News

Anton Zapf to conduct North West Opera’s Die Fledermaus

North West Opera are delighted to announce that Anton Zapf will join them to conduct Strauss’s Die Fledermaus this November at An Grianán.

Anton has an amazing CV, working all over the world as an opera and concert conductor with over 60 orchestras in 15 countries. Also a composer for choir and orchestra, his works have been widely performed in Europe. He will be arriving in Donegal about 10 days prior to the opera to work intensively with the orchestra, soloists and chorus.

Die Fledermaus is a entertaining and colourful comedy set to wonderful music by Johann Strauss. The light-hearted plot follows 24 hours in the lives of a group of Viennese bourgeoisie centred around an elaborate plan for the revenge of The Bat. Disguises, hoaxes and abundant flirtation fuelled by copious amounts of champagne culminate in comical results.

North West Opera present
Die Fledermaus
Fri 4 and Sat 5 Nov at 8pm
Tickets: €19/€16 Book now!

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Waking Packie Again!

Great news for local theatre-goers as after a twelve year absence the sensational play ‘Packie’s Wake’, by Eddie Kerr, makes a long overdue return to Letterkenny.

The Derry based PlayStation Theatre Company present this hilarious play for a three night run at An Grianán from Thur 20th to Sat 22nd October. Last time it was at An Grianán it sold out every performance so don’t leave it too late to book!

Recognised as the most successful play in the history of theatre in Derry ‘Packie’s Wake’ tells the uproarious story of how Packie Devlin through an ironic quirk of fate is allowed to attend his own wake. The poor misfortunate has the opportunity to find out what his family and friends really think of him as he participates in the hysterical play that has become a theatrical masterpiece in black comedy.

Rehearsing for Packie's Wake.

Rehearsing for Packie’s Wake.

According to the Director, Martin Meenan, ‘we have given Packie a spring clean and made more than a few changes to the production and to the personnel but hopefully we have still maintained the overall quality of the play. Packie’s Wake appears to have hit a chord with people, not just here but everywhere it’s played. The play deals with universal themes about ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events and deals with impact that death has on this, rather dysfunctional, family. It deals with the sadness attached to the death of somebody’s husband, father and friend but has managed, and I don’t know how, to balance that with the humour associated with our wakes and the social importance that ritual has on the grieving process. We love doing Packie’s Wake as much as audiences love seeing it, and if I am not being too facetious, it almost taken on a life of its own now’.

With Gerry Doherty in the role of Derry’s favourite antihero, Packie Devlin, and Carmel McCafferty as his wife Annie, supported by an extremely talented cast of 15 talented actors you are definitely guaranteed a night to remember.

Packie’s Wake
Thur 20 to Fri 22 October at 8pm
Tickets: €20/€16 Book now!

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3rd DONEGAL CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL

The Donegal Chamber Music Festival will take place during the weekend of 14th to 16th October 2016 featuring local artists in a celebration of chamber music making in County Donegal and is presented by the Donegal Chamber Music Society in association with Donegal Music Education Partnership.

Three concerts over the weekend will mark this year’s Festival, using different locations (Glenveagh Castle, Glebe and House Gallery, An Grianan Theatre) presenting a mixture of well-known pieces of classical music as well as featuring contemporary works by this year Festival’s featured composer, Dublin-born John McLachlan, who lives in Inishowen.

Donegal Camerata String Ensemble

Starting on Friday evening, the Festival will bring classical music lovers to the magic of an evening concert at Glenveagh Castle, Glenveagh National Park.The Donegal Camerata String Ensemble (violin, viola, cello, double bass) will present another eclectic program at Glenveagh with music by Leopold Mozart, Beethoven, Rossini, Astor Piazzolla and a new arrangement of John McLachlan’s Lament. An event which have been described by concertgoers as “a true chamber music experience”,  the concert will be followed by tea, coffee and tray bakes at the Castle’s Tea Rooms.

Family Concert at the Glebe Gallery

Saturday’s Lunchtime concert has become a very popular event at the beautiful Glebe Gallery and House, Churchill.  This Free Family Concert, also included as part of this year’s WainFest, will include some children tunes and famous classical pieces played by the Donegal Music Education Partnership’s Junior String Orchestra at the Gallery’s Courtyard. The Orchestra will also perform Dreams Adrift, a piece specially composed for this occasion by John McLachlan. Meanwhile you are listening to the youngest string players of DMEP, you can enjoy one of the best coffees at the Glebe Tea Rooms while looking at the beautiful gardens and the Gartan lake.

Donegal Chamber Orchestra’s 10th Anniversary Concert – Celebrating ten successful years of chamber music making in County Donegal and beyond, the 2016’s Donegal Chamber Music Festival will end with a very special closing concert at the great venue what is An Grianan Theatre in Letterkenny. The first half of the concert will feature special guests including exceptional young talent in classical, jazz and traditional music. The DCO’s programme will include works by Vivaldi, Sibelius, Elgar, Bartók and the “Inishowen Set” composed for the Donegal Chamber Orchestra in 2013 by Donegal based composer John McLachlan.

The Donegal Chamber Music Society aims to present Irish Contemporary Music in each of their events and every year the invite a composer to the Festival. This year featured composer is Dublin-born, Donegal based composer John McLachlan.

John McLachlan’s music has been performed in over twenty countries and on five continents. He has represented Ireland in festivals in Finland, Portugal, Italy, Croatia, Slovenia, South Africa and Peru and had performances in many other places including Tokyo, New York, Paris and London. He has had commissions from the RTE NSO, the National Concert Hall, the Dublin International Piano Competition and most of the leading contemporary music groups and soloists in Ireland as well as further afield. His music has been recorded by artists such as David Adams, John Feeley and Mary Dullea among others. John McLachlan is a member of Aosdana, Ireland’s state-sponsered academy for the creative arts. He lives in Inishowen, Donegal, with his wife Helen and two sons. For more info on concerts, CDs etc see www.johnmclachlan.info

Featuring artists:
Donegal Camerata String Ensemble; DMEP’s Junior & Intermediate String Orchestras;
Donegal Chamber Orchestra with Special Guests and the music of composer John McLachlan

DONEGAL CAMERATA String Ensemble at Glenveagh Castle

Friday 14th October, 8pm Drawing Room, Glenveagh Castle.
Price € 20/€ 15 (Bus leaving car park at 7.30pm
Booking essential. An Grianán Theatre Box Office: 074 9120777 Book now.
Music by Leopold Mozart, Beethoven, Rossini, John McLachlan and Piazzolla.
Tea, Coffee and tray bakes afterwards

FAMILY CONCERT AT THE GLEBE

Saturday 15th October, 12.30pm.
The Glebe House and Gallery, Churchill – Admission is FREE
Donegal Music Education Partnership´s Junior and Intermediate String Orchestras.
Works by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, John McLachlan’s Dreams Adrift and music from the Disney movies

DONEGAL CHAMBER ORCHESTRA’s 10TH ANNIVERSARY CONCERT

Sunday 16th October, 7 pm. An Grianan Theatre. Price €12 /€10 Book now.
Join the Donegal Chamber Orchestra and special guests for a celebration of 10 years of wonderful music-making by the DCO in Donegal and beyond. Past and present orchestra members will perform together on stage in a concert which promises to be one of the musical highlights of 2016 at An Grianan. The DCO’s programme will include works by Vivaldi, Sibelius, Elgar, Bartók and the “Inishowen Set” composed for the Donegal Chamber Orchestra in 2013 by Donegal based composer John McLachlan.

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Richard Greenberg’s Three Days of Rain

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

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

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

Three Days of Rain

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

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

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

About the cast

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

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

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

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

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Tom Murphy’s masterpiece Bailegangaire

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Billy Bragg and Joe Henry announced for Spring 2017.

A mighty gig to look forward to!

In March 2016 Billy Bragg and Joe Henry, guitars in hand, boarded a Los Angeles-bound train at Chicago’s Union Station looking to reconnect with the culture of American railroad travel and the music it inspired.

Winding along 2,728 miles of track over four days, the pair recorded classic railroad songs in waiting rooms and at trackside while the train paused to pick up passengers. The result is a new album, “Shine A Light: Field Recordings From The Great American Railroad”. They’re hitting the road once more this time to play the music inspired by their epic trip and they’ll be here at An Grianán on Monday 30 January.

Now open for booking.

 

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Auditions: Peter Pan

Could you be our Peter Pan?

We are looking for someone in their mid to late teens. Male or female, ability to act, sing and dance a definite plus!

We are also casting for:
The Darlings:
Wendy – female, playing age approx 12/13 years old
John – male, slightly younger than Wendy
Michael – male, playing age 8 years old.

There are a variety of other roles suitable for children ages 8+, teens and adults.

Auditions will be held on Saturday 17th September from 2.30pm – 5pm at An Grianán, it is advised that you arrive close to 2pm to fill out an information sheet prior to the audition.

The audition will take the form of a group workshop and the team are seeking proficiency in acting, movement, singing and dance.

Rehearsals will take place every Saturday afternoon.

auditions for Peter Pan Sat 17 September 2016

 

NB: performance schedule includes week day matinee shows so please make sure that you are able to get time off school/work.

Performance dates are Tues 13 to Sat 17 December 2016.

Transition year students could use this production towards securing their President’s Award.

This new version will be adapted by Nora Kavanagh and co-directed by her with Trudy O’Donnell.

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We are Lighting Up Gold for Childhood Cancer

We are very pleased to be taking part once again in the Light It Up Gold campaign for the Childhood Cancer Foundation

We have joined in with some of Donegal’s most notable buildings and landmarks in lighting our building in gold light as part of the 4th annual Light It Up Gold campaign for the Childhood Cancer Foundation.

The Irish campaign, launched at the weekend following a candlelit walk in Dublin, is part of a wider international campaign originating in the USA, that has seen buildings across the world ‘Light It Up Gold’ in September to shine a light on the bravery of children dealing with cancer.

Mary Claire Rennick of Childhood Cancer Foundation said: “We are getting a great response from buildings across Ireland. The campaign is spreading every year with buildings across Ireland and the UK joining international landmarks. My own daughter was diagnosed with leukemia in February 2013 and prior to that I was completely unaware of childhood cancer. As parents who have experienced this disease, we want to ensure that everyone is aware. Increased awareness will improve early detection and understanding among policy makers and communities, which will hopefully reduce the isolation of families going through childhood cancer treatment and side effects. Awareness will also lead to improved funding for supports and services for families and funding for research into childhood cancer.”

In county Donegal, the Public Service Centres in Dungloe, Donegal Town and Milford are going gold. In Buncrana, the Council Offices and Castle Bridge are all already lit up gold. In Letterkenny the Polestar monument and An Grianán Theatre have been shining gold since the 1st of September as has the Castle Folly at Oakfield Park in Raphoe.

An Grianán Theatre ‘Light It Up Gold’ for Childhood Cancer Foundation

An Grianán Theatre ‘Light It Up Gold’ for Childhood Cancer Foundation

Mary Claire explained that over 200 children are diagnosed with cancer each year in Ireland.

“That’s 4 families each week who hear the devastating news that their child, brother, sister or grandchild has cancer. Childhood cancer is the biggest cause of death by disease in children in Ireland and the Childhood Cancer Foundation is committed to raising public awareness of the issues surrounding childhood cancer, developing early diagnosis programmes amongst health care professionals, advocating for improved services for children affected by cancer and assisting to fund vital services for children and families affected by this disease,” Mary Clare said.

She concluded: “Awareness is crucial to ensure the whole community recognises the immediate devastating effect of childhood cancer on children and families and also the long term effects of cancer and harsh treatments. Studies from the USA have shown that over eighty percent of childhood cancer survivors will have long-term health effects. We need awareness to guarantee these survivors get full access to health and education supports to ensure a long and happy life after cancer.”

http://www.childhoodcancer.ie

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Summer Schools at An Grianán Theatre

Love the performing arts? Want to learn more about acting, musical theatre, choreography and dance? And have lots of fun and make new friends at the same time? Then you should sign up for one of our summer schools.

McCool: A summer school of heroic proportions!

For an all round theatre experience join our pbm Performing Arts Summer School. Suitable for ages 9 to 21, this week long programme covers many aspects of what goes into bringing a theatre show to life. You will work alongside seasoned industry professionals and learn about choreography, acting, movement, vocals and stage craft.

pbm Performing Arts Summer School. Children taking part in a workshop at An Grianán Theatre. August 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

pbm Performing Arts Summer School. Children taking part in a workshop at An Grianán Theatre. August 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

At the end of the week you will perform in Paul Boyd’s rock musical McCool.

Commissioned in 2002 and first produced by Northern Ireland’s longest-running independent theatre producer Big Telly Theatre Company in association with the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, McCool celebrates Ireland’s superstar warrior, Finn McCool!

Staged as an exciting multi-media rock concert McCool charts the life of Finn McCool from his lowly beginning as an abandoned baby to his eventual position as Ireland’s first superstar. The show features an eclectic, non-stop mix of dance and pop music, culminating in a spectacular mega-mix finale. Songs include “Mythology”, “Gotta Grow Up”, “I Will Think of You” and “War”.

pbm Performing Arts Summer School at An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny, August 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

pbm Performing Arts Summer School at An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny, August 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

McCool toured Ireland extensively in 2002 and soon developed a cult following across the country.

The original 2002 cast included Rachel Tucker who went on to star as Wicked‘s Elphaba in both the West End and Broadway productions. Will we have any future West End stars in this year’s show? Only time will tell!

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Former pbm participant and An Grianán Youth Theatre member Patrick Quinn performing in Enda Walsh's Mistermen at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, February 2016.

Former pbm participant and An Grianán Youth Theatre member Patrick Quinn performing in Enda Walsh’s Mistermen at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, February 2016.

“PBM is where, many years ago, I found my love for Theatre. As a nine year old boy, I came to the camp unconfident, doubtful and shy. The PBM leaders installed a belief system in myself that I still rely on to this day.I will never forget the day when Christina told me that all that mattered was that I followed my heart and it’s the best advice I’ve ever received. I was part of PBM for 7 years, and I made friends that I cherish and consider some of my closest friends to this day. I cannot recommend PBM enough – the experience and the people I have met through this camp has had a huge influence on the person, and the actor, that I am today.”
Patrick Quinn, Drama Student at Queens University Belfast, Winner of Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Student Theatre Awards 2016.[/box]

pbm Performing Arts Summer School – Mon 1 to Sat 6 August – more info here.

Ballet Ireland Summer School

Our annual Ballet Ireland summer school gives you the opportunity to learn ballet alongside professional ballerinas from Ireland’s National Ballet.

Young dancers taking part in the annual Ballet Ireland Summer School, July 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

Young dancers taking part in the annual Ballet Ireland Summer School, July 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

Each day begins with class on stage with the dancers. Students become part of the creative process, helping to devise the choreography, create sets and costumes. This week will give aspiring performers a taste for all that goes into making a ballet and a peak into the life of a professional dancer.

Young dancers taking part in the annual Ballet Ireland Summer School, July 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

The Ballet Ireland Summer School is suitable for ages 6 and older. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

Together with the dancers, the young performers play an important role in the creation of their own full length ballet which is performed on stage at the end of the week for family and friends to come and enjoy.

Ballet Ireland Summer School 2015

Young dancers taking part in the annual Ballet Ireland Summer School, July 2015. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved. Please do not reproduce without permission.

Novice and experienced dancers alike will learn loads about classical ballet and best of all you get to perform in a beautiful ballet at the end of the week in front of your family and friends. Suitable for ages 6+. Find out more here.

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Photo Gallery: Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards The Somme

July 1st 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, one of the bloodiest battles in human history. As part of the commemorations the Abbey Theatre present this major new production of Frank McGuinness’s classic war drama which tells the story of eight soldiers from Ulster and the terrible toil that war takes on them.

This iconic war play is a powerful portrayal of mortality, love and loss.

The play comes to An Grianán for two performances only – Fri 29 and Sat 30 July and is the major drama highlight of our 2016 season. There is local interest too as two of the cast are from Donegal – Sean McGinley and Letterkenny born actor Iarla McGowan, and of course Frank McGuinness is from Donegal.

The following images from the production are by photographer Johan Persson.

OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME

OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME,              , Writer -  FRANK MCGUINNESS, DIRECTED BY JEREMY HERRIN, Headlong, Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, UK, 2016, Credit: Johan Persson/

OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME

OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME

OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME

OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME

OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME

OBSERVE THE SONS OF ULSTER MARCHING TOWARDS THE SOMME

 

Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme is a co-production by the Abbey Theatre with Headlong, Citizens Theatre and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse. Co-presented by the Lyric Theatre.

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