!

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On Frank McGuinness

Written by Jessica Traynor, Literary Manager of the Abbey Theatre, the National Theatre of Ireland.

“Frank McGuinness is a playwright of whom Donegal and its people can be truly proud. His work enshrines the Donegal people and landscape at the heart of some of the most vital Irish drama of the past thirty years.”

Hailing from Buncrana, Frank McGuinness is one of Ireland’s foremost playwrights. Frank’s work includes both original plays and adaptations, and engages with themes as various as both World Wars, Ulster loyalism, sectarian violence, the rights of women, the shifting sands of memory, the battleground of family life, and his beloved Donegal.

observe.the.sons.of.ulster.banner

His first major success was ‘Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme’, produced on the Peacock stage in 1985, and for which he was awarded the London Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright. A passionate and ground-breaking play, it takes as its subject matter a group of young soldiers and their physical and spiritual journey towards the Somme, a cataclysmic event which took place on the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne. The play deals with the forging of a new loyalism in the fires of World War I, and also explores the deep bonds between the men which encompass both love and violence.

Recent plays have included ‘Greta Garbo Came to Donegal’, which looks at the unexpected arrival of the mysterious, elegant and incisive Garbo, just as the civil rights movement in the North begins to gather momentum, and ‘The Hanging Gardens.’ The latter again takes Donegal as its setting, with its protagonist, a novelist slowly succumbing to Alzheimer’s, facing a reunion with his divided and competitive family. Themes of memory, history, and patriarchal control are explored in a play both elegiac and savage.

McGuinness has also adapted many classic plays with much success. In 1997, his adaptation of Ibsen’s ‘A Doll’s House’ won him a Tony Award, and his 2010 adaptation of that playwright’s ‘John Gabriel Borkman’, starring Alan Rickman, Lindsay Duncan and Fiona Shaw, toured from the Abbey to BAM in New York. His adaptation of James Joyce’s ‘The Dead’ delighted Abbey audiences at Christmas 2012. McGuinness’s adaptations demonstrate his keen psychological insight into some of the most intriguing characters of the Irish, European and classical canon, while maintaining the stark lyricism of his own theatrical idiom.

Frank McGuinness is a playwright of whom Donegal and its people can be truly proud. His work enshrines the Donegal people and landscape at the heart of some of the most vital Irish drama of the past thirty years.

* * * * *

Our next Frank McGuinness play is the Abbey Theatre’s production of Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards The Somme, produced to co-incide with the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme
Presented by Abbey Theatre, Headlong, Citizens Theatre, Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse. Co-presented by the Lyric Theatre.
Friday 29 and Saturday 30 July 2016 at 8pm
Tickets: €25/€20
Book now!

 

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NOTIFICATION: Temporary Closing of Roads Sat 11 June 2016

COMHAIRLE CHONTAE DHUN NA nGALL
(DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL)
ROADS ACT 1993
SECTION 75, ARTICLE 12
ROADS REGULATIONS 1994

TEMPORARY CLOSING OF ROADS
LETTERKENNY

Notice is hereby given that Donegal County Council has made an Order closing the L1004 Upper Port Road / Ramelton Road from the junction with Station Roundabout to the Courthouse junction for the following period: 11.00am to 2.00pm on Saturday, 11th June 2016, for the purpose of facilitating a Presidential visit to An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.

Alternative Routes:

Traffic approaching the Station Roundabout travelling to the Main Street Area should divert via Pearse Road and Justice Walsh Road.

Traffic approaching from Oldtown Road travelling to the Main Street Area should divert via Oliver Plunket Road or Justice Walsh Road.

Additional Traffic Management plans and diversions will be in operation throughout Letterkenny to facilitate safe access on the day.

John G. McLaughlin
Director of Service
Donegal County Council

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The Birthday Party: Meet the cast

Presented by London Classic Theatre, this production marks The Birthday Party’s first significant touring revival of the twenty-first century. Director Michael Cabot has assembled an excellent cast including West End veteran Cheryl Kennedy and Northern Irish actor Declan Rodgers.

Jonathan Ashley plays Goldberg. For the company, he has appeared in Waiting for Godot, Entertaining Mr Sloane, The Importance of Being Earnest and The Double Inconstancy. His other theatre credits include The Tempest and Hansel and Gretel (Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds), Abigail’s Party, Arsenic and Old Lace, Dick Barton and the Secret of the Pharoah’s Tomb, One for the Pot, Ladies in Retirement, Hay Fever and Salad Days (Southwold Summer Theatre), The Hooligan Clown (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith), Scapin’s Tricks and The Winter’s Tale (Wimbledon Studio Theatre), Waiting for Godot and The Dumb Waiter (Albany Empire) and Landscape (Finborough Theatre).

The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett. Gareth Bennett-Ryan as Stanley.

The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett. Gareth Bennett-Ryan as Stanley.

Gareth Bennett-Ryan plays Stanley. His theatre credits include The History Boys, Macbeth (Mercury Colchester), Farm Boy (New Perspectives), As You Like It, Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe), Generation of Z Apocalypse (Royale Productions), Much Ado About Nothing, Antony and Cleopatra (Cambridge Shakespeare Festival), Dick Whittington, Mother Goose (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds), The Mermaids Curse (SKiP), The Shoemakers Holiday (The Rose) and NewsRevue (2008 Season tour) For television, he has appeared in Shakespeare Uncovered, Word on the Street (BBC), Arthur & Merlin (Movieworks), Woodfalls (Tales from the Motherland), Mercenaries (ABC), 7th Soldier, From This Day (Fireinthehole Productions), Wounded (Bigview Films), Dead Unicorns (Luxurious Dread).

1. The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett. Gareth Bennett-Ryan as Stanley, Cheryl Kennedy as Meg.

The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett. Gareth Bennett-Ryan as Stanley, Cheryl Kennedy as Meg.

Cheryl Kennedy plays Meg. She has appeared in many West End shows such as the 1967 revival of The Boy Friend,  ‘Victoria’ in Half a Sixpence where she starred alongside Tommy Steele at the Cambridge Theatre, ‘Winnie’ in The Matchgirls, ‘Belinda’ in Jorrocks at the New Theatre and Alan Ayckbourn’s Absent Friends at the Garrick Theatre. In 1977 she appeared as Maggie in Teeth ‘n’ Smiles at the Oxford Playhouse. She starred alongside Michael Crawford in a production of Flowers for Algernon at the Queen’s Theatre and features on the original London cast recording of the show. Other theatre credits include 1776 (New Theatre), Time and Time Again (West End), Absent Friends (Garrick Theatre),  The Mousetrap (St Martins Theatre), My Fair Lady (US tour), First Impressions, You Never Can Tell, Brand,  Time and the Conways, Mrs Warren’s Profession, Moll Flanders, Great Expectations, How the Other Half Loves, Man of the Moment, Heartbreak House and Season’s Greetings (all UK tours). Cheryl’s TV credits include The Sweeney, The Professionals, What Every Woman Knows and Brookside.

The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett. Ged McKenna as Petey.

The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett. Ged McKenna as Petey.

Ged McKenna plays Petey. His theatre work includes A Skull in Connemara (Nottingham Playhouse), Inherit The Wind, Kes, Toad of Toad Hall, Big Maggie, Second From Last in The Sack Race, Translations, Cleo Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick (New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme), Much Ado About Nothing, Hercules (Chester), Hysteria (English Theatre of Frankfurt), Faith Healer (Library Theatre, Manchester), To Kill A Mockingbird, Wuthering Heights (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Katherine De Souza, Forward (Birmingham Rep), The Lonesome West (Hull Truck), Strangers On A Train, Ghosts, Sailor Beware! (Theatre by the Lake, Keswick), Iron (Traverse, Edinburgh/Royal Court, London), The Farmer’s Bride by Ged McKenna (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough/Tour), The Tempest, Desire Under The Elms (Shared Experience), Macbeth (Cheek By Jowl) and Yard (Bush). His film credits include Shirley Valentine and Awaydays.

The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett. Declan Rodgers as McCann, Jonathan Ashley as Goldberg.

The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett. Declan Rodgers as McCann, Jonathan Ashley as Goldberg.

Declan Rodgers plays McCann. A native of Dundrum, Co Down, Declan trained at LAMDA. His theatre credits include I’m With The Band (Traverse Theatre & UK Tour), Can’t Forget About You (Lyric Theatre), Shoot The Crow (Trafalgar Studios), Carousel (Bush), Service (Nilon Productions/Theatre 503), Hope Dies Last (Arcola Theatre) and City (Encounter Productions). Television credits include Six Degrees and In Cold Blood (both BBC). His film credits include Shooting for Socrates (New Black Films), You Looking At Me? (Besom/Channel 4) and The Minnits of Annabeg (Krown Films).

The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett. Imogen Wilde as Lulu.

The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett. Imogen Wilde as Lulu.

Imogen Wilde plays Lulu. She finished her training at Drama Studio in 2015. Since then she acted in Scrooge (Bill Kenwright Productions), Punk Rock (D&M Productions), Puss in Boots and White Feathers (Bread & Roses).

London Classic Theatre present
The Birthday Party
Thursday 26 May at 8pm
Book now!

 

 

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La Bohéme: A Closer Look

Ahead of Opera Theatre Company’s production of La Bohéme at the end of the month, here’s a gallery of images from the opera to appeal to all you Romantic bohemians.

Set in 1930s Paris, a chance encounter in a freezing attic results in a red-hot affair between penniless poet Rodolfo and innocent seamstress Mimi. But will their love be strong enough to survive against the odds?

One of the most popular operas ever, Puccini’s memorable score, with ravishing music and thrilling arias, will enchant audiences of all ages, and this timeless classic promises a breathtaking and emotional experience.

Opera Theatre Company present La Boheme May 2016.

Acclaimed Irish soprano Máire Flavin makes her role debut as Mimi in this production. A former OTC Young Associate Artist, Máire has also appeared with Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera and Glyndebourne and is a regular soloist with RTÉ NSO.

The role of Rodolfo is sung by Argentinian tenor Pablo Bemsch, who is a regular performer at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and has also performed at Zürich Opera House and Opera de San Juan, Argentina. Pablo studied at Musikhochschule Stuttgart and was a member the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and also a member of Zürich Opera Studio.

Opera Theatre Company present La Boheme May 2016.

La Boheme also stars Sinead Campbell-Wallace (Musetta), Charles Rice (Marcello), Padraic Rowan (Colline) and Rory Musgrave (Schaunard), together with a professional chorus of twelve and a thirteen member chamber orchestra conducted  by Andrew Greenwood.

La Bohème will be sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Opera Theatre Company present La Boheme May 2016.

 

Opera Theatre Company present La Boheme May 2016.

 

Opera Theatre Company present La Boheme May 2016.

 

Opera Theatre Company present La Boheme May 2016.

 

La bohème preview from Opera Theatre Company on Vimeo.

Opera Theatre Company present
La Bohéme
Wed 25 May at 8pm
Book now!

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