drama

Rail Theatre’s Of Mice and Men: A Closer Look

Adapted by John Steinbeck from his novel of the same name, Of Mice and Men is a powerful portrait of the American spirit and a heartbreaking testament to the bonds of friendship.

Rail Theatre Company & Mulingar Arts Centre present John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, February 2016 at An Grianán Letterkenny

This large scale production comes from Rail Theatre Company and is directed by Sean Lynch from Mullingar Arts Centre,

Cast:
Murt Ennis as George
John ‘Banjo’ Quinn as Lennie
Shane Bardon as Slim
John Daly as Candy
Aidan Ennis as Curley
Jemma McNamee as Curley’s Wife
Ray Purcell as Whit
Adrian Dunne as The Boss
Paul McDermott as Carlson
Steve Hartland as Crooks.

Rail Theatre Company & Mulingar Arts Centre present John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, February 2016 at An Grianán Letterkenny

A fascinating story focusing on issues of isolation and prejudice, Of Mice and Men features two best friends who are in search of the American Dream. George and Lennie are drifters who take up work on a ranch in Salinas Valley. George is short and astute and Lennie is large and big-hearted, unaware of his strength.

Rail Theatre Company & Mulingar Arts Centre present John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men, February 2016 at An Grianán Letterkenny

These two characters plan to stay in Salinas Valley until they have earned enough money to buy their own ranch. But a turn in events means that only a tragic outcome is possible for these two dreamers.

After the success Rail Theatre had at last year’s Electric Picnic festival in September and sell out performances in the Mullingar Art Centre we are pleased to welcome them to An Grianán for the first time.

Rail Theatre Co in association with Mullingar Arts Centre present
John Steinbeck’s
Of Mice and Men
Tues 23 Feb at 8pm, Wed 24 Feb at 10am and 1pm
Book now

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A look back at the original Kings

This Wednesday 17th & Thursday 18th February we welcome Livin’ Dred Theatre’s production of Jimmy Murphy’s emigration drama The Kings of the Kilburn High Road. But back in the summer of 2000, not long after An Grianán first opened its doors,  we were fortunate to host the original Red Kettle Theatre production of this play.

“it’s a very funny play. Every character has their own story to tell – the dreamers are still talking about coming home while the realists know that will not happen.” Charlie Bonner

Back then the Celtic Tiger was in full roar and the emigration of whole generations of young Irish people was seemingly becoming a thing of the past. How times have changed! And how relevant The Kings of the Kilburn High Road remains.

Our ticket sales rocketed when an elderly Australian nun rang in to Highland Radio to complain vociferously about the content and strong language. Audience member Laurence Blake takes up the story:

‘The last time I saw the show it was a very moving experience and not without some controversy. I found the show very real, relevant and upsetting for it brought to life many stories that I had heard from local workmen who had spent years working as navvies throughout the UK.

“It’s hard to believe that was 16 years ago and some commentators actually argued that these events never took place. I ended up on a “head to head” with a visiting nun on local radio who argued that a land of saints and scholars could never have produced such depraved, broken and drunken men. Sadly nothing could be further from the truth and the depiction as outlined in the play was very real and all too true to life.  But be sure to go and see the show for yourself and make up your own mind.

“In more recent times and again as a result of recession, hard times and unemployment, many of our skilled and unskilled workers were forced to emigrate once more. However most of these ended up not just in the UK but in far flung corners of the world and especially Australia. From what I hear from the returning Aussie workers, especially those on building sites and the mines–events and happenings as portrayed in the Kings of the Kilburn High Road are just as applicable today in such areas as Perth, Sydney, The Northern Territory or Queensland.”

Cast of The Kings of the Kilburn High Rd. JAP Phelim Drew GIT Malcom Adams SHAY Aurthur Riordain MAURTEEN Seamus O’Rourke JOE Charlie Bonner

Today’s Kings: GIT – Malcolm Adams, SHAY – Arthur Riordan, JAP – Phelim Drew, MAURTEEN – Seamus O’Rourke, JOE – Charlie Bonner

This revival features a fantastic cast including well known Donegal actor Charlie Bonner. Here he is talking about the play in the Donegal News: “They were a group of six…There is a lot of history between them so, when they start drinking, there’s singing, dancing and a lot of stories start to come out. There is also a lot of resentment there – it’s a very funny play. Every character has their own story to tell – the dreamers are still talking about coming home while the realists know that will not happen.”

Places like Kilburn may have changed out of all recognition as Jimmy Murphy describes in this article in the Irish Times: “they’re all gone now, the Kilburn High Road isn’t what it was and you’ll be hard pushed to see a Paddy these days, sober or drunk, the length and breadth of it. All that’s left are their stories, and for that we’re all the richer”.

Livin’ Dred Theatre present
The Kings of the Kilburn High Road
Wed 17 & Thur 18 Feb at 8pm Book now

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Our new Arts Magazine is here!

An Grianán Extra – A Wee Bit More is our new arts magazine.

Designed to compliment our standard events brochure, Extra offers a slightly more in depth look at some of our upcoming shows.

We have a profile on Donegal playwright Frank McGuinness written by Jessica Trainer, Literary Manager of the Abbey Theatre as well as a piece by theatre-artist-in-residence Guy Le Jeune talking about what he has planned for his residency.

Cover art for An Grianán Theatre's arts magazine by Laura Buchanan.

Cover art for An Grianán Theatre’s arts magazine by Laura Buchanan.

Our cover art is by artist Laura Buchanan and is inspired by photos from the 1916 Rising.

We also have a look back at the controversy surrounding The Kings of the Kilburn High Road when we first had it back in 2000.

Writer and local historian Kieran Kelly introduces his new play Beneath An Irish Sky which looks at how the events of the 1916 Rising affected Donegal. We will be holding a rehearsed reading of it as part of our short series events remembering 1916 which you can also read about in Extra.

Our director Patricia McBride offers her pick of the season as does well known writer and performer Little John Nee. What shows did they pick? Read the magazine now to find out!

You can read An Grianán Extra – A Wee Bit More online now. Hard copies are available at our box now.

Back cover art for An Grianán Theatre's arts magazine by Laura Buchanan.

Back cover art for An Grianán Theatre’s arts magazine by Laura Buchanan.

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After Miss Julie: A Closer Look

Rehearsals got under way in Belfast this week for Prime Cut’s latest production, After Miss Julie. Featuring an outstanding cast, this play comes to us in March and will appeal to fans of period drama and romantic intrigue.

After Miss Julie is Patrick Marber’s rework of August Strindberg’s 1888 iconic play Miss Julie. Originally Marber’s version was set within an English Manor during celebrations for the Labour Party victory in 1945. However Marber has worked closely with Prime Cut’s Artistic Director Emma Jordan and moved the action to Co, Fermanagh during the World War II VE-Day celebrations, placing the play within an Irish context.

After Miss Julie portrays the complex relationship between chauffeur John [Ciaran McMenamin] and the lady of the house Julie [Lisa Dwyer Hogg]. The ill-fated pair is caught up in a lustful tryst during VE-Day celebrations ultimately sealing their fate. Both characters’ moral foundations are repeatedly disrupted once John’s fiancée Christine, played by Pauline Hutton, is introduced to the love affair. What seems like a simple one-night affair develops into a complex chain of events that will fascinate audiences.

Patrick Marber's work includes Closer, which won three awards including the Laurence Oliver Award for Best New Play and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Foreign Play. His screenplay Notes of a Scandal won best screenplay at the British Independent Film Awards and the screenplay was also nominated for a BAFTA and an Academy Award.

Marber’s screenplay for Notes of a Scandal won best screenplay at the British Independent Film Awards and the screenplay was also nominated for a BAFTA and an Academy Award. His play Closer was adapted into a hit movie which was nominated for two Academy Awards.

Patrick Marber is an award winning playwright and screenwriter. He has won three awards for his stage play Closer including the Laurence Oliver Award for Best New Play and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Foreign Play. His screenplay Notes of a Scandal won best screenplay at the British Independent Film Awards and was also nominated for a BAFTA and an Academy Award.

Emma Jordan is a critically acclaimed director with this production coming hot on the heels of her acclaimed production of Stacey Gregg’s Scorch. “I am so excited to be directing After Miss Julie – I can honestly say that I think Marber’s rework of this classic play is genius. The placing of the action of the play at such a time of seismic change in Ireland and Britain is truly inspiring – the breaking down of the class relationships between the characters is directly mirrored in a world radically changed by World War II and the imminent rise of Labour government”

The cast of three are all experienced established actors on both stage and film with exceptional stage performances seen from each throughout their careers.

Pauline Hutton, Ciaran McMenamin and Lisa Dwyer Hogg star in Patrick Marber's After Miss Julie at An Grianan Theatre March 2016

Pauline Hutton, Ciaran McMenamin and Lisa Dwyer Hogg star in Patrick Marber’s After Miss Julie at An Grianan Theatre March 2016

Ciaran McMenamin is best known for his film and television roles in such productions as Primeval, Pulling Moves and The Last Confession of Alexander Pearce. This is his first show with Prime Cut Productions. Lisa Dwyer Hogg is best known for her roles in theatre including The Importance of Being Earnest, Marnier and Heartbreak House but also for her TV roles in Waking the Dead, Casualty and the world acclaimed BBC drama The Fall. Pauline Hutton is best known for her career on the Stage for roles in such plays as Brendan At The Chelsea, Antigone and Macbeth, however Pauline has now starred alongside Lisa Dwyer Hogg in BBC Drama The Fall season 2 & 3, and also starred in Five Minutes Of Heaven, BAFTA winner for best drama Channel 4 films.

Saturday 26 March 2016 at 8pm
After Miss Julie
Prime Cut Productions
Tickets: €15/€12 Book now
NB: recommended ages 14+

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Meet the Kings of the Kilburn High Road

The Kings of the Kilburn High Road is our first drama of 2016 and what a way to kick off a season of outstanding plays here at An Grianán.

Director Padraic McIntyre and his company Livin’ Dred Theatre have assembled an stellar cast for this powerful Irish drama.

About the play

The Kings of the Kilburn High Road tells the story of group of young men who leave 1970s Ireland in the hope of making their fortunes in England.  Twenty-five years later only one, Jackie Flavin, makes it home, but does so in a coffin.  The Kings of the Kilburn High Road takes place on the day the winners and losers of the group meet up to drink to Jackie Flavin’s memory and looks at their lives, lost dreams and their place in the new Ireland.

The cast

Fresh from his excellent turn as Michael in the Lyric’s recent production of Dancing at Lughnasa, we are pleased to welcome back local actor Charlie Bonner to An Grianán so soon. A regular with the Abbey Theatre appearing in some 14 different productions since 1995 including the Friel plays Philadelphia, Here I Come! and Living Quarters, Charlie worked with us on our Rediscovering Friel project for the 2013 Earagail Arts Festival. He also recently appeared in RTE’s 1916 drama Rebellion.

Seamus O’Rourke is a writer, director and actor and his comedy drama Ride On! was performed at An Grianán in 2011, also from Livin’ Dred. He has been heav­ily involved in the ama­teur drama scene for more than twenty years, fea­tur­ing in the All Ire­land Drama finals in Athlone on fif­teen occa­sions.  In the finals, he has won: RTE Best Direc­tor in 2005 (Stolen Child by Yvonne Quinn & Deirdre Ní Chaoimh), RTE Best Actor in 2010 (for John in Con­nor McPherson’s Shin­ing City), RTE Best Sup­port­ing Actor in 2011 (Pato in the Beauty Queen of Leenane by Mar­tin McDon­agh), as well as being nom­i­nated for direc­tion and act­ing on eight other occasions.

One of Ireland’s best known actors, showbiz is in Phelim Drew’s blood – he is the son of the Dubliners’ Ronnie Drew. Recent roles include Billy in the hit musical Once at the Olympia. Phelim made his film debut in Oscar winning hit My Left Foot and has also appeared in movies such as The Commitments. Appearances at An Grianán include a memorable turn in the Abbey Theatre’s The Seafarer and Decadent Theatre’s Port Authority.

Arthur Riordan is a founder member of Rough Magic Theatre Co and has appeared in many of their productions, including Peer Gynt, Improbable Frequency, Solemn Mass for a Full Moon in Summer, and more. He has also worked with the Abbey & Peacock Theatres, Gaiety Theatre, Corcadorca, Pan Pan, Druid, The Corn Exchange, Bedrock Productions, Red Kettle, Fishamble, Project, Bewleys Café Theatre and many others.  Arthur has also written several plays including The Train, Improbable Frequency, Peer Gynt (a new adaptation) and The Emergency Session, all for Rough Magic; Slattery’s Sago Saga (adapted from the unfinished Flann O’Brien novel) for the Performance Corporation; Shooting Gallery (co-written with Des Bishop for Bedrock Productions); Rap Eire, (also with Des Bishop for Bickerstaffe); and Love Me?! for the Corn Exchange.

Originally from Cork, Malcolm Adams trained as an actor in The Actor’s Space in New York.  He was in the original cast of John Breen’s brilliant rugby drama Alone in Stands, touring with it for three years including stints in London’s West End. He also toured in Marie Jones’ Stones in his Pockets, performing in it more than 300 times in the West End and on a 40 city tour of the UK. Between 2005 and 2010 Malcolm was nominated four times for an Irish Times Theatre Award, once for Best Actor (for Arthur Riordan’s Slattery’s Sago Saga, Performance Corporation) and three for Best Supporting Actor (Belfry, Livin’ Dred; The Taming of the Shrew, Rough Magic; and Only an Apple, The Abbey Theatre).

The Kings of the Kilburn High Road by Jimmy Murphy
Wed 16 and Thur 17 February 2016 at 8pm
Book now

 

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Brian Friel 1929-2015

[box style=”red” closable=”un-closable”]We welcome members of the public to come and sign the book of condolence. We will pass this on to Brian’s family. If you would like to sign it it please call in to the theatre’s box office.[/box]

We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Ireland’s greatest playwright and proud resident of Donegal, Brian Friel. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his wife Anne and their children and extended family and friends.

We will feel Brian’s loss very deeply.  He was a great friend and patron of An Grianán Theatre.  We admired his work and made it part of our brief to celebrate his close association with the theatre over the years. We took a special pride in producing his many works.  Our first An Grianán production was his play Translations which was part of our opening season in 1999. Since then we have continued to produce many of his other plays over the years including major productions of Dancing at Lughnasa, Making History as part of the Flight of the Earls Commemorations and The Home Place to celebrate his 80th birthday. We have also had productions and readings of many of other plays including Faith Healer and Molly Sweeney, Aristocrats and The Freedom of the City as well as lesser known works such as Volunteers and The Gentle Island.

Cast and crew celebrate the opening night of Translations at An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny with its playwright Brian Friel (third from left). November 1999

Cast and crew celebrate the opening night of Translations with its playwright Brian Friel (third from left). November 1999

We were delighted to have had the opportunity this summer with our other arts partners to initiate the first ever Brian Friel Festival, the Lughnasa International Friel Festival,  a unique festival based in both Donegal and Belfast celebrating his life and legacy.  We are so pleased that Brian was able to experience that and to know the high esteem in which we hold him.

Brian Friel with director of An Grianán Theatre, Patricia McBride, at the Donegal Person of the Year Awards in 2010.

Brian Friel with director of An Grianán Theatre, Patricia McBride, at the Donegal Person of the Year Awards in 2010.

We will treasure our memories of Brian and the generous support he gave the theatre and the happy nights he spent here in the company of the theatre staff and actors. He was an inspiration to us in our work and we are proud to have had his friendship. Thank you Brian for the beautiful legacy of work and for putting Donegal on the international stage. “Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”

Patricia McBride,
Director, An Griánan Theatre

* * * * * *

Paul Boyd was kind enough to share  this lovely story of a memorable encounter with Brian shortly after the theatre opened in 1999:

In 1999 I met Brian Friel at An Grianan Theatre. It was the theatre’s inaugural season, and “Translations” was the first in-house production (my “Alice The Musical” was to be its second a month or two later).

I sat next to Brian and his wife Anne at the opening night of “Translations” – we were all skulking at the very back row, in a kind of writers hide.

At one point, Brian stood up, and the brand new seat he was sitting on had such a hair-trigger tip-up that it just wasn’t there when he sat back down again. Anne and I had to discretely pick him up off the floor and much giggling ensued, which lead to our interval and post-show chats.

He was an incredibly gracious man and over the following years when we would be in the same venue at the same time (we shared many a season) he always made a point of saying hello and claimed to be aware of my most recent work; I have no idea if he did, or if he had just scanned the brochure minutes before, but either way it was always an honour and a pleasure to be in his company.

He was our greatest living playwright. Sitting next to him at a function felt akin to sitting next to Beckett or O’Casey – nothing less than an historic privilege.

He always looked exactly how you imagined he would, he spoke fondly of his beloved Donegal, which is possibly why he always looked so much at home at An Grianan, more so than at any other theatre at which I met him.

An Grianan (which has a soft spot in my own heart anyway) will always remind me of Friel. And I can still identify the offending seat in the back row that sent the “Irish Chekov” crashing to the floor that night in 1999. And as it happens, I’m very glad that it did.

Today both Ireland and the global theatre community lost a giant of a man.

Paul Boyd,  via Facebook

 


(Portrait of Brian Friel ‘Renouncing Chance’ by Colin Davidson, 2010 used by kind permission of the artist for our Rediscovering Friel project for the Earagail Arts Festival, July 2011).

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Auditions: Saint Joan

AUDITIONS – WEDNESDAY 30th Sept & SATURDAY 3rd Oct 2015.

Auditions for SAINT JOAN by G.B. Shaw will take place on Wednesday 30th September at 7.30pm and Saturday 3rd October at 2.00pm in the Regional Cultural Centre.

The play will be performed in An Grianán Theatre in January 2016.

Each audition will take the form of a workshop (approx 90 mins).

This is an excellent opportunity for all actors across Donegal and the North-West to come and audition for a large cast in what promises to be a great production of a fantastic play. Celebrating existing and emerging talent.

For further information please visit www.workhouse.ie or see their Facebook page

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Environment the Musical on RTE tonight.

Last May children from our youth theatre programme presented a new production of Annette McNelis’ litter awareness show Environment the Musical. Tonight RTE1’s Nationwide will present a special report on the show:

ENVIRONMENT THE MUSICAL/REPORT BRIAN MCVEIGH
“We all share responsibility for protecting our environment, be it in the home recycling or by keeping our streets litter free. All over the country teams of volunteers in Tidy Town groups have the unenviable task of picking up other people’s litter. In Donegal the environmental cleanup is hitting all the right notes and it’s down to one lady who has come up with a novel idea to get litter in the bin. Mary Harte joined the young people of the “Mean, Green, Anti-Litter Machine”.

It will be broadcast at 7pm on RTE 1 and will also be available online on the RTE Player.

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Casting Call: Fiesta Auditions

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

Date and time:

Thursday 13th August at 7pm in An Grianan Theatre

Main Cast
2 female
1 male

Plus chorus roles

Adults only roles available.

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

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

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

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Ireland Celebrates Its Greatest Living Playwright With New Two-Part Festival

The inaugural Lughnasa International Friel Festival (LIFF) will take place between 20-31st August 2015, in celebration of Ireland’s greatest living playwright, Brian Friel. In what is to become the only cross-border annual cultural festival celebration, the LIFF festival, directed by Sean Doran, will feature an extensive multi-arts and multi-disciplinary programme of performances, talks, discussions, music, dance and food in both Donegal (20-23rd August) and Belfast (27-31st August).

Given our long association with the work of Brian Friel, we at An Grianán Theatre are very pleased to be a partner in this exciting new festival as our director Patricia McBride explains: “I am delighted to see the launch of the inaugural Friel Festival this August. An Grianán Theatre was supportive of the festival from the start and was instrumental in its development. We have enjoyed a very warm relationship with Brian Friel and have produced many of his plays since the theatre first opened and it is a pleasure to see the man and his work honoured in this way.  The Festival will make a wonderful addition to Donegal’s cultural calendar.”

At the heart of the programme every year will be a signature production of one of Friel’s key plays presented in both locations, and from which the themes and tone of the festival will be drawn. This year it will be Dancing At Lughnasa, and the Lyric Theatre Belfast will present a major new production which will premiere in  An Grianán on Thur 20 August and run for four days before transferring to the Lyric in Belfast.

Celebrating the life and work of Friel in the two places most important and most influential to his work, Donegal and Northern Ireland, the two-part festival will respectively be entitled ‘Donegal, Welcome to Friel Country’ and ‘Belfast, Here I Come!’. The physical landscape of these places will be an important element to the overall festival experience with programming in sites including community halls, a pier, a peace wall, an island, a bridge, schools and churches.

President Michael D Higgins said “It is entirely fitting that this festival is taking place on a cross-border basis, given (Brian) Friel’s experience of living north and south of the border. In a certain sense, Ballybeg is a metonym for the island of Ireland, if not the wider world – a literary device through which universal questions are addressed by examining the individual and the local.  I wish all those involved in this project every success.”

Ireland celebrates Brian Friel, its greatest living playwright with  new two-part festival:  the Lughnasa International Friel Festival (LIFF),  Donegal and Belfast August 2015.  Photo by Bobbie Hanvey.

Ireland celebrates Brian Friel, its greatest living playwright with new two-part festival: the Lughnasa International Friel Festival (LIFF), Donegal and Belfast August 2015. Photo by Bobbie Hanvey.

Donegal, Welcome to Friel Country

Starting on Thursday 20 August, the first chapter of the celebration will open with a journey across the Foyle estuary from Magilligan to Greencastle, Co Donegal, where Brian Friel lives, launching four days of unique events and performances that evoke the relationship between the writer and the place. These include an opening lecture given by Fintan O’Toole at The Guildhall Derry, the setting for Friel’s play, Freedom of the City introduced by Gary McKeone*.

Belfast, Here I Come

The festival then moves on to Belfast from 27 – 31 August, with celebrations, many of them free, including classical and traditional music, five open air stages for dancing, a harvest food festival, Belfast’s first ever kite flying festival and Amongst Women. Curated by Deputy Artistic Director, Liam Browne, Amongst Women is an all women talks programme featuring amongst many others, Shami Chakrabarti, Director, UK Liberty; Kamila Shamsie, Pakistani novelist and commentator; Kathy Lette, comedian and author; Mary Portas, retail guru; Ahdaf Soueif, Egyptian novelist and political and cultural commentator, and Sandi Toksvig, writer, presenter, comedian and politician.

“universal appeal”

President Bill Clinton, Founder of the Clinton Foundation & 42nd President of the United States who has quoted Friel in his speeches said “Friel’s work is an Irish treasure for the entire world. Although many of his plays are set in his small town of Ballybeg, the themes and issues explored in them—identity, family, and conflict—have a universal appeal. It is his extraordinary understanding of people, their motivations and their dreams, and their sense of themselves and others that keeps pulling us back to Friel again and again.”

During the festival, Queen’s University Belfast will launch the first Brian Friel Summer School in Redcastle, Inishowen, County Donegal from 24 – 26 August, providing opportunities for students to experience the work of the writer, right in the heart of ‘Friel Country’. Queen’s has the only theatre in the world named after Brian Friel.

Cast and crew celebrate the opening night of Translations at An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny with its playwright Brian Friel (third from left). November 1999

An Grianán Theatre has a long association with Brian Friel. Pictured is the cast and crew celebrating the opening night of An Grianán’s production of Translations with Brian Friel (third from left) in November 1999.

‘Donegal County Council is delighted to support and to work with the inaugural Lughnasa International Friel Festival to explore, interpret and celebrate the work of one Ireland’s finest living playwrights. A much-loved and valued member of our community, we are proud that he has made his home here. There is no better way to enjoy the plays of Friel than here among the townlands of Donegal, that have so inspired his writing.’  Mícheál Uas. ó hÉanaigh, Director of Service, Community, Culture and Planning Development, Donegal County Council.

Northern Ireland’s Culture Minister Carál Nί Chuilίn said; “It is fitting that one of Ireland’s greatest ever playwrights is being honoured with an annual festival and I congratulate Sean Doran on making this happen in an innovative and exciting manner.  Brian Friel’s rich storytelling prowess has enriched all our lives and I’m sure that this will be a festival that will do him proud.”

Commenting on the festival programme Brian Friel said, “If you want a festival that is tame and conventional and mildly entertaining don’t ask Sean Doran to organise it. Witness his Beckett Festival in Enniskillen – it is wild and imaginative and creative and riveting. I have total confidence he’ll do the same with the Friel Festival.”

Left to right: Miche Doherty, Conleth Hill, Ian McElhinney and Stuart Graham in Brian Friel's 'The Home Place at An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny. The Home Place was a co-production with the Lyric Theatre, Belfast and was the major drama highlight of our tenth anniversary celebrations. Jan/Feb 2009.Photo: Declan Doherty . All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Left to right: Miche Doherty, Conleth Hill, Ian McElhinney and Stuart Graham in Brian Friel’s ‘The Home Place at An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny in Jan 2009. The Home Place was a co-production with the Lyric Theatre, Belfast and was the major drama highlight of our tenth anniversary celebrations.  We are delighted to welcome the Lyric back this August with Dancing at Lughnasa. Photo: Declan Doherty. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Follow the festival happenings on Twitter @LughnasalntFF and on Facebook/lughnasainternationalfrielfestival using #LIFF2015

 BOX OFFICES OPEN 29TH JULY – DETAILS:

·         Tickets for ‘Donegal, Welcome to Friel Country’ Events

An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny. + 353 (0) 74 9120777. https://www.angrianan.com/

·         Tickets for ‘Belfast, Here I Come!’ Events

Visit Belfast Welcome Centre, Belfast, + 44 (0) 28 90246609. http://visit-belfast.com/

PRINCIPAL FUNDING PARTNER : Belfast City Council

FUNDING SUPPORTERS : Donegal County Council, Tourism NI, DHA (Department of Heritage and the Arts ROI), DARD (Department of Agriculture and Rural Development NI), Arts Council Ireland, Arts Council Northern Ireland, An Grianan Theatre, Lyric Theatre Belfast.

*Brian Friel dedicated his last and final play ‘The Home Place’ to Gary McKeone.

 

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