drama

News for teachers: Manny Man the stage show

John D Ruddy brings his creation Manny Man to the stage with An Grianán Theatre in 2018.A youtube sensation, a hit book and soon to be a stage show! See Ireland’s tumultuous millennia of history turned into a fun and easy-to-understand story.

We are currently developing a stage adaptation of John D Ruddy’s Manny Man Does the History of Ireland with a view to presenting it to schools audiences in May 2018.

Manny Man brings history to life with clarity and hilarity in videos that have amassed millions of views around the world.

Why did the Celts love stealing cows? What was the Norman Invasion, and were they all called Norman? From the Ice Age up to the present day, through the Vikings and Tudors, British rule and the fight for independence, he covers it all – with his tongue in his cheek, of course.

Ideal for 5th & 6th national school classes and second level history students.

Rehearsed reading

We will hold a rehearsed reading of the play with its cast John D Ruddy and Louise Conaghan on Thursday 19 October to an invited audience only. If you are a teacher interested in attending please get in touch with Nicola or Daithi at the box office on 0749120777. This will be a great chance to get a preview of the show and feedback and suggestions will be welcome.

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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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Shoot The Gear – new play about the fishing community in Killybegs

An Grianán on tour: Shoot the Gear by Guy Le JeuneAn Grianán Theatre is on the road South of the Gap as part of the Donegal Bay and Bluestacks Festival. Our new production Shoot The Gear created by our Theatre Artist in Residence Guy LeJeune celebrates the stories and experiences of the Killybegs fishermen. The play which will be performed in the Fish Auction Hall on Killybegs Quay is a celebration of the fishing industry in words and music. Featuring a cast of four multi talented performers Ronan Carr, Louise Conaghan, Orlaith Gilcreest and Fionn Robinson, the show runs from Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 September at 8 PM nightly.

The Shoot the Gear project has been facilitated by the Killybegs Fishermens Organization, whose support has proved crucial in gaining access to, and the trust of, a broad range of people connected to the industry, from fishermen and their wives and families, to buyers and sellers, net makers and menders, boatyard men, harbour staff, factory workers and more.

Tickets can be purchased on the door or in advance at our box office on 0749120777 or online here.

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Open Auditions for An Grianán Theatre’s Christmas 2017 Production

 

We are holding open auditions for our December production of The Nutcracker on Sun 17 September.

About the show

This is a fresh new version of the magical Christmas tale. Our Nutcracker is set in Donegal and blends drama, comedy and dance in a colourful story for family and school audiences.

There will be speaking and dance roles.

Like last year’s Christmas show Peter Pan, this will be a youth led production so we are looking for male and female performers from ages 8 to 21.

Audition date: Sun 17 September

10am to 12pm – children ages 8 to 11

12pm to 2pm – ages 12+

There is no need to prepare anything in advance.

NB: You will need to get permission to take time off school as the performance dates are during term time.

If you are not available for the performance dates below please do not audition!

Performance dates

Tues 12 to Fri 15 December at 11am

Sat 16 Dec at 2pm and 7pm

The Nutcracker is produced by An Grianán Theatre Productions in association with Zona Dance Co. Adapted by Guy Le Jeune, directed by Jessica Peoples.

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Bingo Wings!

We were delighted to welcome some of our favourite people – Jym and Chantal from Fidget Feet and Little John Nee to An Grianán for a week’s residency in April as they worked on their brand new show Bingo Wings which is due to make its debut in 2018.

They spend the week visiting day centres, swapping stories and playing bingo – not a bad way to spend a week! They also introduced members of our youth theatre to the joys of the bingo!

An Grianán Youth Theatre members Amybeth, Eoin, Ryan, Jasper and Laramie with Chantal McCormick from Fidget Feet at a workshop in April 2017. The workshop is part of the research work for a brand new show called Bingo Wings which Fidget Feet are making with Little John Nee. Watch out for it in 2018.

An Grianán Youth Theatre members Amybeth, Eoin, Ryan, Jasper and Laramie with Chantal McCormick from Fidget Feet at a workshop in April 2017. The workshop is part of the research work for a brand new show called Bingo Wings which Fidget Feet are making with Little John Nee. Watch out for it in 2018.

An Grianán Youth Theatre members Amybeth, Eoin, Evin, Darragh, Oscar, Emory, Ryan, Jasper and Laramie with Chantal McCormick from Fidget Feet at a workshop in April 2017.

An Grianán Youth Theatre members Amybeth, Eoin, Evin, Darragh, Oscar, Emory, Ryan, Jasper and Laramie with Chantal McCormick from Fidget Feet at a workshop in April 2017.

Little John Nee and Chantal McCormick playing bingo - it's work! Honest!

Little John Nee and Chantal McCormick playing bingo – it’s work! Honest!

Little John performing at one of the day centres they visiting as part of the research week for Bingo Wings. April 2017.

Little John performing at one of the day centres they visited as part of the research week for Bingo Wings.

This research was supported by the Arts Council and 5 regional venues: Lime Tree Theatre Limerick,  Town Hall Theatre Galway, Hawk’s Well Theatre Sligo, An Grianan Theatre Letterkenny and Backstage Theatre Longford.

 

 

 

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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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2018 NASC 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 2018.

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.

PRODUCTION CRITERIA

• Productions with audience recognition i.e. production title, company, director, cast, and/or playwright to maximise audience potential for each show.
• Productions which are innovative, captivating and entertaining to maximise the potential for audience development.
• High quality, professional production values so that the investment by the Arts Council, stakeholders and the venue is apparent.

NASC TOURS TO DATE

The Year of the Hiker – Druid Theatre Company (2006) | Improbable Frequency – Rough Magic Theatre Company (2007) | The Taming Of the Shrew – Rough Magic Theatre Company (2008) | The Cripple of Inishmaan – Druid Theatre Company (2008) | The Gigli Concert – Druid Theatre Company (2009) | Johnny Patterson, The Singing Clown – Barabbas (2010) | John O’Connor – (2010) | Out of Time – Colin Dunne (2011) | Druid Murphy Project: Whistle In The Dark and Conversations on a Home Coming (2013) | The Bridge Below the Town – Livin’ Dred Theatre Co (2014) | The Dead (Performance Corporation 2017) | The Wolf and Peter – CoisCéim (2017) | Anam – Siamsa Tíre (Autumn 2017)

Any interested parties should submit a proposal to the Nasc Network by Friday March 24th 2017 by  eMail to Hugh Murray at the Pavilion Theatre.

Click here to view the full Nasc Network Commission 2018 document as a PDF.

Nasc Network: An Grianán Theatre | Backstage Theatre | Dunamaise Arts Centre | glór | Lime Tree Theatre | Pavilion Theatre | Siamsa Tire | Town Hall Theatre

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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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Radio Short Waves Showcase

Our Radio Short Waves writing course reached its conclusion on Thursday 15 December with a showcase performed to an invited audience of family and friends. Facilitated by playwright Tara McKevitt our group of 9 writers have been working since September on these short radio plays, each approximately 10 minutes in duration.

The Plays

A Chain of Events by John Logue
Windows by Michael Leddy
The Seventh Wall by Edwin Masterson
Pulse by Marie Kelly
The Lad’s Night Out by Pauric Gallagher
Rain by Fergal Lonergan
Cake by Meg Grehan
Clean by Averil Meehan
Sorry Wrong Target by Paul McCollum

Our Radio Short Waves cast: Fionn Robinson, Orlaith Gilchreest, Valerie Bryce and John D Ruddy.

Our Radio Short Waves cast: Fionn Robinson, Orlaith Gilchreest, Valerie Bryce and John D Ruddy.

The Cast

Valerie Bryce
Orlaith Glicreest
Fionn Robinson
John D. Ruddy

The Crew

Director: Guy Le Jeune

Stage Manager & Sound: Jude Barriscale

The Writers

John Logue was born in Derry, and has lived in Letterkenny for the past 30 years. He is married to Siobhan, and has two children, John F and Ali. John is a cabinet maker by trade, and a former Gaelic and Rugby footballer. He is currently Captain of Portsalon Golf Club. During the winter months he likes to enroll in night classes that challenge him. This Radio Play is his latest endeavour.

Marie Kelly has previously undertaken Creative Writing courses with Denise Blake, Ronan Carr and Patrick Kearney. She also has an interest in drama and has taken part in productions with Worklab, Bread and Roses, An Grianan Theatre, and An Grianan Actor’s Studio. This is her first radio drama.

Michael Leddy, originally from Leitrim, has lived in Donegal since 1999. He has been writing and acting on stage, and short films for thirty years. He collects various Old Time Radio shows from American radio, as well as Marvel Comics and rare, hard-to-find TV series. He wrote and directed a short film in 2013 Firefall. He previously had two short stories broadcast by RTE in the 90s. This is his first script for radio.

Edwin Masterson is from Northern Ireland and started writing with the Derry rehabilita- tion writers group after recovering from a serious illness. He is now an active member of Scribophile.com. An avid film aficionado and poetry enthusiast, he recently finished the NaNoWriMo challenge in November. He has previously completed an advanced course in scriptwriting at the Letterkenny Culture Centre as well as an International literary course at the L.Y.I.T.

Averil Meehan writes radio drama, poetry and fiction. Her radio play, “A Family Christmas” was broadcast twice by RTE. Her poetry collection, “Until Stones Blossom” is published by Summer Palace Press. Her writing has been published in literary journals and placed in various writing competi- tions.

Pauric Gallagher has been performing stand-up comedy all over Ireland since October 2013. He was a finalist in Forbidden Fruit Comedy Compe tition in 2015 and has played support for such names as Gearoid Farrelly, Pat McDonnell and Andrew Maxwell. He has recently returned from a tour of Canada. He is also a long standing mem- ber of the Diamond Writers group based in Raphoe and was a writer and director on the AyeTV1 webseries ‘Letterkenny People’.

Fergal Lonergan is a 16 year old nerd in 5th year in St. Eunans College. He first got into theatre with Letterkenny Youth Theatre and is focusing on comedy, writing sketches and directing for youth theatre the most notable being a stage adaptation of Blackadder. Fergal performs stand-up regularly, mainly in the Voodoo Vintage. After the Leaving Cert, he’s hopes to go on to study thea- tre and media, and eventually end up doing something in entertainment, be it comedy or writing weird, precipitation-based tragedies.

Meg Grehan is a writer and stage manager originally from Louth and now living in Letterkenny with too many pets, all with ridiculous names (Starbuck, Ororo, Catgar and Doctor George O’Malley). Likes include cake and pink things. Dislikes include the patriarchy and going outside. Meg’s first book The Space Between will be published in 2017 by Little Island.

 

Radio Short Waves course facilitator Tara McKevitt with its youngest participant Fergal Lonergan. A member of our youth theatre, Fergal was given a bursary by An Grianán to attend the course.

Radio Short Waves course facilitator Tara McKevitt with its youngest participant Fergal Lonergan. A member of our youth theatre, Fergal was given a bursary by An Grianán to attend the course.

The Facilitator

Tara McKevitt is from Moville, and has written for stage and radio, including RTE Radio 1, the Abbey Theatre, and Traverse Theatre. She has facilitated workshops in Higher Education, (NUIG VEC Galway), Youth Groups, Schools, Prisons, as well as various other community groups.

Project kindly supported by the Donegal County Council Arts Office.

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Last few performances of HotForTheatre’s ‘LUCK JUST KISSED YOU HELLO’

HotForTheatre make their Donegal debut with Amy Conroy’s acclaimed drama Luck Just Kissed You Hello

DIRECTED BY CAITRIONA MCLAUGHLIN

STARRING AMY CONROY, MARK FITZGERALD AND WILL O’CONNELL

Lyric Theatre – Naughton Studio, Belfast, November 15th and 16th
An Grianán Theatre, Donegal, November 18th and 19th
The Bell Table, Limerick, November 21st and 22nd
The Pavilion, Dún Laoghaire, November 25th and 26th

Don’t miss the last few performances of Amy Conroy’s fiercely funny, and intensely moving, play Luck Just Kissed You Hello as it visits Belfast, Donegal, Limerick and Dún Laoghaire, over the next ten days. The play set off on tour at the beginning of this month, and has played to full theatres and standing ovations; you won’t want to miss this intensely moving play.

Amy Conroy, Mark Fitzgerald and Will O’Connell star in Luck Just Kissed Me Hello at An Grianán Theatre Letterkenny November 2016

Amy Conroy, Mark Fitzgerald and Will O’Connell star in Luck Just Kissed Me Hello at An Grianán Theatre Letterkenny November 2016

How do you say goodbye to your nemesis, your genesis? Laura returns home for the death of her father, but Laura is now Mark (Amy Conroy). He, along with Gary (Will O’Connell) and Sullivan (Mark Fitzgerald), must decide on how he is remembered. They must find a way to forgive, find a way to each other and find a way to recognise themselves again. How can any of us begin to unravel the complexities of our childhood memories and the individual moments we remember and polish as our own? This is a play about what it means to be a man, and the complicated nature and fluidity of masculinity.

Luck Just Kissed You Hello is a beautiful, relentless, and fiercely funny, play exploring the delicate strength it takes to be all that is expected of you. Featuring a stellar cast of Amy Conroy, Mark Fitzgerald and Will O’Connell, and directed by Caitriona McLaughlin. You won’t want to miss Luck Just Kissed You Hello for it’s last performances in the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, Tuesday 15th and Wednesday 16th November; An Grianán theatre, Donegal, Friday 18th and Saturday 19th; the Belltable, Limerick, Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd’ and finishing it’s successful run at the Pavilion theatre, Dún Laoghaire, Friday 25th and Saturday 26th November.

Reviews:

‘A mesmerising performance from Amy Conroy that seems ripped from her own innards’ – The Irish Independent

★★★★ ‘A blistering exploration of masculinity.’ – The Guardian

★★★★ ‘Luck Just Kissed You Hello goes beyond gender politics.’ – The Irish Times

‘Luck Just Kissed You Hello is a rare achievement, a play that is polemical while remaining provocative, funny, and intensely moving.’ – The Sunday Independent

Luck Just Kissed You Hello

Luck Just Kissed You Hello

About HotForTheatre:

HotForTheatre have toured substantially. In 2013 the company performed three different shows, to 66 audiences (playing to over 6,000 people), in two continents and four countries. Their work has toured to New York, Iceland, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Croatia, France and to 24 venues and festivals across Ireland.  They make their Donegal debut with this production.

Book now: Fri 18 and Sat 19 November at 8pm

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