drama

An Grianán Youth Theatre – Halloween Part 2

On Saturday 29 October four of our youth theatre members travelled to Arnold’s Hotel in Dunfanaghy with tutor Nora Kavanagh to provide an afternoon of Halloween entertainment.

A big thank you to Angel Humm, Sarah Masterson, Adam Boyle and Kai McHugh who kindly donated their performance fee to An Grianán Youth Theatre.

An Grianán Youth Theatre's Angel Humm

An Grianán Youth Theatre’s Angel Humm

An Grianán Youth Theatre's Sarah Masterson and Kai McHugh at Arnold's in Dunfanaghy for Halloween.

Sarah Masterson and Kai McHugh

An Grianan Youth Theatre's tutor Nora Kavanagh.

An Grianan Youth Theatre’s tutor Nora Kavanagh.

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Assorted Horrors – An Grianán Youth Theatre Halloween performances Part 1

On Friday 28 October members of An Grianán Youth Theatre presented some spooky pre-show entertainment as part of an evening of Gothic themed drama and music which included the feature event Female Gothic from Dyad Productions.

Members of An Grianán Youth Theatre who took part in Halloween Gothic at An Grianán Theatre on Fri 28 Oct 2016

Members of An Grianán Youth Theatre who took part in Halloween Gothic at An Grianán Theatre on Fri 28 Oct 2016

The evening featured a recital of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Conqueror Worm by Jasper Kardos and Micaiah O’Muireadhaigh. Adam Boyle and Sarah Masterson performed another Poe classic Annabel Lee. Laramie Carey presented a solo performance of Emily Dickenson’s I Felt a Funeral, In My Brain. Oscar Murtagh and Fergal Lonergan performed The Creature’s Speech from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The performances were directed by youth theatre facilitator Nora Kavanagh.

The Donegal Chamber Orchestra performing haunting music for Halloween at An Grianán Theatre on Fri 28 Oct 2016.

The Donegal Chamber Orchestra performing haunting music for Halloween at An Grianán Theatre on Fri 28 Oct 2016.

The youth theatre ensemble also performed as an assortment of druids, ghouls and zombies.

The Donegal Chamber Orchestra performed a wonderful selection of music including Assorted Horrors by Derek Ball, Grieg’s Aase’s Death from Peer Gynt and the truly spine tingling theme from Hitchcock’s Psycho by Bernard Hermann. A huge thank you to Victor Yélamo for the excellent choice of music.

An anonymous member of An Grianán Youth Theatre who took part in Halloween Gothic at An Grianán Theatre on Fri 28 Oct 2016

An anonymous member of An Grianán Youth Theatre who took part in Halloween Gothic at An Grianán Theatre on Fri 28 Oct 2016

An Grianán Youth Theatre member Jasper Kardos recites Edgar Allan Poe's The Conqueror Worm at An Grianán Theatre on Fri 28 Oct 2016.

An Grianán Youth Theatre member Jasper Kardos recites Edgar Allan Poe’s The Conqueror Worm at An Grianán Theatre on Fri 28 Oct 2016.

An Grianán Youth Theatre member Laramie Carey recites Emily Dickinson's I Felt A Funeral, In My Brain at An Grianán Theatre on Fri 28 Oct 2016.

An Grianán Youth Theatre member Laramie Carey recites Emily Dickinson’s I Felt A Funeral, In My Brain at An Grianán Theatre on Fri 28 Oct 2016.

An Grianán Youth Theatre member Ultan Farrell performing in Halloween Gothic at An Grianán Theatre on Fri 28 Oct 2016.

An Grianán Youth Theatre member Ultan Farrell performing in Halloween Gothic at An Grianán Theatre on Fri 28 Oct 2016.

The Donegal Chamber Orchestra performing haunting music for Halloween at An Grianán Theatre on Fri 28 Oct 2016.

The Donegal Chamber Orchestra performing haunting music for Halloween at An Grianán Theatre on Fri 28 Oct 2016.

An Grianán Youth Theatre members Angel Humm and Laramie Carey who performed at An Grianán Theatre on Fri 28 Oct 2016 in Halloween Gothic.

An Grianán Youth Theatre members Angel Humm and Laramie Carey who performed at An Grianán Theatre on Fri 28 Oct 2016 in Halloween Gothic.

An Grianán Youth Theatre members Jasper Kardos and Micaiah O'Muireadhaigh recites Edgar Allan Poe's The Conqueror Worm at An Grianán Theatre on Fri 28 Oct 2016.

An Grianán Youth Theatre members Jasper Kardos and Micaiah O’Muireadhaigh recites Edgar Allan Poe’s The Conqueror Worm at An Grianán Theatre on Fri 28 Oct 2016.

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Waving, Not Drowning, The Mental Health Roadshow

Join us this November for an innovative new theatre show looking at mental health from local company Bread and Roses Theatre.

One in four of us will have mental health problems at some stage in our lives. This simple statement throws up a host of questions:

Why?

What’s life like for the one in ten of us in Ireland suffering from depression?

For the family and friends of the 451 individuals who took their own lives last year?

Why aren’t we doing more to help those who become unwell, and to promote good mental health?

And, why is it ok to talk about diabetes, but so hard to talk about schizophrenia?

Bread and Roses Theatre Company’s pioneering new production ‘Waving, Not Drowning, The Mental Health Roadshow’ is an imaginative attempt to address these concerns.

A montage of original short plays, sketches and songs, this exuberant theatrical experiment will premiere at An Grianán Theatre Wednesday, November 23 at 8 pm.

Initiated by Mark McCollum, Tanya McLaughlin and Kathleen McCreery, the project began last January. Ten writers and actors were chosen to attend weekly workshops.

‘We all felt passionately about it, we had all been touched by it in some way,’ said Mark, ‘and a number of participants had professional experience in the mental health field.’

The group entered into an intensive period of research, interviewing users of the mental health services, and inviting guest speakers including a GP, a psychologist and a TD.

Kathleen, a trained counsellor as well as an experienced playwright and teacher of creative writing, facilitated the workshops and mentored the writers as they began to develop plots and characters. ‘We wanted to ensure that the voices of those who are struggling, and those who care for them and work with them are heard,’ she said. ‘We had no blueprint, and no idea what would come out of the process. I’m delighted to say that after months of hard work, we have been rewarded with some impressive scripts. The montage framework allows us to tackle a range of subjects, from bullying to bereavement, from social anxiety to self-harm.’

Left to right: Aoife Toner, Michael Devlin, Ronan Devlin and Anne Gallagher who perform in Waving Not Drowning by Bread and Roses Theatre at An Grianán Theatre November 2016.

Left to right: Aoife Toner, Michael Devlin, Ronan Devlin and Anne Gallagher who perform in Waving Not Drowning by Bread and Roses Theatre at An Grianán Theatre November 2016.

The creative team includes Natalia Colmenarejo, Niall Cranney, Aideen Devine, Anne Gallagher, Sinead Gallagher, Brenda Kelly, Cassie Riggs, Aoife Toner, and Kathleen herself. There’s a story about a young woman who hears voices, a stressed family doctor, a first-time mother with post-natal depression.

Heavy stuff, you might think, but as Tanya McLaughlin, production manager for the project points out, ‘There is a lot of humour too, some really funny situations and witty dialogue. People who saw our first production ‘Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay!’ last year at the Earagail Arts Festival and recall the company’s polished performance of Dario Fo’s classic farce won’t be disappointed.’

The cast comes from both sides of the border. Cassie, Anne and Aoife will be joined by Derry-based Ronan Carr, and by Michael Devlin, who showed his commitment to the cause of mental health when he raised over €5,000 for Pieta House walking the Pacific Crest Way from Mexico to British Columbia.

Tickets are €12.50 and €10 concessions, and block bookings of 10 or more will also get the discount.

Wednesday 23 November 2016
Suitable for ages 16+
Book now

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Relaxed Performance of Peter Pan

An Grianán Theatre will hold a specially adapted Relaxed Performance of their Christmas Show Peter Pan on Wednesday 14th December at 12.30pm.

Update: Due to demand we are now going to do an additional relaxed performance of Peter Pan on Sat 17 December at 4pm.

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!

Relaxed Performances:
Wed 14 December at 12.30pm, Sat 17 December at 4pm.
Running time: approx 60 minutes
Tickets: €12/€10, family of four €36, schools & groups €8
To book please call the box office on 0749120777.

Peter Pan

This Christmas An Grianán Theatre Productions presents the classic tale of Peter Pan, the boy who wouldn’t grow up from Tues  13th to Sat 17th December. Join Peter and the Lost Boys as they take Wendy and her brothers on an adventure to Neverland where they will face down his nemesis Captain Hook!

With a main cast of twelve and a large chorus this’ll be a fast, action packed show: a bit pantomime, a bit musical and a lot of fun! Directed by Nora Kavanagh, with musical director Trudy O’Donnell.

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Assorted Horrors: Halloween Gothic at An Grianán Theatre

Join us for a very special night inspired by classic gothic literature on Friday 28 October headlined by hit theatre production Female Gothic at 8pm.

The evening begins from 7pm with a selection of suitably spooky music in the foyer from members of the Donegal Chamber Orchestra.

Senior members of An Grianán Youth Theatre will perform extracts from Frankenstein as well as classics from Edgar Allan Poe and Emily Dickenson to get audiences in the mood for the feature event of the evening: Female Gothic.

Female Gothic

Starting at 8pm in the auditorium, Female Gothic is an acclaimed theatre show from Olivier Award winning director Guy Masterson and performed by Rebecca Vaughan of Austen’s Women fame.

In the thrilling tradition of M R James and Edgar Allan Poe, this literary spine-chiller celebrates three lost gothic works from the great Victorian female writers.

An artist, gripped by the clutching fingers of a dead past; a scientist, defying nature in the dark realm of the senses; an expectant father, driven mad by creeping shadows…

In the unquiet darkness between life and death, a lone, haunted woman tells chilling tales of the macabre and terrifying, illuminating the curious frailties of human nature.

Female Gothic is presented by Dyad Productions, a UK based theatre that creates, produces and tours innovative yet classic theatre with a contemporary relevance. With emphasis on new writing and radical interpretations of existing text, Dyad’s acclaimed shows include Austen’s Women, Jane Eyre: An Autobiography and The Unremarkable Death of Marilyn Monroe

The schedule for the evening is:

From 7pm in the bar & foyer (free admission)

Music from the Donegal Chamber Orchestra featuring

Derek Ball (b. 1949) Assorted Horrors
Edvard Grieg (1843 – 1907) “Aase’s Death” from Peer Gynt Suite No.1
Bernard Herrmann (1911-1975) Psycho A Suite for Strings (1960)  ‘Psycho theme’

Gothic excerpts by An Grianán Youth Theatre featuring:

The Creature’s Speech from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, The Conqueror Worm and Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe, I Felt a Funeral in My Brain by Emily Dickenson, and other surprises.

8pm in the auditorium – admission €15/€12 Book now!
Dyad Productions present
Female Gothic
running time: 75 minutes
NB: Running time for all the evening’s events will be a little over two hours give or take a scare or two!

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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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Richard Greenberg’s Three Days of Rain

Written by the American playwright Richard Greenberg and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1998, Three Days of Rain is a humorous and touching play about family and parenthood, and how the private worlds of one generation are reinterpreted by the next.

Considered by many to be one of the finest American plays of recent years, Richard Greenberg’s Three Days of Rain makes its An Grianán debut courtesy of Disappear Here Theatre.

Based in both Dublin and Donegal, Disappear Here Theatre was established in 2016 by Michael McLaughlin, Fiach Kunz and Lisa Tyrrell. Their objective is to create thought provoking, exciting, original work and to present the best of contemporary international writing.

Three Days of Rain

Three Days of Rain is a haunting, clever, humorous and deeply touching drama that explores love, infidelity, fate, genius, madness and how easily we can misinterpret the past.

The first act takes place in an abandoned Manhattan loft in 1995. Walker, who disappeared a year ago following the death of his father Ned Janeway, is reunited with his sister Nan and their childhood friend Pip for the reading of Ned’s will. Walker discovers his father’s journal and as history unravels, questions are asked, dark secrets are revealed and harsh opinions are formed.

In the second act, we are transported back in time to 1960 where the same actors play the role of one their parents; Ned, Lina and Theo. The truth about motives and relationships are revealed as we discover the inspiration behind this architectural dynasty and we find out what really happened during those Three Days of Rain.

About the cast

Michael McLaughlin is an actor who originally hails from Donegal. He completed his training in the Applied Art of Acting programme. Stage roles include Tadhg McCabe in ‘The Field’ and Perchik in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’. He has appeared in a number of short films and his second feature film ‘Night people’ was released in Autumn 2015. Michael is also a producer and director; in 2016 he debuted with his short film ‘Atlantic Roar’ which was shot on location in Inishowen, and he is currently in pre-production on ‘The Claw’, a surreal period drama set in a 1980’s video arcade.

Fiach Kunz hails from Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow. Fiach trained at the ‘Applied Art of Acting’ and has just graduated from the Programme at Bow Street Screen Acting Academy. Theatre work comprises of ‘Such Sweet Things’ at Smock Alley and ‘In Arabia we’d all be Kings’ in The Players Theatre. Fiach’s screen work includes over 20 short films such as ‘IRIS’ and ‘Flame Aim’. He has appeared in four feature films, notably ‘LIFT’ (2016) in which he co-starred with Gerard McSorley and ‘Blue Dawn’, which is due for release in 2017. Fiach’s television work includes HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’.

Lisa Tyrrell is a Dublin based actress who completed her training in the Applied Art of Acting in December 2014. Since then, Lisa has continued to develop her craft by taking workshops and studying the acting techniques of Stanislavski and Chekhov. Lisa has appeared in two feature films and a number of short films including, ‘The Sad Ones’, ‘Closing Time’, ‘IRIS’ and ‘Urban Traffic’. Her television work includes ‘Ripper Street’ (Season 4). Lisa played Dr. Campbell in ‘Absolute Beginners’ at Smock Alley Theatre in 2016 and Frankie in ‘RISK’ presented in The New Theatre as part of the 2016 Tiger Dublin Fringe Festival.

Three Days of Rain
Saturday 8 October 2016 at 8pm
Tickets: €15/€12
Book now!

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Tom Murphy’s masterpiece Bailegangaire

“McIntyre finely captures the essence of this classic” Sunday Times

It’s four years since Druid Theatre Company presented their stunning DruidMurphy project in Letterkenny – featuring Tom Murphy’s plays A Whistle in The Dark and Conversations on a Homecoming – which left local theatre fans in no doubt of Murphy;s status as one of Ireland’s greatest writers.

Now there is an opportunity to see the play that many consider his masterpiece – Bailegangaire. Presented by Livin’ Dred Theatre in association with Nomad Theatre Network, the play centres around Mommo, who tells over and over again a story she never finishes of how the town came to be known as Bailegangaire, the town without laughter.
Dolly and Mary

Mommo is attended by her two granddaughters, Mary and Dolly. The younger women yearn to be free of the past in order to make a new beginning, and Mary comes to believe that to do so the story of Bailegangaire has to be concluded.

Director Paraic McIntyre, who has had a long professional friendship with Tom Murphy says of it:  “the play I have been obsessed with for years.  A play set in 1984, not by chance, but because 1984 is a watermark year in the social conscience of our little country. It’s the year of Ann Lovett in Granard, the Kerry Babies, the year after the toxic abortion referendum. Murphy through his genius captures perfectly the temperature of an entire nation at this time, in this play set in a cottage kitchen in Mayo. Murphy knows and achieves in this symphony, that in order to decipher our identity whether that is national, local or personal we have to come to grips with our own story or history.  A story that is more often than not intertwined with family and a place called ‘home’. We have sometimes to deal with our historic trauma in order to become familiar with the here and now. That is all Mary, Mommo and Dolly is trying to do.”

Patricia McBride, An Grianán Theatre’s Director is the current chair of the Nomad Network which was set up in January 2006 to further the development of the performing arts and extend the parameters of regional, national and international performances available to venues and their audiences. The partnership network set out to encourage more theatre companies both national and international to tour to the regions, to produce high quality theatre and ultimately to enrich and strengthen performing arts practice in the regions and shape the future development of touring.

Nomad Theatre Network in association with Livin’ Dred Theatre Co present
Bailegangaire
Fri 30 Sept and Sat 1 Oct at 8pm
Tickets: €20/€15
Book now!

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