Musically On Cue Production Week notes

A reminder to our drama students of this week’s Production Week Timetable for Musically On Cue:

Wednesday 15th June
4pm @ An Grianan Theatre
Technical Rehearsal:  This final rehearsal is one of the most important for best Sound & Lighting, Props, Costume, and the first time the cast will see their set.    We aim to let mini stars away by 6.30pm all other groups will remain till 7.30pm.
Thursday 16th June
5pm @ An Grianan Theatre.
Doors open at 7.15pm. Show starts at 7.30pm

Please send children with a healthy snack as they will be quite a long time in their dressing rooms.

NB: On Cue Academy will also be holding an After Party on the following dates.
Letterkenny Pinehill Studios 24th June at 4pm – 6.30pm
The Workhouse Dunfanaghy 28th June at 4pm – 6.30pm

An Grianan Students are welcome to attend either After Party but please bring €8 as the party has already been included in the On Cue students course fees.

For details contact: oncueperformingarts @ gmail .com.

Enjoy the show!

Read more

NOTIFICATION: Temporary Closing of Roads Sat 11 June 2016



Notice is hereby given that Donegal County Council has made an Order closing the L1004 Upper Port Road / Ramelton Road from the junction with Station Roundabout to the Courthouse junction for the following period: 11.00am to 2.00pm on Saturday, 11th June 2016, for the purpose of facilitating a Presidential visit to An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.

Alternative Routes:

Traffic approaching the Station Roundabout travelling to the Main Street Area should divert via Pearse Road and Justice Walsh Road.

Traffic approaching from Oldtown Road travelling to the Main Street Area should divert via Oliver Plunket Road or Justice Walsh Road.

Additional Traffic Management plans and diversions will be in operation throughout Letterkenny to facilitate safe access on the day.

John G. McLaughlin
Director of Service
Donegal County Council

Read more

The Birthday Party: Meet the cast

Presented by London Classic Theatre, this production marks The Birthday Party’s first significant touring revival of the twenty-first century. Director Michael Cabot has assembled an excellent cast including West End veteran Cheryl Kennedy and Northern Irish actor Declan Rodgers.

Jonathan Ashley plays Goldberg. For the company, he has appeared in Waiting for Godot, Entertaining Mr Sloane, The Importance of Being Earnest and The Double Inconstancy. His other theatre credits include The Tempest and Hansel and Gretel (Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds), Abigail’s Party, Arsenic and Old Lace, Dick Barton and the Secret of the Pharoah’s Tomb, One for the Pot, Ladies in Retirement, Hay Fever and Salad Days (Southwold Summer Theatre), The Hooligan Clown (Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith), Scapin’s Tricks and The Winter’s Tale (Wimbledon Studio Theatre), Waiting for Godot and The Dumb Waiter (Albany Empire) and Landscape (Finborough Theatre).

The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett. Gareth Bennett-Ryan as Stanley.

The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett. Gareth Bennett-Ryan as Stanley.

Gareth Bennett-Ryan plays Stanley. His theatre credits include The History Boys, Macbeth (Mercury Colchester), Farm Boy (New Perspectives), As You Like It, Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe), Generation of Z Apocalypse (Royale Productions), Much Ado About Nothing, Antony and Cleopatra (Cambridge Shakespeare Festival), Dick Whittington, Mother Goose (Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds), The Mermaids Curse (SKiP), The Shoemakers Holiday (The Rose) and NewsRevue (2008 Season tour) For television, he has appeared in Shakespeare Uncovered, Word on the Street (BBC), Arthur & Merlin (Movieworks), Woodfalls (Tales from the Motherland), Mercenaries (ABC), 7th Soldier, From This Day (Fireinthehole Productions), Wounded (Bigview Films), Dead Unicorns (Luxurious Dread).

1. The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett. Gareth Bennett-Ryan as Stanley, Cheryl Kennedy as Meg.

The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett. Gareth Bennett-Ryan as Stanley, Cheryl Kennedy as Meg.

Cheryl Kennedy plays Meg. She has appeared in many West End shows such as the 1967 revival of The Boy Friend,  ‘Victoria’ in Half a Sixpence where she starred alongside Tommy Steele at the Cambridge Theatre, ‘Winnie’ in The Matchgirls, ‘Belinda’ in Jorrocks at the New Theatre and Alan Ayckbourn’s Absent Friends at the Garrick Theatre. In 1977 she appeared as Maggie in Teeth ‘n’ Smiles at the Oxford Playhouse. She starred alongside Michael Crawford in a production of Flowers for Algernon at the Queen’s Theatre and features on the original London cast recording of the show. Other theatre credits include 1776 (New Theatre), Time and Time Again (West End), Absent Friends (Garrick Theatre),  The Mousetrap (St Martins Theatre), My Fair Lady (US tour), First Impressions, You Never Can Tell, Brand,  Time and the Conways, Mrs Warren’s Profession, Moll Flanders, Great Expectations, How the Other Half Loves, Man of the Moment, Heartbreak House and Season’s Greetings (all UK tours). Cheryl’s TV credits include The Sweeney, The Professionals, What Every Woman Knows and Brookside.

The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett. Ged McKenna as Petey.

The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett. Ged McKenna as Petey.

Ged McKenna plays Petey. His theatre work includes A Skull in Connemara (Nottingham Playhouse), Inherit The Wind, Kes, Toad of Toad Hall, Big Maggie, Second From Last in The Sack Race, Translations, Cleo Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick (New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-under-Lyme), Much Ado About Nothing, Hercules (Chester), Hysteria (English Theatre of Frankfurt), Faith Healer (Library Theatre, Manchester), To Kill A Mockingbird, Wuthering Heights (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Katherine De Souza, Forward (Birmingham Rep), The Lonesome West (Hull Truck), Strangers On A Train, Ghosts, Sailor Beware! (Theatre by the Lake, Keswick), Iron (Traverse, Edinburgh/Royal Court, London), The Farmer’s Bride by Ged McKenna (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough/Tour), The Tempest, Desire Under The Elms (Shared Experience), Macbeth (Cheek By Jowl) and Yard (Bush). His film credits include Shirley Valentine and Awaydays.

The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett. Declan Rodgers as McCann, Jonathan Ashley as Goldberg.

The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett. Declan Rodgers as McCann, Jonathan Ashley as Goldberg.

Declan Rodgers plays McCann. A native of Dundrum, Co Down, Declan trained at LAMDA. His theatre credits include I’m With The Band (Traverse Theatre & UK Tour), Can’t Forget About You (Lyric Theatre), Shoot The Crow (Trafalgar Studios), Carousel (Bush), Service (Nilon Productions/Theatre 503), Hope Dies Last (Arcola Theatre) and City (Encounter Productions). Television credits include Six Degrees and In Cold Blood (both BBC). His film credits include Shooting for Socrates (New Black Films), You Looking At Me? (Besom/Channel 4) and The Minnits of Annabeg (Krown Films).

The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett. Imogen Wilde as Lulu.

The Birthday Party. Photo by Sheila Burnett. Imogen Wilde as Lulu.

Imogen Wilde plays Lulu. She finished her training at Drama Studio in 2015. Since then she acted in Scrooge (Bill Kenwright Productions), Punk Rock (D&M Productions), Puss in Boots and White Feathers (Bread & Roses).

London Classic Theatre present
The Birthday Party
Thursday 26 May at 8pm
Book now!



Read more

La Bohéme: A Closer Look

Ahead of Opera Theatre Company’s production of La Bohéme at the end of the month, here’s a gallery of images from the opera to appeal to all you Romantic bohemians.

Set in 1930s Paris, a chance encounter in a freezing attic results in a red-hot affair between penniless poet Rodolfo and innocent seamstress Mimi. But will their love be strong enough to survive against the odds?

One of the most popular operas ever, Puccini’s memorable score, with ravishing music and thrilling arias, will enchant audiences of all ages, and this timeless classic promises a breathtaking and emotional experience.

Opera Theatre Company present La Boheme May 2016.

Acclaimed Irish soprano Máire Flavin makes her role debut as Mimi in this production. A former OTC Young Associate Artist, Máire has also appeared with Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera and Glyndebourne and is a regular soloist with RTÉ NSO.

The role of Rodolfo is sung by Argentinian tenor Pablo Bemsch, who is a regular performer at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and has also performed at Zürich Opera House and Opera de San Juan, Argentina. Pablo studied at Musikhochschule Stuttgart and was a member the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme and also a member of Zürich Opera Studio.

Opera Theatre Company present La Boheme May 2016.

La Boheme also stars Sinead Campbell-Wallace (Musetta), Charles Rice (Marcello), Padraic Rowan (Colline) and Rory Musgrave (Schaunard), together with a professional chorus of twelve and a thirteen member chamber orchestra conducted  by Andrew Greenwood.

La Bohème will be sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Opera Theatre Company present La Boheme May 2016.


Opera Theatre Company present La Boheme May 2016.


Opera Theatre Company present La Boheme May 2016.


Opera Theatre Company present La Boheme May 2016.


La bohème preview from Opera Theatre Company on Vimeo.

Opera Theatre Company present
La Bohéme
Wed 25 May at 8pm
Book now!

Read more

Local drama and musical societies

If you are interesting in acting and performing and want to get involved with the local performing arts scene here are some of the companies who perform regularly at An Grianán. Keep an eye out on their social media channels and local media for news on auditions, classes and workshops.

DMEP (Donegal Music Education Partnership)

The DMEP offer instrumental/vocal tuition in all genres of music (classical, jazz, traditional, rock/pop) at reasonable rates to children and young adults. They have a number of different performing ensembles including the Donegal Chamber Orchestra, the Donegal Youth Orchestra, the Errigal Groove Orchestra and the Errigal Singers. Their annual family Christmas concert in.a well loved fixture in our festive schedule.

Web | Facebook

Letterkenny Music and Drama Group

Cast and crew of the Letterkenny Music and Drama Group's production of The 39 Steps in 2015.

Cast and crew of the Letterkenny Music and Drama Group’s production of The 39 Steps in 2015.

One of Donegal’s most successful and prolific producers of theatre, they produce both musicals and dramas. Recent successes have include the multi award winning comedy The 39 Steps, Calendar Girls and Sister Act. They are also involved with the Letterkenny One Act Festival.

 | Facebook | 

Letterkenny Musical Society

Letterkenny Musical Society's The Mikado, spring 2008. Photo by Paul McGuckin.

Letterkenny Musical Society’s The Mikado, spring 2008. Photo by Paul McGuckin.

Produce one musical a year, always to an exceptionally high standard – usually end of February or beginning of March.

Facebook |

Letterkenny Pantomime Society

The Letterkenny Pantomime Society present a panto every January at An Grianan. They take well loved fairytale classics and give them a local spin.


Lifford Players

The Lifford Players in their 2016 production of Tom Murphy's A Crucial Week in the Life of a Grocer's Assistant

The Lifford Players in their 2016 production of Tom Murphy’s A Crucial Week in the Life of a Grocer’s Assistant

One of the country’s oldest and most respected amateur theatre companies. Founded in the 1950s. Recent shows are Tom Murphy’s A Crucial Week in the Life of a Grocer’s Assistant and comedy ‘Allo, ‘Allo.

Facebook | Twitter

On Cue Academy

Founded by Nora Kavanagh, On Cue offer classes in musical theatre and drama for children. They normally hold a showcase performance in June.


ZoNa Dance Co

Founded by Jessica Peoples, ZoNa Dance offer high quality training in classical ballet and dance. They normally present a showcase once a year, usually in May.

Web | Facebook

Read more

Father McDyer drama returns

Tour: Wed 18 May Letterkenny, Thur 19 May Roscommon, Fri 20 May Carndonagh, Sat 21 May Kilcar.

There’s a second chance to see drama I Would Walk These Fields Again as it embarks on a mini tour this May as part of the Bealtaine Festival. Produced by An Grianán Theatre in association with the Donegal County Council, I Would These Fields Again is a celebration of the life of well known Donegal native Father James McDyer – his life, his work and his legacy.

John D Ruddy and Louise Conaghan in I Would Walk These Fields Again, a play by Guy Le Jeune about Father McDyer of Glencolmcille, An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny

John D Ruddy and Louise Conaghan in I Would Walk These Fields Again, a play by Guy Le Jeune about Father McDyer of Glencolmcille.

Starring John D Ruddy and Louise Conaghan, the play was well received by local audiences when it debuted last year. There will be four performances – starting at An Grianán Theatre on Wednesday 18 May, Roscommon Arts Centre on Thursday 19, Colgan Hall in Carndonagh on Friday 20 and Kilcar Parish Hall on Saturday 21 May.

Father McDyer was a man of great energy, humour and conviction, qualities which are captured in this drama by Guy Le Jeune.

Born in Glenties in 1910, Father McDyer was ordained in Maynooth. He spent ten years in London during the Second World War where he tended to the needs of the emigrant Irish population. He returned to Ireland, spending four years on Tory Island before being sent to the parish of Glencolmcille in South-West Donegal, in 1951. From then until his death in 1987 he worked tirelessly against what he termed “the curse of emigration”.

I Would Walk These Fields Again, a play by Guy Le Jeune about Father McDyer of Glencolmcille, An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny

He encouraged new enterprises, set up a cooperative, persuaded government ministers and their departments to support his ideas and inspired the community to help themselves, rather than rely on handouts from the State. In his own words, he described himself as a “Christian Communist”, taking his inspiration from the political turmoil and radical ideas of the early twentieth century.

2015 Fr James Play - 214

Writer Guy Le Jeune is Theatre-Artist-in-Residence at An Grianán Theatre, supported by the Donegal County Council and the Arts Council. His previous plays for An Grianán include On The Camel’s Hump and Fiesta. He is currently writing a new musical, Unified, which will be the feature event of this summer’s Earagail Arts Festival.

Tour Dates

An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny
Wednesday 18 May at 8pm Box Office 074 912 0777

Roscommon Arts Centre
Thursday 19 May at 8pm Box Office 090 66 25 824 

Colgan Hall, Carndonagh
Friday 20 May at 8pm Tickets available on the door.

Halla ná Paróiste, Cill Chartha/Kilcar Parish Hall
Satharn 21ú Bealtaine/Saturday 21 May at 8.30pm Tickets available on the door.

Read more

Auditions for Unified the Musical

This summer we will be co-producing a new show with the Earagail Arts Festival called Unified the Musical. Inspired by stories from the factory floor, Unified will be a colourful show with live music, singing and a large cast.


Date: Sat 21 May
Venue: Regional Cultural Centre
Times: 11am to 1pm OR 2 to 4pm

Unified the Musical – Performance dates: Thur 21 to Sat 23 July (with an option to extend to Sunday 24)

Rehearsal Schedule: to be finalised but we would envision Saturdays and possibly one weekday evening with a more intensive rehearsal period in the run up to the show.

We are looking for adults, across a range of ages, male and female (must be 16+).

We will be holding workshop style auditions with the show’s director David Grant, music director Fionn Robinson and choreographer Aoife Toner.

Please prepare a song to give us an idea of your voice. Don’t worry if you are not a confident singer as we need chorus singers too.

IMPORTANT: If you would like to audition please call our box office on 074 912 0777 in advance to reserve a place as space is limited.

About Unified the Musical

Before Pramerica, Boston Scientific and Zeus came to Donegal there was Courtaulds-Lirelle which became UNIFI Textured Yarns, Europe Ltd. UNIFI was part of a textile industry that stretched across the North-West. Fruit of the Loom in Buncrana and Derry, Adria and O’Neills in Strabane, the shirt factories and the nylon spinners.

A million, million miles of yarn and thousands of people passed through the doors of these plants. For over thirty years, UNIFI in Letterkenny was the town’s major employer, in a time of rapid social change. Every department was a tribe and every shift had its own personality. Lives were changed, skills learned, friendships formed, partners met, and families reared on the wages.

We are going to take all those personal stories and wrap them up in one big rip-roaring, all-singing extravaganza.

UNIFIED the Musical is written by the creator of Fiesta, Guy Le Jeune; with original music written by Fionn Robinson and choreography devised by Aoife Toner. The production will be directed by An Grianán’s long-term collaborator, David Grant.

David Grant’s previous work with An Grianán includes a touring production of Frank Pig Says Hello, play readings of The Gentle Island and most recently Beneath an Irish Sky, and community theatre productions A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The O’Neill).


Read more

Pack up your Troubles – it’s time for the History of the Peace

A cross-community bus run to Donegal, a newly formed Protestant flute band and the Iris Robinson scandal are just some of the incidents audiences can expect to see in comedy play The History of the Peace (Accordin’ to My Ma) which comes to An Grianán Theatre this May.

This is the follow up to the wildly successful comedy The History of the Troubles (accordin’ to my Da) and reunites Martin Lynch and comedy duo Conor Grimes and Alan McKee once again for another slice of riots, protests, bombs and the peace process. The History of the Troubles has, according to Lynch, been seen by 150,000 people since its original run and the many re-runs including several visits to An Grianán and now the team are hoping for similar success The History of the Peace.

The History of the Peace starring Grimes & McKee, at An Grianan Theatre Letterkenny May 2016

The play revolves around Karen Reid (Maria Connolly), a Belfast community worker struggling to keep house and family together in the face of Northern Ireland’s unique form of peace. Through the 1994 ceasefires, the Good Friday Agreement, the Chuckle Brothers McGuinness and Paisley and the ‘fleg’ protests, she fervently believes in a new Northern Ireland.

Thankfully, Karen has the ‘total support’ of her loyal band of friends such as Fireball – now working in Roselawn Crematorium with his cousin Firebell – her dingbat best friend, Stacy (Tara Lynne O’Neill), incompetent flute band leader, Roberto, Pineapple the paramilitary, Claire, the secret lesbian, Aaron, the serial ‘fleg’ protester and many, many more.

While the History of the Troubles was set in west Belfast and looked at the Troubles from the perspective of the Catholic community, this new play, which is set 14 years later, takes place in the east of the city and tells the story of the working class Protestant community after the 1994 ceasefire up to present day.

As Lynch explains: “I think you can say that from 1921 to 1969 the Catholic community were treated, or felt that they were treated, like second-class citizens. If you look at the Troubles from 1969-1994, it was the Catholics who were acting out about their dissatisfaction. But since 1994 there’s a kind of feeling in the Protestant working class community that they have become underrepresented and ignored. And so this play hopefully will provide a voice for that as well.”

Martin Lynch and GBL Productions present
The History of the Peace (accordin’ to My Ma)
Sat 7 May 2016 at 8pm
Tickets: €20/€15 BOOK NOW!

Read more

Olivier Award winning production heading to An Grianán Theatre!

We are delighted for Pat Kinevane and our friends at Fishamble who won an Olivier Award for their show Silent at last night’s awards ceremony in London. And even better news is that you can see Silent for yourself in just a few short weeks as we will have it here on Thursday 28 April!

Silent tells the story of Tino McGoldrig, a man from the small Irish town of Cobh but living in Dublin, who is named for silent movie star Rudolph Valentino (‘Rudolph would have been a disaster in Cobh’). He is a homeless man who shares his story with passersby, describes the footwear of the pedestrians, and dances with a blanket representing his wife, fondly remembering their ballroom-dancing championships.

Juliet Stephenson with Fishamble director Jim Culleton and performer Pat Kinevane at the Olivier Awards, 3 April 2016 (Photo from Fishamble's Facebook).

“We’re gonna take Larry back to Dublin for a bit of a party!” Juliet Stephenson with Fishamble director Jim Culleton and performer Pat Kinevane at the Olivier Awards, 3 April 2016 (Photo from Fishamble’s Facebook).

Challenging and provocative, funny and moving, physical and inventive, Silent showcases Pat Kinevane’s wicked sense of humour and highly theatrical imagination while simultaneously avoiding the pitfalls of becoming too worthy about the difficult topics of homelessness and mental health and the reluctance we have to talk about such issues.

Little John Nee, another renowned solo performer, earlier picked out Silent as his highlight of An Grianán’s current season: “To put it very simply Pat Kinevane is one of my favourite writers and performers on the whole planet, I come away from his shows simultaneously entertained, inspired and humbled and the world is always a richer place as I travel home; only great theatre can do that; it’s rare, don’t miss it!”

Pat Kinevane in his award winning show Silent. See it at An Grianán Theatre on Thursday 28 April 2016.

An Grianán Theatre’s director Patricia McBride had wanted to bring Silent to Letterkenny for some time now but owing to its globe trotting success finding a date in the schedule was difficult. “We’ve hosted quite a few Fishamble shows and they are all quality theatre productions – last year’s ballroom dancing comedy Swing, Colin Murphy’s docu-drama Guaranteed!, Sonya Kelly’s wonderful comedy The Wheelchair on my Face and Sebastian Barry’s The Pride of Parnell Street – and they always go down well with our audiences. We had been hearing amazing things about Silent since its debut back in 2011 so we’re delighted to have it as one of the highlights of our Spring drama programme. And of course we are thrilled for Pat Kinevane and all our friends at Fishamble on winning an Olivier Award. It’s always great to see Irish Theatre performing so well on the international stage and how lucky are we to be able to present it right here in Letterkenny.”

Silent was awarded the Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre following its run at London’s Soho Theatre last year. Founded in 1976, the Olivier Awards have become British Theatre’s most sought after award and are globally recognised as a mark of theatrical greatness.

Fishamble: The New Play Company present
Silent by Pat Kinevane
Thursday 28 April 2016 at 8pm.
Tickets; €16/€12 BOOK NOW!

Read more

The Cripple of Inishmaan: A Closer Look

A big Hollywood production is coming…no, not Star Wars – this is the storyline to Martin McDonagh’s brilliant comedy drama The Cripple of Inishmaan which comes to An Grianán Theatre on Sat 9 April.

Set in 1934, on the remote island of Inishmaan off the west coast of Ireland, there is great excitement when news arrives that a Hollywood film is being made on the neighbouring island of Inishmore. The one person who wants to be in the film more than anybody is young Cripple Billy, if only to break away from the bitter tedium of his daily life.

The Cripple Of Inishmaan examines an ordinary coming of age in extraordinary circumstances and shows once more that playwright Martin McDonagh is master of the deepest, darkest and most powerful humour.

Bardic Theatre present Martin McDonagh's The Cripple of Inishmaan, April 2016 An Grianan Theatre

First produced in 1996, The Cripple of Inishmaan quickly became a modern Irish classic and was previously presented at An Grianán by Druid Theatre with Aaron Monaghan as Cripple Billy. More recently it enjoyed West End and Broadway success with Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe as Billy.

Like The Pillowman, another McDonagh hit which will be coming to An Grianán in the autumn, The Cripple of Inishmaan is a play about stories and storytelling. An acknowledged comic masterpiece, it is full of wonderful dialogue, memorable characters, and many surprises that will keep audiences in suspense to the end.

Bardic Theatre present Martin McDonagh's The Cripple of Inishmaan, April 2016 An Grianan Theatre

Born in London, to Irish parents, Martin McDonagh has achieved considerable acclaim as a playwright, screenwriter and film director. His films include the Oscar winning short Six Shooter and the BAFTA winning, Oscar nominated comedy In Bruges. His most famous play is The Beauty Queen of Leenane, a multi-Tony award winning hit which was part of the renowned Leenane Trilogy with A Skull in Connemara and The Lonesome West.

Bardic Theatre present Martin McDonagh's The Cripple of Inishmaan, April 2016 An Grianan Theatre

This production comes from Northern Irish company Bardic Theatre who are making their first visit to An Grianán. Over the last 30 years, Bardic Theatre has become widely recognised as a professional community theatre, not only for its top quality professional productions which have nurtured a ream of household theatre & show-biz names, but mostly for its ground-breaking community impact in Mid Ulster.

The Cripple of Inishmaan
Saturday 9 April at 8pm
Tickets: €15/€12 Book now!

Read more