News

Announcing The Enemy Within

The monastery at Iona, the setting of The Enemy Within

An Grianán Theatre embarks on its most ambitious production to date later this year, with Caitríona McLaughlin, the newly announced Artistic Director of the Abbey Theatre, directing a new version of Brian Friel’s The Enemy Within.

This production is one of the signature events in the Colmcille 1500 commemorative year.

The Enemy Within is a major early work by Friel and examines a period in the life of Colmcille as a mature man, having worked in his ministry for many years and settled in his monastery in Iona yet still subject to the demands of his turbulent family clan in Donegal.

Rehearsals are planned to take place in Letterkenny throughout October and November, with live performances in An Grianán Theatre in mid November. The show will also be recorded and made available to other venues as a digital production.

Caitríona McLaughlin, director of An Grianán Theatre's The Enemy Within

Caitríona McLaughlin, director of An Grianán Theatre’s The Enemy Within

This will be the first time that McLaughlin has directed a Brian Friel play: “I think this is a beautiful play and as a Donegal woman, I am thrilled at the prospect of getting to direct my first Brian Friel play at home, in Donegal. It feels very special and important both personally and thematically. The themes of exile are all too familiar, just now, and the notion of battling conflicting thoughts, impulses or loyalties is a large part of the human condition, and particularly in Ireland. This forced time of reflection through Covid has had an impact on all of us and this opportunity for an exploration of that part of the human psyche feels timely and valuable right now. Plus of course we get to do this production as part of a Country wide celebration of St. Columba and 1500 years since his birth. A singular figure who has the kind of passion, drive and commitment we see today in the tenacity of our artists and sports heroes.”

Brian Friel

Brian Friel was one of Ireland’s greatest ever playwrights. Born in Omagh and educated at St Columb’s College, Derry, and St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, where he studied for a career in the priesthood. Instead of going into the church he followed his father’s example into teaching, working at schools in and around Derry in the 1950s. In 1967 he moved to Donegal, where he lived, with his wife Anne, until his passing in October 2015.

His first stage success was in 1964 with Philadelphia, Here I Come! and his plays since then include The Freedom of the City (1973), Volunteers (1975), Translations (1980) Dancing at Lughnasa (1990) and Molly Sweeney (1994). Translations was also the first production for the important and influential Field Day theatre company, which Friel founded with the actor Stephen Rea.

Brian Friel with the cast of Translationss in 1999 – the first of several of his plays produced in-house by An Grianán Theatre.

An Grianán and Friel

An Grianán has a long history of producing Brian Friel’s work, the first An Grianán production was his play Translations, in 1999. Since then they 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.

Caitríona McLaughlin

Caitríona McLaughlin is the newly appointed Artistic Director of the Abbey Theatre. Originally from Inishowen in County Donegal, Caitriona studied science at the University of Ulster before moving into theatre. Since 2017 she has been Associate Director at the Abbey Theatre, where her productions include: The Great Hunger by Patrick Kavanagh (with Conall Morrison); Citysong by Dylan Coburn Gray (ITTA nomination Best New Play); On Raftery’s Hill by Marina Carr, (for which she won Best Director at the 2019 ITTA); and Two Pints by Roddy Doyle, which toured widely in Ireland and the USA, and which she brought home to Simpson’s Bar in Carndonagh. She has also worked with theatre and opera companies on both sides of the border, including Wexford Opera, Hot for Theatre, INO, The Local Group, and Landmark, and she was the director on O’Casey in the Estate, a TV documentary shown on RTE.

Colmcille

1500 years ago, one of Ireland’s most famous sons was born in Gartan, Co. Donegal. With strong roots in the North West of Ireland, Colmcille (or St. Columba) went on to blaze a trail of cultural and social change around the world. He became one of Ireland’s three patron saints, the patron saint of Derry and his influence extends to this day.

Colmcille 1500

Donegal County Council and Derry City & Strabane District Council have come together, with support from the North West Development Fund, to commemorate Colmcille’s remarkable life and legacy with a series of events and activities throughout the coming year.

www.colmcille1500.com

Funding

Funding for this show comes from the Arts Council of Ireland, Creative Ireland, Donegal County Council and Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

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Watch now: Cormac McCarthy and Micheál Murray

Our musician in residence Cormac McCarthy is joined by Donegal musician Micheál Murray on alto sax for this concert specially recorded for this year’s Earagail Arts Festival.

Cormac McCarthy is a Cork-based composer, pianist and arranger. He brings to bear a background across traditional, jazz and classical in his innovative music. Presenting an individualistic use of Irish traditional tunes in the jazz idiom along with sweepingly cinematic textures, McCarthy marries two genres which are seldom brought together successfully.

He has spend July at An Grianán as part of the Navigator Jazz residency presented in partnership with the Improvised Music Company where he has been developing new works, some of which will be shared in this event where he is joined by Micheál Murray of the Murray Brothers who has been collaborating with Cormac as part of the residency programme.

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Job Vacancy: Accounts and Administrative Assistant

Job recruitment at An Grianán Theatre.

Recruitment Information

An Grianan Theatre – Accounts and Administrative Assistant

An Grianán Theatre wishes to recruit an Accounts and Administrative Assistant. Recruitment will take place over the summer with a starting date in early Autumn. The role is part time, flexible at least two days per week. Please see below for more details on this position including:

  • Description of An Grianán Theatre
  • Job Description
  • Person Specification
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Application Deadlines
  • Interview Date

An Grianán Theatre

An Grianán Theatre, located in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, is an integral part of the county’s thriving cultural life and a flagship venue in the North West of Ireland. We give local audiences and visitors the opportunity to enjoy the very best local, national and international arts and entertainment events.

An Grianán Theatre opened in October 1999 and rapidly earned a reputation for artistic excellence and accessibility. Boasting a 383 capacity auditorium and one of the largest theatre stages in Ireland, we are a state of the art facility committed to presenting the best in drama, comedy, music and much, much more. We also maintain a busy programme of community and outreach events including regular drama classes for children and a youth theatre for young people.

Job Description

Job Title: Accounts and Administrative Assistant

Employer: An Grianán Theatre Management CLG

GENERAL STATEMENT OF DUTIES
Reporting to the Administrator and operating as part of An Grianán Theatre’s management team, to assist with the day-to-day finances and administration of the theatre.

Main Duties:

  • Accounts and Administrative Assistant Duties:
  • Operate the day to day accounts on Sage Computerised Accounts Package
  • Input Supplier invoices for Theatre, café and CE Accounts
  • Issuing Sales Invoices on a monthly basis.
  • Prepare Bank reconciliations
  • Prepare Petty Cash reconciliations.
  • Prepare accounts for payment including artist payments.
  • Prepare daily lodgements of box office receipts and ancillary sales to bank.
  • Keep appropriate financial records for all the theatre’s activities including performances, workshops, classes and touring projects.
  • Liaise with CE Supervisor regarding CE Claims
  • Deal with day to day correspondence and telephone enquiries.
  • Negotiate favourable rates for all Theatre Purchases including stationery, office equipment, cleaning materials, consumable stock etc. and ordering plus stock control of same.
  • Carry out any other duties, which reasonably fall within the broad terms of the principal responsibilities.

General Duties:

  • Deal with day-to-day correspondence and telephone enquiries.
  • Carry out any other duties, which reasonably fall within the broad terms of the principal responsibilities.
  • To work effectively with management and staff.
  • Adhere to all company rules and policies at all times.
  • To carry out any other duties as requested by the Theatre Director or Board of Directors from time to time.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

Candidates must:

  • have a good working knowledge of SAGE 50 Accounts.
  • have a minimum of three years of professional work experience in an accounts environment.
  • be proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel

Desirable Criteria

Ideally candidates should have:

  • Administrative knowledge of the Irish theatre and entertainment sector
  • Hold a full driving license

Terms and Conditions

Flexible, min 2 days per week.

Location: An Grianán Theatre.
Under the current Government guidelines recommending people to work from home whenever possible, the chosen candidate will have the option to work from home one day a week.

Salary – €13.50 per hour

Deadline for applications: Monday 9 August 2021 at 9.30 AM.

Please apply in writing with your CV and a covering letter outlining your suitability for the role.

Send your application for the attention of
Patricia McBride, Director,
An Grianán Theatre,
Port Road,
Letterkenny,
Co Donegal
F92 RV1F
or
by email here.

Interviews for this post will be held in An Grianán Theatre on Monday 16 August

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Interview: The Butcher Boy creator Pat McCabe – Watch Now

Nomad Theatre Network interview with Patrick (Pat) McCabe following their support of the publishing of his 14th upcoming novel “POGUEMAHONE” by Unbound Publishers.

Padraic McIntyre sits down for an in-depth interview with Pat McCabe discussing his upcoming novel Poguemahone, the Covid 19 crisis for the Arts and where he sees the Arts going post-pandemic.

The book, the author’s first for Unbound, is McCabe’s 14th since he burst onto the scene with The Butcher Boy (Picador) in 1992, racking up two Booker Prize nominations and a host of prizes during his career so far.

Pogeumahone – Gaelic for “kiss my arse” is billed as his biggest and most ambitious book to date, “a wild, 600-page ballad, narrated in a kind of free verse monologue by Dan Fogarty, an Irishman living in England, who is looking after his sister Una, now 70 and suffering dementia in a care home in Margate”

Pat McCabe, author of The Butcher Boy

“The world has changed dramatically,” McCabe says of his publishing route. “I didn’t get into writing for money. Major publishing is a matter of profit and loss. I was really into the art of the thing. When I came across John Mitchinson, who was a kind of a genius editor, I thought, this is the way I want to go. He is a great editor. He was formerly Dermot Healy’s editor. He understood the book. And I just didn’t bother going anywhere else with it.”

The aforementioned Mitchinson is a writer, publisher and the co-founder of Unbound, the award-winning crowdfunding platform for books.

For McCabe being pushed in a new publishing direction by technology is emancipating: “I belong to the ‘50s as much as to the ‘60s, ‘70s or ‘80s. That is the tradition I came up, but I’m no Luddite and never was. This whole Internet explosion happened. I am very interested in it, but perhaps not very proficient. I could see its potential through my children. I find it liberating.”

While McCabe acknowledges that the pandemic has been tough on all artist, in particular performers, he is confident that this sector will bounce back and respond to the crisis in the way that artist can and have throughout the centuries.

About Nomad Theatre Network

Nomad aims to ensure that the performing arts are developed created and accessed through a new partnership approach. The purpose of this network is to further the development of performing arts in the North Midlands region, extending the parameters and introducing our audiences to regional, national and international work of a high standard.

The Nomad Network members are:

  • An Grianán Theatre
  • Backstage Theatre
  • Droichead Arts Centre
  • Hawkswell Theatre
  • Mullingar Arts Centre
  • Ramor Theatre
  • Riverbank Arts Centre
  • Roscommon Arts Centre

Productions presented at An Grianán by Nomad include Michael Keegan-Dolan’s Swan Lake/Loch na hEala, Tom Murphy’s Bailegangaire, Lennox Robinson’s The Far Off Hills, and Conor McPherson’s The Seafarer.

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Little Acorns: The Hug – Watch now


One to watch with the little ones, The Hug is the sixth and final play of our Little Acorns short dramas. Written by Michelle Dennehy, The Hug is a tender story about the flights of fancy a little girl and her grandmother enjoy as they play together.

Commissioned by An Grianán Theatre

Cast

Granny: Gemma Walker-Farren
Nora: Sorcha Shanahan

Written by Michelle Dennehy,
Directed by Karen Quinn
Camera: Charlie Joe Doherty
Lighting: Niall Cranney
Sound recordist and camera operator: Peter Rose
Set design/camera operator: Robert Attewell
Costumes: Anne-Marie Kilfeather
Video Editor: Emory Ramsay
Sound Editor: Reuben Boylan
Captioning: Nicola Burns
Little Acorns animation: Daniel McGarrigle at Rezolve Media
Producer: Patricia McBride
Administration: Helene McMenamin, Laura Ferry

Filmed using equipment kindly funded by the
Arts Council of Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon
Capacity Building Support Scheme

Recorded at An Grianán Theatre in May 2021.
All rights reserved.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michelle lives in the Sperrin mountains in County Tyrone, and is a passionate environmentalist. She studied English at Oxford University, and holds a Masters degree in Novel Writing from Manchester Metropolitan University. Her plays have been performed by theatre groups on both sides of the border, and her poetry has been published in Irish and U.K. journals.

ABOUT LITTLE ACORNS

At the end of January 2021 we put a call out for writers to submit short plays, 5 to 10 minutes long, that we could film and share on our social media platforms. We had over 50 plays submitted and chose 6 in all to turn into short films. The plays were filmed in April and May 2021 an and shared for free online over the summer.

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Little John Nee on the silver screen

Little John Nee has been our theatre artist (not quite!) in residence during the pandemic. The first of his projects presented as part of the residency is his film Drone Bone Jetty.

A collaboration with Laura Sheeran, Drone Bone Jetty, like their last collaboration Radio Rosario, is set in a not too distant dystopian future in the west of Ireland.

It will be screened at this year’s Earagail Arts Festival on Wed 21 July at Century Cinemas – tickets are very limited, advanced booking is essential.

About Bone Drone Jetty

Puck Tyrrell is waiting for a boat. He hasn’t gone to work today. He has probably lost his job anyway. Puck’s had a run of good luck lately; first the allotment, then the free ticket to Heebie Jeebies and the new job; the newest recruit at the Academy of Holodramatic Arts, where algorithms do all the heavy thinking; those algorithms just can’t get enough in the Unity quest to create “art without artists”; studying the freaks, creating the data.

Production Partners for Drone Bone Jetty are  Arts Council of Ireland, Siamsa Tire (Tralee), Town Hall Theatre (Galway), An Grianán Theatre (Letterkenny), Donegal Arts Office, Aras Eanna Inis Oirr.

Congratulations to John, Laura and the rest of the team for winning Best Indie Film for Drone Bone Jetty at the Silk Road Film Awards Cannes.

There will be more to come from Little John as the residency continues into the autumn. Watch out for future announcements.

Little John Nee’s residency at An Grianán is supported by the Arts Council and is a partnership between An Grianán, Town Hall Theatre Galway, Galway Co. Arts Office, Donegal Arts Service and Árus Éanna Arts Centre Inis Oírr Island, Galway.

You may also like:

Looking ahead to 2021 with Little John Nee

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Little Acorns: Taster Session – Watch Now

The fourth of our Little Acorns short play commissions is Taster Session by Peggy Caldwell. For some life is a rollercoaster, for others it’s a treadmill of discontent. And for Annette? Well, maybe the gym isn’t for her.

Commissioned by An Grianán Theatre

Cast

Orla: Valerie Bryce
Annette: Maggie Hannon

Written by Peggie Caldwell
Directed by Karen Quinn
Lighting and camera: Niall Cranney
Sound recordist and camera: Peter Rose
Set design/camera: Robert Attewell
Costumes: Anne-Marie Kilfeather
Editor: Karen Quinn
Sound Design and Audio Editing Daithí Ramsay.
Captioning: Nicola Burns
Little Acorns animation: Daniel McGarrigle at Rezolve Media
Producer: Patricia McBride
Music used Creative Commons from the Free Music Archive
Marc Burt – Amazonia
Marc Burt – Caledonia
Administration: Helene McMenamin, Laura Ferry

Spin cycles supplied by Rushe Fitness

Filmed using equipment kindly funded by the
Arts Council of Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon
Capacity Building Support Scheme

Recorded at An Grianán Theatre in April 2021.
All rights reserved.

About the author

Peggie Caldwell grew up in Carrigart, Co. Donegal. She currently lives and works in Dublin, but Donegal will always be home. She has been writing drama and poetry for a number of years. She says that people and places influence her greatly because we are all connected through our shared experiences and we can learn a lot from the ordinary, everyday moments in the lives of others, as well as our own.

About Little Acorns

At the end of January 2021 we put a call out for writers to submit short plays, 5 to 10 minutes long, that we could film and share on our social media platforms. We had over 50 plays submitted and chose 6 in all to turn into short films. We’ve been filming and editing them throughout April and May and will be sharing them over the next few weeks.

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Revved WIP: documentary short – Watch Now

A short documentary which takes a look at the making of Revved, a new play by local writer and actor Patrick Quinn.

Revved is set around the Donegal International Rally and looks at themes such as belonging, loneliness, obsession, and cars. In the documentary we’ll take a look at the process of bringing a play from script to stage as Patrick works with director Emily Foran and stage manager Jude Barriscale.

As a child Patrick, who is from Newmills in Letterkenny, was an active participant in our junior drama classes and An Grianán Youth Theatre. Now a drama graduate of Queen’s University, and currently studying for his MA at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, Patrick has also appeared in a number of productions at An Grianán most recently in our outdoor production of The Winter’s Tale. Revved is his first play.

Revved WIP was produced by our young curators Ailis Cross Gorman and Fergal Lonergan for the Lasta Festival.

www.angrianan.com/lasta/

Logos:Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh, Lasta, Nasc Touring Network, An Grianán Theatre, Donegal County Council, Arts Council of Ireland, Government of Ireland

Lasta is presented by NASC as part of Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh, a nationwide, ten day season of arts experiences brought to you by the Arts Council. To see the full Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh programme, visit www.brighteningair.com

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Cormac McCarthy Residency

We are very pleased to welcome pianist and composer Cormac McCarthy as our musician in residence this July thanks to the Improvised Music Company (IMC)’s Navigator jazz residency programme.

Cork-based composer, pianist and arranger Cormac McCarthy brings a background across traditional, jazz, and classical to his innovative music. Presenting an individualistic use of Irish traditional tunes in the jazz idiom along with sweepingly cinematic textures, McCarthy successfully marries these two strong genres, which both have improvisation and interplay as core elements.

Cormac said: “The opportunity to spend time dedicated to making music, developing ideas and exploring new concepts is something all musicians and composers desire, but seldom experience. To do this at such a stunning venue, and in a county with as rich a musical tradition as Donegal, is really exciting. We have some plans in place for the residency, but I’m keeping an open mind and hoping to let the people, the venue and the wider community guide me. I can’t wait to get started!”

“The opportunity to have a musician of Cormac’s calibre working in the theatre is of enormous benefit to the music community here in Donegal. Through his residency he will be exchanging ideas with other professional musicians, and engaging with our music students – generously sharing his skills and experience. We hope to offer him the chance to make new creative partnerships and enjoy our rich local musical landscape.” said Patricia McBride, Director at An Grianán

The ‘Navigator’ residency programme is an exciting new opportunity in line with IMC’s commitment to further developing the national scene for jazz and improvised music, improving artist touring mobility, developing audiences nationwide, and developing creative opportunities for musicians.

Performance

We will present a public sharing of Cormac’s work online on Fri 23 July as part of this year’s Earagail Arts Festival.

IMC’s Navigator Jazz Residency programme, in collaboration with arts centres around the country, offers artists professionally remunerated time and space to develop and perform work with a deep sense of space, informed by community involvement.

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Lasta Shorts: Tuna – Watch now

The fifth and final of our Lasta shorts is Tuna, a hand drawn animation by Cliona Noonan. A late-night supermarket cashier with a strange obsession is visited by a mysterious customer.

Cliona Noonan is an Irish animator and filmmaker. She graduated from The National Film School of Ireland in 2019 with a BA in Animation. Her graduation film ‘TUNA’ has screened at festivals internationally. She has since gone on to direct the short film ‘Wet & Soppy’ as part of the 2020 ‘Animation Studio Lab’ programme, supported by Animation Skillnet. She was selected for the 2020 OFFline Animation Residency and is currently completing her new short film.

Watch the other Lasta Shorts:

Fisherman and Dog

Roman Picante

The Electric Wizard Episode 1 (NB: strong language, recommended ages 14+)

The Electric Wizard Episode 2 (NB: strong language, recommended ages 14+)

www.angrianan.com/lasta/

Logos:Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh, Lasta, Nasc Touring Network, An Grianán Theatre, Donegal County Council, Arts Council of Ireland, Government of Ireland

Lasta is presented by NASC as part of Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh, a nationwide, ten day season of arts experiences brought to you by the Arts Council. To see the full Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh programme, visit www.brighteningair.com

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