Nicola

Coirm busy in rehearsals for Altan gig

A GROUP of young Irish traditional musicians is busy rehearsing for its fourth commission by an internationally-acclaimed musician and composer.

COIRM

Coirm is a group which was was set up by Letterkenny-based Ceol na Coille School of Irish Traditional Music as a platform for young musicians to perform nationally and internationally.

To-date some of its members have performed throughout Ireland, UK, Europe and also the USA with sister school, North Dallas and Austin school of Traditional Music.

The group has commissioned renowned musicians to write new music, raising the funding for the projects themselves, with additional support by Donegal County Council’s Arts Office.

Dr Seamus McGuire, Zoe Conway and Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh were the first artists to be commissioned and the fourth in as many years has been composed by Martin Tourish.

A current member of Altan, the Ballybofey native is a renowned musician in his own right and rehearsals are now underway with the group.

Paul Harrigan of Ceol na Coille, and director of Coirm, said there is great excitement surrounding the new commission being composed by a local musician held in such high regard in national and international music circles.

“We began the process a few years ago with our first commission from Seamus McGuire who is an internationally known musician living in Donegal.

“This was a great first project for the then newly-formed group and we were absolutely delighted that Seamus came on board in writing a piece of music for the group and was so encouraging for the young musicians and so generous with his time.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for these fine young musicians to travel, experience the performance and social side of our traditional arts and build knowledge and friendships that will other qualities through performance and sharing experiences.”

Past pupils and performers of Ceol na Coille and Coirm have continued to study music in Maynooth, University of Cork, Galway, University of Limerick at the World Center of Irish Traditional Music & Dance and University of Ulster.

Many of these have reached high achievements at London College of Music and SCT Examinations and at All Ireland Chomhaltas Fleadh competitions.

The new commission will be performed by Coirm officially during Letterkenny Trad Week where the group will be supporting Altan on the closing night at An Grianán Theatre, Sunday, January 27.

The group will also be performing Mairéad Ni Mhaonaigh’s Failte an Earraigh, Coirm’s commission from 2017 that evening, as well as supporting Dr Seamus McGuire, John Lee and Zoe Conway with John McIntyre earlier in the week on Tuesday, January 22, which is now sold out, during the week-long festivities.

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An Grianán on tour – Manny Man hits the road.

An Grianan Theatre presents John D Ruddy & Louise Conaghan in Manny Man Does the History of Ireland.

We had such a fun time making Manny Man Does the History of Ireland for last year’s Earagail Arts Festival that we just couldn’t keep it to ourselves! So we’re delighted to announce that we’ve reassembled the team and we’re taking Manny Man on the road!

We’ll be touring the show to 16 venues across the island of Ireland, north and south of the border, throughout February and March 2019. As well as performances here in An Grianán on 5, 6 & 8 February we’ll also be visiting Strabane, Kilkenny, Coleraine, Limerick, Mullingar, Gweedore, Longford, Derry, Armagh, Ballybofey, Portlaoise, Newbridge, Wexford and Ennis.

Tour Dates

Tuesday 5 & Wed 6 February at 11am
Fri 8 February at 8pm
An Grianán Theatre
Letterkenny
0749120777
www.angrianan.com

Sat 9 February at 8pm
Alley Theatre
Strabane
028 7138 4444
www.alley-theatre.com

Tues 12 February at 11am
Watergate Theatre
Kilkenny
056 776 1674
watergatetheatre.com

Wed 13 February at 8pm
Riverside Theatre
Coleraine
028 7012 3123
www.riversidetheatre.org.uk

Saturday 16 February at 2.30pm
Belltable
Limerick
061 953 400
www.limetreetheatre.ie

Thur 28 February at 8pm and Fri 1 March at 10am
Mullingar Arts Centre
044 934 7777
www.mullingarartscentre.ie

Sat 2 March at 8pm
Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair
074 953 2687
www.amharclann.com

Tues 5 March at 11am
Backstage Theatre
Longford
043 3347888
www.backstage.ie

Thur 7 March at 8pm
The Playhouse
Derry/Londonderry
028 7126 8027
www.derryplayhouse.co.uk

Fri 8 March at 7pm
The Market Place Theatre
Armagh
028 3752 1821
www.visitarmagh.com/marketplacetheatre

Sat 9 March at 8pm
Balor Arts Centre
Ballybofey
074 913 1840
www.balorartscentre.com

Tues 12 March at 7pm & Wed 13 March at 10am
Dunamaise Arts Centre
Portlaoise
057 866 3355
www.dunamaise.ie

Fri 15 March at 10am, 12pm, 7pm
Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge
045 448 327
www.riverbank.ie

Sat 16 March at 3pm
Wexford Arts Centre
053 912 3764
www.wexfordartscentre.ie

Sun 17 March at 12.30pm
glór
Ennis
065 684 3103
glor.ie

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Christmas Box Office Opening Hours 2018

Our gift vouchers make a lovely Christmas for the theatre-goer in your life and come wrapped up in these luxurious gift wallets. You can buy them online here or in person at our box office.

Mon 17 Dec 10am to 5pm

Tues 18 Dec 10am to 5pm –  Pinocchio at 10.30am

Wed 19 Dec 10am to 5pm –  Pinocchio at 10.30am and 12.30pm

Thur 20 Dec 10am to 5pm –  Pinocchio at 10.30am

Fri 21 Dec 10am to 5pm, 6pm to 7pm –  Pinocchio at 3pm and 7pm

Sat 22 Dec 10am to 6pm –  Pinocchio at 2pm and 4pm

Sun 23 Dec 6pm to 8pm  – Little Hours at 8pm

Christmas Eve Closed

Christmas Day Closed

St Stephen’s Day Closed

Thur 27 Dec Closed

Fri 28 Dec 6pm to 8pm – Seven Drunken Nights at 8pm

Sat 29 Dec 6pm to 8pm – In Their Thousands at 8pm

Sun 30 Dec Closed

Mon 31 Dec Closed

Tues 1 Jan Closed

Wed 2 Jan – Open as normal.

Please note that any box office queries received after Sat 22 December will not be dealt with until normal box office hours resume on Wed 2 January.

Any postal orders received after Thur 20 December will not be posted until normal box office hours resume on Wed 2 January.

You can buy gift vouchers online here.

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Pinocchio Relaxed Performances

An Grianán Theatre will hold two specially adapted relaxed performances of their Christmas Show Pinocchio on Wednesday 19 December at 12.30pm and Sat 22 December at 2pm.

What is a relaxed performance?

Relaxed Performances are specifically designed to welcome people who will benefit from a more relaxed performance environment, including, but not limited to, people with an Autism Spectrum Condition, sensory and communication disorders, or a learning disability.

  • There is a relaxed attitude to noise and movement and some small changes made to the light and sound effects.
  • Theatre lights will stay on and people will be warned of sudden noises.
  • For anyone overwhelmed during the performance, a “chill out” area will be provided in the upper foyer.
  • An easy way to understand the atmosphere is perhaps, ‘the opposite of the quiet carriage on a train’.

Why do a relaxed performances?

Many aspects of a standard theatre experience can cause difficulties for children. Busy foyers, unexpected music, lights going up and down and applause can all be unsettling. Even the interval can confuse because it may seem strange to leave the auditorium in the middle of an event.

These performances are for anyone who would benefit from a more relaxed performance environment, including people with an autistic spectrum condition, sensory or communication disorders, or a learning disability, or just those who are uncomfortable being in a darkly lit room, or those who feel they can’t sit quietly for an extended period of time.

Can everyone come to this performance?

Yes everyone is welcome, it’s important that those for whom it is intended get to share the experience with their peers and siblings. That’s the joy of a relaxed performance!

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Shaking the Walls: The Winter’s Tale Summer 2019

Creative Europe funding

This week we learned we were successful in receiving Creative Europe funding for an exciting new project called Shaking the Walls with partners from across Europe. The project is led by Gdański Teatr Szekspirowski (Poland), the other partners are Parrabbola (UK), Cooltour Ostrava (Czech Republic) and Ratatam (Iceland).

2019 marks An Grianan Theatre’s 20th anniversary and we are really pleased that the Creative Europe funding will allow us to engage so many artists and creatives in making a work of scale and spectacle, in an off site location. The Shaking the Walls project is a great opportunity for us to examine the political and economic context of our place in the borders of the North West in association with our international partners.

The Winter’s Tale

We will be producing an off-site, immersive presentation of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, in partnership with Parrabbola Theatre Company. The production will take place in July 2019, in Donegal and Derry, crossing the borders, the traditions and the waters of the North West.

Two Kingdoms, Sicilia and Bohemia divided by an ocean; two kings, raised together, but at odds over the love of a woman; lost princes, prison sentences, tragic deaths, bears and ocean voyages, and finally, a mysterious and magical ending that reconciles the kingdoms; It is a problem play, a text with multiple personalities, but ultimately it explores conflict, reconciliation and borders. It is Shakespeare’s Brexit masterpiece.

Following on from the production, the theatre’s writer in residence, Guy Le Jeune, will travel on to Gdańsk, Ostrava and Reykjavik, working with Parrabbola’s Director, Philip Parr, to create a new piece work that addresses the nature of the walls we build, both physical and metaphorical, to presented at the Gdańsk Shakespeare Theatre in 2020.

 

Production partners and funders: Shaking the Tale is produced by An Grianán Theatre and Parrabbola as part of Shaking the Walls. Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programmed of the European Union. Additional support comes from Donegal County Council, the Arts Council of Ireland and the Earagail Arts Festival.

Shaking the Tale is part of Shaking the Walls, a project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. The project is led by Gdański Teatr Szekspirowski (Poland), the other partners are Parrabbola (UK), Cooltour Ostrava (Czech Republic) and Ratatam (Iceland). As well as Creative Europe, our co-funders for Shaking the Tale include the Donegal County Council, Arts Council of Ireland and the Earagail Arts Festival.

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#SaveStageLighting

If a proposed ban on the use of tungsten lamps in the entertainment industry comes into force the future will be dark for many theatres, An Grianán included.

The European Commission has begun the process of changing the regulations (EC) 244/2009, (EC) 245/2009 and (EU) 1194/2012 on EcoDesign Requirements and (EU) 874/2012 on the labelling of electrical lamps and luminaries, including those used in performance lighting.

These proposals pose an enormous threat to the way theatrical productions are presented. The impact of these proposals across Europe would be immediate, and overwhelming.

These new regulations, which come into effect in September 2020, will ban the production, sale or purchase of replacement tungsten bulbs for lighting fixtures such as those used in theatre lighting. This is being carried out in a bid to reduce energy usage across the sector by forcing the industry to move towards LED equivalents. While this may seem like a laudable endeavour, a number of key issues arise.

Tungsten and Arc light bulbs would rapidly become unavailable. This would mean that the majority of lighting fixtures in the majority of theatres – big theatres, small theatres, amateur theatres, colleges, schools, clubs, pubs, village halls – would immediately become obsolete. Fixtures that have given tireless service for years, sometimes for decades, with just a little regular maintenance and a new bulb every now and again would become yet more scrap metal and glass.

High-quality LED lighting units, which have made their way onto the market in recent years would also be banned under the proposals.

The entertainment industry will have almost no tools whatsoever with which to light plays, musicals or concerts.

Even if it was within the possibilities of physics to create a lighting unit that was capable of meeting these proposals, it would be completely unreachable in a financial sense. It would require the immediate overhaul of infrastructure and stock of almost every venue in Europe.

For larger venues, this would be both hard to budget for and impossible to implement within the next two years. For smaller venues, it would be ruinous. They would, quite literally, go dark.

Phil Jennings of the Riverbank Arts Centre, Kildare, outlines the likely impact of the proposed legislation on their venue:

Expense:
Riverbank Arts Centre is estimating an incurred cost of approximately €400,000 to replace its current infrastructure with an LED equivalent. It is important to note that this does not necessarily constitute an upgrade or improvement in quality to the current equipment but merely the installation of an LED equivalent. The extent of the re-fit will not be confined to the individual lighting fixtures. New lighting infrastructure including control consoles, dimmers and improved cable and data management would also be required. This change will also mean that the number of personnel required to to fit-up a production will increase.

Time Frame:
For small to medium sized venues, it is unlikely that adequate, standalone funding could be arranged before 2020. The larger venues, for whom budgets may not be a problem, will find it difficult to implement sufficient ‘dark time’ to carry out such works before 2020.

Quality of the Product:
Currently, this is no commercially available LED lighting fixture that meets with the proposed regulations of 85 Lumens per Watt.

Assumed Energy Usage:
Studies at Seattle Rep and for the Mayor of London showed that on average, performance lighting forms less than 5% of the total power consumption of a theatre building. This is because performance lighting is only ever used for a small number of hours daily (typically between 8pm and 10pm) and even then, the lighting fixtures are never at full output or all operational at the same time.

This problem is far bigger than just Riverbank Arts Centre and will effect schools, colleges, town halls, cultural organisations, places of worship, tv studios and theatres locally, nationally and internationally.

For Riverbank Arts Centre, I estimate that from September 2020 when the ban is introduced, the theatre will continue to function unaffected for a period of approximately 18 months on pre-purchased, stockpiled tungsten bulbs. After this point however – and as supplies of pre-purchased tungsten bulbs diminish, the theatre will have fewer and fewer lanterns available for use until it gets to a point where there are simply not enough fixtures to light a production adequately. It is at this point that we will no longer be capable of receiving performances.

Sign the petition: “Keep stage lighting exempt from proposed legislation changes.”

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An Grianán Xtra

Pick up a copy of our magazine An Grianán A Little Bit Extra the next time you call in.

Or download a pdf copy now:

angrianan.xtra

 

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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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We’re making some changes …

From Monday 9th April our online booking fee will be reduced from €1.50 per ticket to €1 per ticket, and it will now apply equally to all telephone and in person bookings. That means that all tickets sold by An Grianán Box Office will be subject to a €1 booking fee.

Our new box office opening hours for telephone and walk in bookings will be from 10 am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and also on the days when we have a show it will be open from 6pm to 8pm, this includes Saturdays and Sundays.

The Eatery Cafe hours will not be affected by these changes. Its opening hours are 9.30am to 3.30pm Monday to Friday.

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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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