Production Archive

The Lonesome West, 2005

by Martin McDonagh

An Grianán Theatre co-production with the Lyric Theatre, Belfast

Oct/Nov 2005

“In Mikel Murfi’s scorchingly truthful production – an association between the Lyric and An Grianán in Letterkenny – McCusker and Roddy are brilliantly unafraid about shining light into the darkest recesses of this grotesque, terrifying world, squabbling and scrapping to the brink of death, as though to prove to themselves and each other that they are still alive.” Jane Coyle,Irish Times


Lalor Roddy – Coleman Connor

Frank McCusker – Valene Connor

Enda Kilroy – Fr Welsh

Charlene McKenna – Girleen Kelleher


Sabine Dargent – designer
Conleth White – lighting design
Patricia Logue – voice coach

Tour Dates

16 September to 15 October 2005
Lyric Theatre, Belfast

17 to 22 October 2005
Civic Theatre, Tallaght

24 to 26 October 2005
Town Hall Theatre, Galway

27 to 29 October 2005
Market Place Theatre, Armagh

1 and 2 November 2005
The Burnavon Arts and Cultural Centre, Cookstown

3 to 5 November 2005
Riverside Theatre, Coleraine

7 to 9 November 2005
Backstage Theatre, Longford

10 to 12 November 2005
Dunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise

14 to 19 November 2005
Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire

21 to 26 November 2005
An Grianán Theatre

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Pinocchio, 2004

Original book, music and lyrics © Paul Boyd Music 2003

An Grianán Theatre Production, December 2004/Janaury 2005

“you should make every effort to get along for a story that all the kids will love…a memorable and expertly directed show for everyone.” Donegal People’s Press, 7 Dec 2004

When puppet-maker Gepetto is given an enchanted block of wood with which to make a new puppet he has no idea of the adventure that is about to begin!

Pinocchio soon becomes the most mischievous puppet in the whole land and is always getting into trouble – running into the wiley cat and fox, getting locked in prison, appearing as the star attraction in a marionette-theatre, being abducted to the mysterious Toyland Island and being swallowed alive by a Giant Shark!

Pinocchio must learn many lessons if he is to find his way home to Geppetto, and with the help of The Blue-Haired Fairy and The Talking Cricket, this is one little wooden puppet who may have all his wishes granted!


PINOCCHIO – Judith Roddy

GEPPETTO – Pepe Roche

MR CAT – Russell Smith

HOLLY CRICKET – Aileen Mythen

MR FOX – Peter Gaynor


Myles Breen – DIRECTOR

Georgia Simpson – MUSICAL DIRECTOR




Guy Barriscale – SET DESIGN

Suzanne Keogh – COSTUME DESIGN

Tour dates:

An Grianán

December 2004

Civic Theatre, Tallaght

Jan 2005

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The Little Mermaid, 2003

Adapted by Simon Sharkey from Hans Christian Anderson’s classic fairytale.

An Grianán Theatre Production

”An Grianán have been on a roll these past few years, presenting a succession of impressive Christmas productions that offer far more than your standard panto fare; Simon Sharkey’s adaptation of The Little Mermaid, adeptly directed by Myles Breen, continues this with considerable panache.’ The Irish Times, 2003

Two sea-crossed lovers – one a beautiful mermaid, the other a handsome prince, when they met it was True Love! But, as you all know, the course of True Love never did run smooth and if our mermaid is to gain her prince she must leave the ocean and journey to his kingdom. And there’s only way to do that – she must strike a deal with the sea witch and exchange her gorgeous tail for a pair of human legs. But the witch has her own terrible plans for our little mermaid…

Will our heroine get her prince? Or will our hero die broken hearted? How will a tragic ending be averted?! Why, only with lots and lots of help from the audience of course! So roar on Thunder the mermaid’s trusty seahorse as he rushes to help, cheer on with all your might the prince as he battles to save his True Love, boo and hiss the evil witch and her pair of nasty sharks! But most of all WISH with all your heart for the happiest ending ever!


Adam (Prince, Shark, Thunder the Sea Horse) – Martin McCann

Elliot (Sea King, King, Shark, Cameron the Crab) – Paul Nugent

Evelyn (Mermaid, Sea Witch) – Mary Moulds

Alice (Mermaid, Princess Martha)-Rachael Devir

Angela (Precious)- Sarah Burke


Mike Burke – Production Manager

Maeve Sweeney – Stage Manager

Guy Barriscale – Set Design and Soundtrack

Niall Cranney – Lighting Designer

Suzanne Keogh – Costume Designer


An Grianan Theatre
December 2003

Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire
January 2004

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The Twits, 2002

Roald Dahl
adapted by David Wood

An Grianán Theatre Production

‘Imaginative and good- spirited, this show charmed the socks- and boots- off me.’ Sunday Tribune 2002

The Twits are a miserable old couple, they hate each other almost as much as they hate everybody else. They are revolting! Smelly, nasty, but very funny. They like playing tricks on each other almost as much as they like eating bird pie and making monkeys do tricks. Can the Roly Poly Bird and the Muggle-Wump monkeys ever get their revenge on the horrible Twits?


Mr Twit – Paddy Jenkins
Mrs Twit – Gene Rooney
Roly Poly Bird – Andrew McNulty
Papa Muggle-Wump – Emmett Scanlon
Mama Muggle-Wump – Phoebe Flint
Baby Muggle-Wump – Conan Sweeney
Baby Muggle-Wump – Rachael Devir

Production Team

Director – Myles Breen
Lighting Designer – Niall Cranney
Set & Sound Design – Guy Barriscale
Costumes – Deirdre McGinley Ramsay
Stage Manager – Maeve Sweeney

Tour Dates

An Grianan Theatre
27 Nov to 21 Dec 2002

Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire
26 Dec 2002 to 12 Jan 2003

Press Review

The Twits
An Grianán Theatre

Roald Dahl, as any rapt 10- year-old will tell you, is the children’s author par excellence. Usually, however, he comes in book form. But An Grianán theatre has taken one of his classics, The Twits, and transformed it into a wonderful Christmas show. Adapted by David Wood and directed by Myles Breen, the stage version tells the story of that rather nasty pair, whose only pleasure in life is making each other, and everyone else, as miserable as possible.

Incorporating elements of slapstick and pastiche Mr and Mrs Twit travel to deepest Africa to capture a family of monkeys, the Mugglewumps, for a circus they plan to set up.

The Mugglewumps are, predictably, miserable in captivity. With the help, and of course active connivance, of the enthusiastic audience, the Mugglewumps manage to escape, and all live happily ever after – except of course The Twits, who end up glued to the floor in a humorous inversion of the nasty tricks they forced upon the monkey family.

Transitions from page to stage are notoriously difficult, especially when the original is such a well-loved classic. However, this one really worked. Paddy Jenkins and Gene Rooney give ace performances in lead, incorporating elements of slapstick and physical theatre. The kids just loved them. The Mugglewump family were also totally convincing, and their monkeying around had the children agog.

An Grianán boasts a huge stage, and this – plus the amphitheatre itself – was employed to full effect, with monkeys running amock trying to hide from the resolute, and ridiculous, Mr Twit the monkeyhunter. This was accompanied by a vivid musical score, dramatic and transporting, conjuring up the sounds of the jungle. The soundtrack, by Guy Barriscale, was a crucial element in the success of the show – all the wonders of modern sound technology were employed to create an atmospheric, powerful effect.

The set, the work of the same maestro, was colourful and engaging, with a few nice touches, like the paintings of the Mona Lisa and Munch’s The Scream, to engage the attention of the adults present.

The show, which runs until Saturday in An Grianán, moves to The Pavillion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire after Christmas.

Mary Phelan, Irish Times, Dec 2002

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Dancing at Lughnasa, 2002

by Brian Friel

An Grianán Theatre Production

WINNER: Irish Theatre Award for Best Actress – Eleanor Methven

Set in the turbulent times of 1936, the five unmarried Mundy sisters live in a modest cottage at the heart of a rugged farm outside Ballybeg, a small town in Donegal. The imperious teacher Kate the irreverent big-hearted keeper of the hearth Maggie, the serene familial rudder Agnes, the sweetly eccentric and simple-minded Rose, and the lonely romantic Christina, who has tarnished the family reputation with an illegitimate son; all are heavenly bodies revolving around the 8-year old love child, Michael.

Dancing at Lughnasa is told from his memories, summoning back to the end of that summer, on the eve of celebration to the harvest deity, Lugh, god of music and light. But the celebration of the play . . . the music and the light of it . . . really lives within the sisters, a gift they share with each other and the ones they love. They are a family marked by the unfailing courage they possess for each other. But now it is on the threshold of autumn, where events will conspire to irretrievably change the golden season of the Mundys.


Mairead McGrath


Michael – Eddie Tighe
Kate – Kate O’Toole
Maggie – Eleanor Methven
Agnes – Morna Regan
Rose – Janet Moran
Chris – Cathleen Bradley
Gerry – Dessie Gallagher
Fr Jack – Jack Quinn


Set Design – Jack Kirwan
Lighting Designer – Niall Cranney
Costume Designer – Deirdre McGinley Ramsay
Choreographer – Muirne Bloomer
Voice Coach – Brendan Gunn
Accent Continuity – Patricia Logue
Company Manager – Fearga O’Doherty
Stage Manager – Sally McKenna
Tour Technician – Michael Byrne
Set Construction – Guy Barriscale, Jonathan Ball, Domhnais Co
Rehearsal Photos – Andrew Paton
Producer – Patricia McBride
Liz Doherty – Music Arrangement ‘The Mason’s Apron’
Liz Doherty, fiddle, Dave O’Neill, fiddle, Angela McLaughlin, piano, Lawrence Doherty, percussion

Tour dates

An Grianán Theatre
Thurs 24 Oct to Sat 2 Nov 2002

Hawkswell Theatre, Sligo
Mon 4 to Wed 6 Nov 2002

Riverside Theatre, Coleraine
Thurs 7 to Sat 9 Nov 2002

The Burnavon, Cookstown
Mon 11 & Tues 12 Nov 2002

Market Place Theatre, Armagh
Fri 15 & Sat 16 Nov 2002

Cork Opera House
Tues 19 to Sat 23 Nov 2002

The Civic Theatre, Tallaght
Mon 25 to Sat 30 Nov 2002

Programme Note

The following is a programme note kindly written by Brian Friel for our production.


It is an accepted belief that Ireland in the Thirties – and counties like Donegal in particular – was a grim and depressed place, a land without hope. And indeed even a casual knowledge of what we call the ‘economic climate’ of that time offers us a dispiriting picture. Emigration was bleeding the country. Money was scarce. A very large portion of the population had a very difficult struggle to make ends meet.

And we have come to believe, too, that the economic climate so overshadowed, so blighted our lives that we became a crabbed, narrow-minded and deeply unhappy people. That we became passive and introspective. That poverty so crushed us that joy became altogether foreign to us. That families merely endured in a kind of dour sulk, silently waiting for the black clouds to break. When we consider the Thirties we think that the whole notion of what it is to be human has to be rethought, redefined.

It is not the function of a play to take issue with economic facts, but it is the function of the playwright to slip behind statistics and listen for the other existence, the inner life, the life of the spirit and to pick up its pulse even in the most depleted times. Although the Mundy girls were not destitute, they certainly weren’t affluent. An extra penny on the weekly grocery bill is a reason for anxiety. And Maggie’s task of conjuring an adequate meal for eight people out of three eggs doesn’t suggest wealth. And Rose and Aggie, who knitted day and night, still didn’t earn enough to clothe themselves. In economic conditions like these I believe that greater demands are made on the inner life and that it is the responsibility of the spirit – and indeed the imagination – to meet those demands. It is those demands and the responses of the spirit and the imagination to them that are the concerns of the playwright. The Mundy girls (they weren’t girls, of course; they were women; but girls was the language of the time) had no idea they lived in an economic climate of any kind. But they did experience deprivation and depression. And they experienced, too, happiness and great, great joy. And in their brief stage-life each is vibrantly alert to, and uncannily in sympathy with, every nuance of her sister’s thoughts and emotions. They engage with life, all of life. They want to dance, both in defiance and in delight. They give the lie to the belief – the cliché, really – that Ireland in the Thirties was populated only by a suppressed and sullen people. They offer us evidence that the ‘economic climate’ of that time is not the whole story. Another story, perhaps a truer story, certainly a more comprehensive story, resides in the inner life, the life of the spirit. And that life, whatever its difficulties, is unquenchable.

Brian Friel

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Hansel and Grettel, 2001

A musical by Paul Boyd.

Produced by An Grianán Theatre in 2001.

“If the success of any show lives in the positive reaction of the audience then An Grianan Theatre’s production of the Paul Boyd scripted Hansel and Grettel is a sure fire winner” Donegal Democrat

Based on one of the Brothers Grimms’ most popular tales, this is a fantastic full length musical with magical feathers, wonderful wishes and wise words, featuring a host of captivating characters in a story told by the mischievous bird Gregory Peck.

Hansel and Grettel won’t stop misbehaving so their parents decide to leave them overnight in the dark forest to teach them a lesson. But as the children are making their way home, they discover that the forest is a mysterious place where nothing is quite what it seems. Before long they become very, very lost…

With the help of three talking birds and a frog with a bad case of the ‘greens’, Hansel and Grettel journey to the heart of the forest, where they are invited into a strange house by the hypnotic voice of the evil witch…


Hansel – Shane O’Neill
Grettel – Amy Creighton
Gregory Peck – Matthew Simpson
The Witch – Billie Traynor
Fats the Frog – Darren Ormondy


Director – Zoe Seaton
Musical Director – Paul Boyd
Asst Musical Director – Debra Salem
Choreographer – Myles Breen
Lighting Design – Niall Cranney
Set & Costume Design – Katherine Sankey
Set Construction – Guy Barriscale, Dohmnais Company
Stage Manager – Maeve Sweeney
Costume Maker – Deirdre McGinley Ramsay
Scenic Artist – Mary Ronayne


22 Nov – 22 Dec 2001

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Oíche Ghealaí, 2001

Cathal Ó Searcaigh

Páraic Breathnach

Pálás Héaróid. Sa lá atá inniu ann.

Nua-insint ar scéal Shalomé ón mBíobla.

Dáta an Chéad Léirithe
21 Meán Fómhair 2001

Foireann An Chéad Léirithe

Salomé Gabrielle Breathnach
Herod Donncha Crowley
Fuirseoir Pól Mac Peanrois
Fuirseoir Pádraig Ó Tuairisc
Celestine Audrey Ní Fhearghail

Cathal Ó Searcaigh

Páraic Breathnach

The palace of Herod

A modern telling of the biblical story of Salome.

Date of First Production
21 September 2001

Original Cast

Salomé – Gabrielle Breathnach
Herod – Donncha Crowley
Fuirseoir – Pól Mac Peanrois
Fuirseoir – Pádraig Ó Tuairisc
Celestine – Audrey Ní Fhearghail

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Red Riding Hood, 2000

Original book, music and lyrics by Paul Boyd

Directed by Zoë Seaton

Mon 18 Dec 2000 to Sat 13 January 2001

Once upon a time was not that long ago… A lone gypsy caravan stops at the edge of a dark forest, and under the light of a full moon, a small family of travellers gathers around the campfire to tell magical stories. But the sound of the wolves howling from deep within the forest reminds them of the famous tale of one of their ancestors, a mysterious young girl in a red hood who came to defeat the most sharp witted and terrifying of animals…

Join the small band of gypsies as they bring the story of Red Riding Hood to life, creating countless characters in a tale cleverly told with unforgettable music and just a touch of gypsy magic. A visual feast, based on one of the world’s oldest and most popular stories, where once a upon a time was not so long ago…


Scarlet – Brenda Brooks
Louis – Karl O’Neill
Rose – Mary McNally
William – Eric Lacey
Jacob – Paul McGlinchey


Writer/Composer – Paul Boyd
Producer – Patricia McBride
Stage Manager – Mike Burke
Production Manager – Niall Cranney
Lighting Designer – John Riddell
Set Design & Construction – Guy Barriscale
Costume Designer – Deirdre McGinley Ramsay
Costume Assistant – Katherine Anne Doherty
Poster Design – Alan Reid Design
Programme Design – Paul Marley Graphics


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Big Maggie, 2000

by John B Keane

Produced by An Grianán in association with Yew Tree Theatre Co

Directed by John Breen

The story of Big Maggie Polpin and her attempts to keep her family together after the death of her husband is an enduring theatre favourite. The dialogue crackles with hilarious, caustic putdowns as the indomitable Maggie (Nuala Hayes) deals with her feckless family and unwanted suitors. Everyone wants a part of Big Maggie and her property but she has other ideas.


Maggie – Nuala Hayes
Gert – Judith Ryan
Katie – Niamh O’Shaughnessy
Maurice – Demian McAdam
Mick – Shane O’Neill
Byrne – Jack Quinn
Teddy – Paul McGlinchey
Mrs Madden – Billie Traynor
Mary Madden – Susie Lamb
Old Woman – Henri Quinn
Old Man – Aussie Bryson (Letterkenny)
Old Man – Ray Collins (Tour venues)


Producer – Patricia McBride
Lighting Design – Conleth White
Set Design and Construction – Guy Barriscale
Costume Design and Maker – Deirdre McGinley Ramsay
An Grianan Production Manager – Niall Cranney
Production Manager – Mike Burke
Stage Manager – Tara Williams
Technical Stage Manager – Dean Clarkin

Tour dates

An Grianán Theatre
Thurs 28 Sept to Sat 7 Oct 2000

Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny
Mon 9 to Sun 14 Oct 2000

Dunamaise Theatre, Portlaoise
Mon 16 to Wed 18 Oct 2000

The Garage Theatre, Monaghan
Thurs 19 & Fri 20 Oct 2000

Town Hall Theatre, Galway
Mon 23 to Sat 28 Oct 2000
Cork Opera House
Tues 31 Oct to Sat 4 Nov 2000

Mullingar Arts Centre
Mon 6 & Tues 7 Nov 2000

Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen
Wed 8 & Thurs 9 Nov 2000

Market Place Theatre, Armagh
Fri 10 & Sat 11 Nov 2000

Backstage Theatre, Longford
Mon 13 to Wed 15 Nov 2000

Garter Lane Arts Centre, Waterford
Thurs 16 to Sat 18 Nov 2000

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, 1999, 2000

By Paul Boyd

Produced by An Grianán Theatre for as our opening season Christmas show in December 1999, and revived in the summer of 2000 for a second run.

“The Sun was shining on the sand,
shining with all its might
Which was odd because it was the middle of the night…”

A fantastical, enthusiastic and energetic retelling of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass, complete with larger than life sets and visual trickery.

Directed by Richard Croxford


Alice – Niki Doherty, Gwynne McElveen
Cheshire Cat – Stella Feehily
Queen of Hearts – Sarah Head
White Rabbit – Shaun Doherty
Tweedledum – Richard Orr, Miceal McBrien
Tweedledee – Paddy Jenkins
Caterpillar – Chris Corrigan


Choreographer & Assistant Director – Rachel O’Riordan
Musical Director – Jim Maley
Set & Costume Design – Gary McCann
Wardrobe Mistress – Heather Long
Stage Manager – Maureen McAuley
Production Manager – Niall Cranney
Set Construction – Guy Barriscale
Production Assistant – David Fisher, Mick Canney
Assistant Set Construction – Fintan Coyle
Scenic Artist – Chris McCaul


Wed 15 to Thurs 30 December 1999
Thurs 17 August to Sat 2 Sept 2000

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