All Ireland One Act Drama Finals launch

Photocall from yesterday’s official launch of the All Ireland One Act Drama Finals which will be held in Letterkenny for the first time this December.
3 October 2017: Official launch of the All Ireland One Act Drama Finals which will be held in Letterkenny for the first time this December. Front row left to right: Jean Curran, John Travers, Mayor of Donegal Cllr Gerry Mc Monagle, Mayor of Letterkenny Municipal District Cllr Jimmy Kavanagh, Plunkett O'Fearraigh and Anne Mc Gowan. Back row left to right: Sean Mc Cormack, Cllr Ian Mc Garvey ,Cllr Michael Mc Bride, James Mc Laughlin A.I.B.and John O'Donnell.Front row left to right: Jean Curran, John Travers, Mayor of Donegal Cllr Gerry Mc Monagle, Mayor of Letterkenny Municipal District Cllr Jimmy Kavanagh, Plunkett O’Fearraigh and Anne Mc Gowan.
Back row left to right: Sean Mc Cormack, Cllr Ian Mc Garvey ,Cllr Michael Mc Bride, James Mc Laughlin A.I.B.and John O’Donnell.

Letterkenny has been fortunate to be asked to stage The All Ireland One Act Finals this year in An Grianán Theatre from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd December. This is a great opportunity for the people of Letterkenny and Donegal to see the top 11 plays presented at all the one act festivals from around the country during November 2017. Ticket sales are already flying even though we won’t know who the finalists are until the end of November!

There will be 3 plays shown on Friday and Saturday nights, 3 on Sunday afternoon and 2 on Sunday night with the presentation of awards straight afterwards.The Festival Club will be held in An Grianán Theatre each night after the performances when the groups and audiences can mingle and let their hair down. Music will be provided each night.

A large crowd is expected in the town during the festival and there will be other fringe events occurring as well to entertain the visitors while in town – Visits to Glenveagh National Park & Grianán of Aileach, Historic walks of the town, traditional music /jazz sessions locally, golf competition etc. All these will be announced at a later date.

The All Ireland One Act Finals is hosted by Letterkenny One Act Festival under the auspices of Drama League of Ireland and The Amateur Drama Council of Ireland.

Tickets can be purchased at our box office on 0749120777 or online here. Cost is €18/€16 per session. Attend all four sessions for the great price of just €60 (discount automatically deducted when you add tickets for all four sessions to your cart).

Visit the official website for the latest festival news –

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Relaxed Performance of The Nutcracker

After last year’s warm response to our relaxed performance of Peter Pan we are pleased to announce that we will hold a relaxed performance of our Christmas Show The Nutcracker on Thursday 14 December at 11am.

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. It is also a good way to introduce younger children to live performances in a less formal setting than regular theatre events.

  • 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!

Will it be very different from attending a regular performance?

Audience feedback to our Peter Pan relaxed performances was very positive. We made a few subtle alterations – the auditorium lights were only partially dimmed (no blackouts) and any especially loud noises were reduced. Most people felt that it did not affect their enjoyment of the show.

Please contact Daithi or Nicola at the box office on 0749120777 if you have any questions or are interesting in bringing a group.

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Joseph O’Connor’s Guide to starting a book club

We have a wonderful stage adaptation of Joseph O’Connor’s Star of the Sea coming up in November and feel that it would be terrific opportunity for a night out for book club members. So if you haven’t already decided what your November book is going to be, why not consider picking Star of the Sea?

Already a popular choice with book clubs, Joseph O’Connor has created his own guide to Star of the Sea especially for reading groups which can be downloaded from his website here

Moonfish Theatre's Star of the Sea is freely adapted (with the author's blessing) from Joseph O'Connor's acclaimed novel.

Moonfish Theatre’s Star of the Sea is freely adapted (with the author’s blessing) from Joseph O’Connor’s acclaimed novel.

But what if you’re not in a book club?

To find a book club near you visit the Donegal Country Library as they facilitate and support a number of Book Clubs around the County including those hosted and run by the library as well as those held outside the library. See their website for further info.

Start your own?

If you want to get proactive and start your own book club check out these handy tips from Joseph O’Connor:


  • Decide how many people you would ideally like in your group. Less than 5 can be a bit small but more than 15 is a bit too large.
  • Ask your local library, college or bookshop to put up an ad for you on their notice board.
  • Spread the word amongst friends – get word-of-mouth going about the group.
  • Hopefully you’ll end up with a diverse group of people which will make discussions all the more interesting.


  • Libraries, colleges and bookshops are a great help as they may have a room where you can hold meetings.
  • You may prefer to meet in more relaxed environments such as a separate room in a pub or restaurant or even in members’ homes – alternating for each meeting so everyone has an opportunity to host.


  • Decide how often you would like to meet – most groups tend to meet once a month giving everyone plenty of opportunity to read the chosen book.
  • Try and meet on the same day each time. This will give the group continuity, the meeting priority and will make it easier for people to keep it free and attend regularly.
  • Decide how long you would like the meetings to last – but be flexible in the course of each meeting.


  • Everyone in the group is going to have slightly different tastes in books so try and choose a real cross-section of authors and genres so that all tastes are covered and you all get to try different writing.
  • Decide how you are going to select what books are to be discussed – a rota system or drawing suggestions from a hat are a couple of commonly used systems.
  • Look to your local bookshop for suggestions through staff recommends and promotions such as fresh talent and book of the month.
  • Write to publishers and ask for their new title catalogues to get a head start on up and coming new titles.
  • Don’t forget to scour the shelves for older more established classics that you may not have read but have always meant to.
  • Think about whether every few meetings you’d like to have a themed evening, such as crime, or Booker prizewinners and choose two or three books to compare.


  • Discuss what everyone wants from the meetings – everyone’s expectations for the groups need to be fulfilled as much as possible.
  • Think about having a different facilitator at each meeting. Their role could be to present the book with a little background information on the author and book, this can help set the scene for the discussion to come.
  • Have some discussion points ready to get things going. A little structure at the start can be beneficial.
  • Try to avoid letting one voice dominate proceedings, this can be intimidating to other group members and hinder discussion.
  • Be aware as to when the discussion is getting bogged down and needs to be moved on.


Remember being a member of a reading group is meant to be fun and will enhance your reading – enjoy yourself.


Blending language, song, movement and imagery, this exciting and inventive production by award-winning Moonfish Theatre brings Joseph O’Connor’s epic novel to the stage as part of their national tour. Set in 1847, Star of the Sea is a famine-ship sailing to New York. Among the passengers are those with secrets to hide – a silent maidservant, a ruined landlord, and an infamous murderer.

Moonfish Theatre present their adaptation of Star of the Sea on Tues 21 November. Tickets are €18/€15 but if you are coming as part of a group please contact Daithi or Nicola at the box office on 0749120777 to avail of a generous discount. We’d love to hear from you! 

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News for teachers: Manny Man the stage show

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

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

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

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

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

Rehearsed reading

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

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News for teachers: Christmas show and free workshops

An Grianán Theatre Productions in association with Zona Dance present The NutcrackerUPDATE: ALL AVAILABLE WORKSHOP SLOTS HAVE NOW BEEN FILLED.

Join us this December for a sparkling new version of Christmas favourite The Nutcracker, and our version is for boys every bit as much as it’s for girls!

Adapted by Guy Le Jeune from the folk tales of ETA Hoffman and Alexandre Dumas and directed by choreographer Jessica Peoples of ZoNa dance, our Nutcracker is set in Donegal and brings exciting drama and dialogue to the show while retaining some of the ballet version’s more famous dance pieces, and we think your students will love it.

Like last year’s production of Peter Pan, this will be a youth led cast ages 8 to 21 and with 30 acting roles and 26 dancers it’s going to be huge!

In school workshops

In addition, we are supporting the show with in-school movement workshops which are available free of charge and will be taught by our show’s director Jessica Peoples. The workshops will take place in October or November and will include movement theatre and dance suitable for boys and girls and will explore one of the scenes of the Nutcracker where the Nutcracker soldier meets his nemesis… The Mouse King!

We expect these workshops to be filled pretty quickly so to schedule one for your class please contact Jessica directly on 086 8222189 or by eMail.

Performances Schedule:
Tues 12 to Friday 15 December at 11am. Sat 16 at 2pm and 7pm.

Special rate for schools: €8, teachers/SNAs are free. Book now on 0749120777.

The Nutcracker is produced by An Grianán Theatre in association with ZoNa Dance Co.

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An Grianán Supports: Radio Rosario

Little John Nee in Radio Rosario.Developed through FUEL – Druids Artist Residency Programme. Supported by The Mick Lally Theatre and An Grianan Theatre. Funded through an Arts Council Theatre Project Award.

Little John Nee’s Radio Rosario. Developed through FUEL – Druids Artist Residency Programme. Supported by The Mick Lally Theatre and An Grianan Theatre. Funded through an Arts Council Theatre Project Award.

Little John Nee is a performer we’ve enjoyed a long, creative relationship with. In 2010/ 2011 he was our theatre artist in residence leading many workshops, performing shows, working on the book of his three ‘Donegal’ plays The Derry Boat, The Mental and Rural Electric, and creating a daily haiku. Subsequent to this work he recorded an album of songs with the Highly Strung Caledonian Orchestra. 

We are delighted to be able to support the making of his latest play, Radio Rosario, which is part of the Dublin Theatre Festival this September. Set in Galway city, in the very near future in Radio Rosario John plays Valve Hegarty, a man who sings audio jingles to pay the rent; a drudgery that weighs heavily on him. He has a hankering for something of substance and is drawn to the beauty of 20th-century valve radios. A chance meeting in Clifden leads him to the site of the Marconi Station where a soundscape of ghostly broadcasts begins. Meanwhile, Rosario is… well, Rosario is Rosario.

In Radio Rosario, Little John Nee brings his musical storytelling on another step with long-time collaborator and creator Laura Sheeran, who we last saw on our stage with Little John in The Mental, she also performed in the foyer at the Crash Cabaret with her band Nanu Nanu,  and a multi-award winning team. We very much hope to present Radio Rosario at An Grianán Theatre at some point during 2018.


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

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

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

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

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4th Donegal Chamber Music Festival at Glenveagh

Tickets are now available from our box office for the 4th Donegal Chamber Music Festival.

Presented by Donegal Chamber Music Society in association with Donegal Music Education Partnership.

Thur 12 Oct at 8pm: Szabó-Yélamo String Duo, Glebe Gallery

Fri 13 Oct at 8pm: Donegal Chamber Orchestra, Glenveagh Castle

Sat 14 Oct at 12:30pm: Donegal Junior Strings Orchestra, Glebe Gallery

Sun 15 Oct at 6.30pm: Donegal Chamber Orchestra, Glenveagh Castle

Donegal Chamber Orchestra in concert

Venue: Glenveagh Castle

Friday 13th October, 8pm (Bus leaving car park at 7.30pm)
Sunday 15th October, 6.30pm (Bus leaving car park at 6.00pm)

Tickets: €15 Book online

Tea, Coffee and tray bakes afterwards at Glenveagh Tea Rooms.

Vivaldi – Concerto for strings in D Major, RV 121
Telemann – Overture-Suite “Burlesque de Quixotte,” TWV 55:G10
Handel – Concerto Grosso in a minor, Op 6 No 4
Delius – Two Aquarelles for string orchestra
Elaine Agnew (b.1967) – Take Off! (2010)
Toselli – Serenata ‘Rimpianto’ Op.6 No.1
Glazunov – Theme and Variations for Strings, Op.97
Bizet/Osborne – Suite from Carmen

The DONEGAL CHAMBER ORCHESTRA, one of the Donegal Music Education Partnership’s performing groups, features classical string players from across county Donegal and is dedicated to helping students and amateur musicians achieve the highest level of excellence in performance. The Donegal Chamber Orchestra gives regular performances throughout the county during the year and previous seasons have included trips to Spain and Italy. Since its establishment the orchestra worked with guest artists, soloists and conductors.

The Orchestra was founded in 2006 by Hungarian violinist Orsolya Szabó-Yélamo (Violin resource tutor with Donegal Music Education Partnership) and Spanish cellist Víctor Yélamo (Artistic Director of the ensemble).

Szabó-Yélamo String Duo

Venue: The Glebe Gallery, Churchill

Date: Thursday 12th October, 8pm


Tickets: €16 Book online

Booking essential. An Grianán Theatre Box Office: 074 9120777

Orsolya Szabó-Yélamo, violin  / Víctor Yélamo, cello
A chamber music recital in the Glebe House to celebrate the Spanish National Day.
The programme will include works from the classical repertory, a piece by this year Festival’s featured composer Elaine Agnew and a selection of Spanish Classics, Latin American songs and well known popular tangos to commemorative the Hispanic Day Fiesta.
Wine and Tapas to follow!

The Szabó-Yélamo String Duo was founded in 2006 when its members were completing a Master in Classical String Performance at the University of Limerick. The wife and husband duo is comprised of the Hungarian violinist Orsolya Szabó-Yélamo (Violin Resource Tutor with Donegal Music Education Partnership) and the Spanish cellist Víctor Yélamo (Artistic Director of the Donegal Chamber Orchestra).
Both are professional musicians and regularly perform with the Spanish String Orchestra Concerto Málaga and the Donegal Camerata String Quintet. Orsolya and Víctor are are extensively involved in music education across the Northwest of Ireland, they are members of the European String Teachers Association (ESTA). The Duo presented a Series of Concerts at the Regional Cultural Centre in 2010 and offers a variety of performances and workshops for students in Donegal.

They play instruments by Hungarian maker Pétéri Károly and bows by Paolo Pamiro.

FAMILY CONCERT at Glebe Gallery Courtyard 
featuring the Donegal Junior Strings Orchestra – WAINFEST 2017

Venue: The Glebe Gallery, Churchill

Date: Saturday 14th October, 12:30pm – FREE ADMISSION

Treat yourself and your little ones to a free family concert led by the Donegal Junior Strings Orchestra as part of the 4th Donegal Chamber Music Festival. Classical works, new music by the Festival’s composer Elaine Agnew and music from Disney movies performed by the talented youth of Donegal Music Education Partnership, will delight and stimulate the senses. No booking is necessary.

How to book

Book online here, by phone on 0749120777 or call in and buy tickets in person at our box office. Opening hours are 9.30am to 5.30pm Mon to Fri, 10am to 5.30pm Sat, closed Sundays & bank holidays. If you book online or by phone you do not need to collect your tickets in advance as we will send them out to the venues on the day.


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Open Auditions for An Grianán Theatre’s Christmas 2017 Production


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

About the show

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

There will be speaking and dance roles.

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

Audition date: Sun 17 September

10am to 12pm – children ages 8 to 11

12pm to 2pm – ages 12+

There is no need to prepare anything in advance.

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

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

Performance dates

Tues 12 to Fri 15 December at 11am

Sat 16 Dec at 2pm and 7pm

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

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Job Vacancies: Community Employment Scheme

We wish to recruit the following staff under the Community Employment Scheme:

Box Office Assistants

Technical Assistants

Front of House Ushers


Community Employment Rates and Conditions apply. Please note the eligible age for participation on Community Employment is 21 years. Please contact your local Department of Social Protection office for details of any exceptions to this.

To apply please send your CV and PPS number to:

Martina Murphy

Community Employment Supervisor

An Grianán Theatre

Port Rd


Co Donegal


The next CE scheme start date is Mon 11 Sept 2017.


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