Job Vacancy: Accounts Assistant (Maternity Cover)

UPDATE 30/11/15: this position has been filled.

An Grianán Theatre wishes to recruit an Accounts Assistant. This position is part time and is available for a six month period to provide cover for a Maternity Leave within the organisation. Cover is required from the beginning of January 2016 for a six month period.   This is a Part Time position- 2 to 3 days per week maximum.

•    A minimum of two years experience working in a similar office environment is required.
•    Knowledge and experience of computerised accounting software is also essential.
•    A working knowledge of Sage Accounting software is desirable.
•    Remuneration for the position is negotiable depending on experience.
•    Please apply in writing enclosing a CV and a cover letter outlining your suitability for the position.

Job Description


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

(a)    Operate the day to day accounts on Sage Computerised Accounts Package
(b)    Prepare Bank reconciliation
(c)    Prepare accounts for payment including artist payments.
(d)    Prepare daily lodgements of box office receipts and ancillary sales to bank.
(e)    Keep appropriate financial records for all the theatre’s activities including performances, workshops, classes and touring projects.
(f)    Deal with day to day correspondence and telephone enquiries
(g)    Negotiate favourable rates for all Theatre Purchases including stationery, office equipment, cleaning materials, consumable stock etc. and ordering plus stock control of same.
(h)    Carry out any other duties, which reasonably fall within the broad terms of the principal responsibilities.

Please apply to:

Patricia McBride
An Grianán Theatre
Port Road
Co Donegal
Application Deadline – Friday 13 November 2015.

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Brian Friel 1929-2015

[box style=”red” closable=”un-closable”]We welcome members of the public to come and sign the book of condolence. We will pass this on to Brian’s family. If you would like to sign it it please call in to the theatre’s box office.[/box]

We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Ireland’s greatest playwright and proud resident of Donegal, Brian Friel. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his wife Anne and their children and extended family and friends.

We will feel Brian’s loss very deeply.  He was a great friend and patron of An Grianán Theatre.  We admired his work and made it part of our brief to celebrate his close association with the theatre over the years. We took a special pride in producing his many works.  Our first An Grianán production was his play Translations which was part of our opening season in 1999. Since then we 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. We have also had productions and readings of many of other plays including Faith Healer and Molly Sweeney, Aristocrats and The Freedom of the City as well as lesser known works such as Volunteers and The Gentle Island.

Cast and crew celebrate the opening night of Translations at An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny with its playwright Brian Friel (third from left). November 1999

Cast and crew celebrate the opening night of Translations with its playwright Brian Friel (third from left). November 1999

We were delighted to have had the opportunity this summer with our other arts partners to initiate the first ever Brian Friel Festival, the Lughnasa International Friel Festival,  a unique festival based in both Donegal and Belfast celebrating his life and legacy.  We are so pleased that Brian was able to experience that and to know the high esteem in which we hold him.

Brian Friel with director of An Grianán Theatre, Patricia McBride, at the Donegal Person of the Year Awards in 2010.

Brian Friel with director of An Grianán Theatre, Patricia McBride, at the Donegal Person of the Year Awards in 2010.

We will treasure our memories of Brian and the generous support he gave the theatre and the happy nights he spent here in the company of the theatre staff and actors. He was an inspiration to us in our work and we are proud to have had his friendship. Thank you Brian for the beautiful legacy of work and for putting Donegal on the international stage. “Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”

Patricia McBride,
Director, An Griánan Theatre

* * * * * *

Paul Boyd was kind enough to share  this lovely story of a memorable encounter with Brian shortly after the theatre opened in 1999:

In 1999 I met Brian Friel at An Grianan Theatre. It was the theatre’s inaugural season, and “Translations” was the first in-house production (my “Alice The Musical” was to be its second a month or two later).

I sat next to Brian and his wife Anne at the opening night of “Translations” – we were all skulking at the very back row, in a kind of writers hide.

At one point, Brian stood up, and the brand new seat he was sitting on had such a hair-trigger tip-up that it just wasn’t there when he sat back down again. Anne and I had to discretely pick him up off the floor and much giggling ensued, which lead to our interval and post-show chats.

He was an incredibly gracious man and over the following years when we would be in the same venue at the same time (we shared many a season) he always made a point of saying hello and claimed to be aware of my most recent work; I have no idea if he did, or if he had just scanned the brochure minutes before, but either way it was always an honour and a pleasure to be in his company.

He was our greatest living playwright. Sitting next to him at a function felt akin to sitting next to Beckett or O’Casey – nothing less than an historic privilege.

He always looked exactly how you imagined he would, he spoke fondly of his beloved Donegal, which is possibly why he always looked so much at home at An Grianan, more so than at any other theatre at which I met him.

An Grianan (which has a soft spot in my own heart anyway) will always remind me of Friel. And I can still identify the offending seat in the back row that sent the “Irish Chekov” crashing to the floor that night in 1999. And as it happens, I’m very glad that it did.

Today both Ireland and the global theatre community lost a giant of a man.

Paul Boyd,  via Facebook


(Portrait of Brian Friel ‘Renouncing Chance’ by Colin Davidson, 2010 used by kind permission of the artist for our Rediscovering Friel project for the Earagail Arts Festival, July 2011).

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Exhibition Opening: Liz Doyle Wed 23 Sept 2015 at 7pm

We hope you can join us for the opening of our new exhibition by artist Liz Doyle.

‘From Kincasslagh to Kathmandu (via the Ceide Fields)’ features a wide collection of work created over the past two years, a period of extensive travel, exploration and experimentation for the artist.

The exhibition has its official opening at 7pm on Wed 23 September and light refreshments will be served. All are welcome to attend.

Exhibition opening on Wed 23 September in An Grianan Theatre of Liz Doyle's exhibition of new work 'From Kincasslagh to Kathmandu (via the Ceide Fields)'.

Exhibition opening on Wed 23 September in An Grianan Theatre of Liz Doyle’s exhibition of new work ‘From Kincasslagh to Kathmandu (via the Ceide Fields)’.

“I have to explore and experiment, scoring and scraping away the surface to discover what is hidden. I work with oil and wax and luscious layers of colour on panel, paper or canvas. Laying down and dissolving, rolling over and lifting. I am trying to create something of the experience of looking at our world. The chaos in Kathmandu, the stories of the hidden stones of the Ceide Fields in Mayo, the mussels clinging to the pink granite on the beaches in Donegal. And everywhere the weather and the reflection of the sky and our own brief lives’”

'From Kincasslagh to Kathmandu (via the Ceide Fields)' features a wide collection of work created over the past two years.

‘From Kincasslagh to Kathmandu (via the Ceide Fields)’ features a wide collection of work created over the past two years.

The official opening of the exhibition will be on Wed 23 Sept at 7pm and all are welcome to attend.

Find out more about Liz and her work at her website,

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Auditions: Saint Joan

AUDITIONS – WEDNESDAY 30th Sept & SATURDAY 3rd Oct 2015.

Auditions for SAINT JOAN by G.B. Shaw will take place on Wednesday 30th September at 7.30pm and Saturday 3rd October at 2.00pm in the Regional Cultural Centre.

The play will be performed in An Grianán Theatre in January 2016.

Each audition will take the form of a workshop (approx 90 mins).

This is an excellent opportunity for all actors across Donegal and the North-West to come and audition for a large cast in what promises to be a great production of a fantastic play. Celebrating existing and emerging talent.

For further information please visit or see their Facebook page

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Environment the Musical on RTE tonight.

Last May children from our youth theatre programme presented a new production of Annette McNelis’ litter awareness show Environment the Musical. Tonight RTE1’s Nationwide will present a special report on the show:

“We all share responsibility for protecting our environment, be it in the home recycling or by keeping our streets litter free. All over the country teams of volunteers in Tidy Town groups have the unenviable task of picking up other people’s litter. In Donegal the environmental cleanup is hitting all the right notes and it’s down to one lady who has come up with a novel idea to get litter in the bin. Mary Harte joined the young people of the “Mean, Green, Anti-Litter Machine”.

It will be broadcast at 7pm on RTE 1 and will also be available online on the RTE Player.

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Job Vacancies: Positions available on our Community Employment Scheme

We have the following positions available on An Grianán Theatre’s Community Employment scheme:

Housekeeping Assistant (job description)

Box Office Sales Assistant (job description)

Front Of House Assistant (job description) POSITION FILLED

Technical Assistant (job description)

NB: Please only apply if you meet the eligibility criteria below. You will not be considered for interview if you do not meet the eligibility requirements.

Eligibility Criteria for Participants

The criteria for participating on the Community Employment programme are based on age and length of time in receipt of various social welfare payments. In general, this opportunity is for people of 25 or over who are receiving social welfare payments for 1 year or more, and people of 18 years or over in receipt of disability-related payments.

Please note that eligibility to participate on the Community Employment programme is linked to those in receipt of an Irish social welfare payment (where specified). Those persons not meeting the criteria under the Part-time Integration or Part-time Job Options, or who are signing for credits, or are receiving social welfare benefits from a different country, are not eligible to participate on Community Employment.


To apply please send your CV and PPS number to:

Martina Murphy

Community Employment Supervisor

An Grianán Theatre

Port Rd


Co Donegal



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Casting Call: Fiesta Auditions

We are reviving our very successful production of Fiesta this autumn and will be holding auditions to recast three of the main roles as well as some chorus positions.

Date and time:

Thursday 13th August at 7pm in An Grianan Theatre

Main Cast
2 female
1 male

Plus chorus roles

Adults only roles available.

The performance dates are Wednesday 4 to Saturday 7 November 2015.

A sell out hit at the 2014 Earagail Arts Festival, Fiesta is a celebration of the dancers, the chancers and the lovers who graced the Fiesta Ballroom, Letterkenny – the famous dancehall venue that formed a hugely important part of the social history of Donegal and the wider North West region.

Fiesta was originally commissioned for the Earagail Arts Festival as a co-production with Earagail Arts Festival, An Grianán Theatre and Donegal County Council Arts Office and supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Failte Ireland and Donegal County Council.
IMPORTANTeMail with name and contact number if you are interested in auditioning.

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Ireland Celebrates Its Greatest Living Playwright With New Two-Part Festival

The inaugural Lughnasa International Friel Festival (LIFF) will take place between 20-31st August 2015, in celebration of Ireland’s greatest living playwright, Brian Friel. In what is to become the only cross-border annual cultural festival celebration, the LIFF festival, directed by Sean Doran, will feature an extensive multi-arts and multi-disciplinary programme of performances, talks, discussions, music, dance and food in both Donegal (20-23rd August) and Belfast (27-31st August).

Given our long association with the work of Brian Friel, we at An Grianán Theatre are very pleased to be a partner in this exciting new festival as our director Patricia McBride explains: “I am delighted to see the launch of the inaugural Friel Festival this August. An Grianán Theatre was supportive of the festival from the start and was instrumental in its development. We have enjoyed a very warm relationship with Brian Friel and have produced many of his plays since the theatre first opened and it is a pleasure to see the man and his work honoured in this way.  The Festival will make a wonderful addition to Donegal’s cultural calendar.”

At the heart of the programme every year will be a signature production of one of Friel’s key plays presented in both locations, and from which the themes and tone of the festival will be drawn. This year it will be Dancing At Lughnasa, and the Lyric Theatre Belfast will present a major new production which will premiere in  An Grianán on Thur 20 August and run for four days before transferring to the Lyric in Belfast.

Celebrating the life and work of Friel in the two places most important and most influential to his work, Donegal and Northern Ireland, the two-part festival will respectively be entitled ‘Donegal, Welcome to Friel Country’ and ‘Belfast, Here I Come!’. The physical landscape of these places will be an important element to the overall festival experience with programming in sites including community halls, a pier, a peace wall, an island, a bridge, schools and churches.

President Michael D Higgins said “It is entirely fitting that this festival is taking place on a cross-border basis, given (Brian) Friel’s experience of living north and south of the border. In a certain sense, Ballybeg is a metonym for the island of Ireland, if not the wider world – a literary device through which universal questions are addressed by examining the individual and the local.  I wish all those involved in this project every success.”

Ireland celebrates Brian Friel, its greatest living playwright with  new two-part festival:  the Lughnasa International Friel Festival (LIFF),  Donegal and Belfast August 2015.  Photo by Bobbie Hanvey.

Ireland celebrates Brian Friel, its greatest living playwright with new two-part festival: the Lughnasa International Friel Festival (LIFF), Donegal and Belfast August 2015. Photo by Bobbie Hanvey.

Donegal, Welcome to Friel Country

Starting on Thursday 20 August, the first chapter of the celebration will open with a journey across the Foyle estuary from Magilligan to Greencastle, Co Donegal, where Brian Friel lives, launching four days of unique events and performances that evoke the relationship between the writer and the place. These include an opening lecture given by Fintan O’Toole at The Guildhall Derry, the setting for Friel’s play, Freedom of the City introduced by Gary McKeone*.

Belfast, Here I Come

The festival then moves on to Belfast from 27 – 31 August, with celebrations, many of them free, including classical and traditional music, five open air stages for dancing, a harvest food festival, Belfast’s first ever kite flying festival and Amongst Women. Curated by Deputy Artistic Director, Liam Browne, Amongst Women is an all women talks programme featuring amongst many others, Shami Chakrabarti, Director, UK Liberty; Kamila Shamsie, Pakistani novelist and commentator; Kathy Lette, comedian and author; Mary Portas, retail guru; Ahdaf Soueif, Egyptian novelist and political and cultural commentator, and Sandi Toksvig, writer, presenter, comedian and politician.

“universal appeal”

President Bill Clinton, Founder of the Clinton Foundation & 42nd President of the United States who has quoted Friel in his speeches said “Friel’s work is an Irish treasure for the entire world. Although many of his plays are set in his small town of Ballybeg, the themes and issues explored in them—identity, family, and conflict—have a universal appeal. It is his extraordinary understanding of people, their motivations and their dreams, and their sense of themselves and others that keeps pulling us back to Friel again and again.”

During the festival, Queen’s University Belfast will launch the first Brian Friel Summer School in Redcastle, Inishowen, County Donegal from 24 – 26 August, providing opportunities for students to experience the work of the writer, right in the heart of ‘Friel Country’. Queen’s has the only theatre in the world named after Brian Friel.

Cast and crew celebrate the opening night of Translations at An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny with its playwright Brian Friel (third from left). November 1999

An Grianán Theatre has a long association with Brian Friel. Pictured is the cast and crew celebrating the opening night of An Grianán’s production of Translations with Brian Friel (third from left) in November 1999.

‘Donegal County Council is delighted to support and to work with the inaugural Lughnasa International Friel Festival to explore, interpret and celebrate the work of one Ireland’s finest living playwrights. A much-loved and valued member of our community, we are proud that he has made his home here. There is no better way to enjoy the plays of Friel than here among the townlands of Donegal, that have so inspired his writing.’  Mícheál Uas. ó hÉanaigh, Director of Service, Community, Culture and Planning Development, Donegal County Council.

Northern Ireland’s Culture Minister Carál Nί Chuilίn said; “It is fitting that one of Ireland’s greatest ever playwrights is being honoured with an annual festival and I congratulate Sean Doran on making this happen in an innovative and exciting manner.  Brian Friel’s rich storytelling prowess has enriched all our lives and I’m sure that this will be a festival that will do him proud.”

Commenting on the festival programme Brian Friel said, “If you want a festival that is tame and conventional and mildly entertaining don’t ask Sean Doran to organise it. Witness his Beckett Festival in Enniskillen – it is wild and imaginative and creative and riveting. I have total confidence he’ll do the same with the Friel Festival.”

Left to right: Miche Doherty, Conleth Hill, Ian McElhinney and Stuart Graham in Brian Friel's 'The Home Place at An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny. The Home Place was a co-production with the Lyric Theatre, Belfast and was the major drama highlight of our tenth anniversary celebrations. Jan/Feb 2009.Photo: Declan Doherty . All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Left to right: Miche Doherty, Conleth Hill, Ian McElhinney and Stuart Graham in Brian Friel’s ‘The Home Place at An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny in Jan 2009. The Home Place was a co-production with the Lyric Theatre, Belfast and was the major drama highlight of our tenth anniversary celebrations.  We are delighted to welcome the Lyric back this August with Dancing at Lughnasa. Photo: Declan Doherty. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Follow the festival happenings on Twitter @LughnasalntFF and on Facebook/lughnasainternationalfrielfestival using #LIFF2015


·         Tickets for ‘Donegal, Welcome to Friel Country’ Events

An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny. + 353 (0) 74 9120777.

·         Tickets for ‘Belfast, Here I Come!’ Events

Visit Belfast Welcome Centre, Belfast, + 44 (0) 28 90246609.


FUNDING SUPPORTERS : Donegal County Council, Tourism NI, DHA (Department of Heritage and the Arts ROI), DARD (Department of Agriculture and Rural Development NI), Arts Council Ireland, Arts Council Northern Ireland, An Grianan Theatre, Lyric Theatre Belfast.

*Brian Friel dedicated his last and final play ‘The Home Place’ to Gary McKeone.


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RIP Danny McGlinchey

We at An Grianan Theatre are sorry to hear of the passing of one of our greatest supporters, Danny McGlinchey. It’s fair to say that without Danny, and a few of his colleagues, An Grianán Theatre as it is today would not have happened. He was a leading member and fundraiser for the North West Theatre Project and continued to use his personal influence to enhance An Grianan’s funding after it was built. He was also the producer of many of the memorable Letterkenny Musical Society’s performances including the packed Jesus Christ Superstar in our first year. He was himself a fine storyteller and he had many a great tale to tell. We will miss him but know that his legacy, through the theatre and his family, lives on.

We would like to express our deepest sympathies to his family and many friends.

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Theatre makers! Dreamers of Dreams! Don’t miss Beyond the Pale.

Calling all makers and practitioners of theatre. The Earagail Arts Festival have invited a host of international and local makers of community theatre to Letterkenny for a weekend of workshops, talks and performances.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to meet like minded people and to explore fresh ways of working, make new connections and creative partnership.

You never know – this time next year it might be you performing at the festival!

While the majority of the events will be next door in the Regional Cultural Centre, we will be hosting performances by some of the speakers and participants.

Little John Nee & The Highly Strung Orchestra at An Grianan Theatre Letterkenny July 2015 Earagail Arts Festival. Music. Comedy. Storytelling.

Little John Nee & The Highly Strung Orchestra at An Grianan Theatre Letterkenny July 2015 Earagail Arts Festival. Music. Comedy. Storytelling.

Little John Nee and his Highly Strung Orchestra will present an evening of music, story and comedy inspired by their crowd funded album Songs from the Lough Swilly Delta on Sat 18 July.

Little John Nee will also be one of the speakers at Meet the Makers – Local Theatre for Local People: The Donegal Experience on Sun 19 July at 2.30pm in the RCC, a talk which will also feature An Grianán Theatre, Guy Le Jeune who is the author of community theatre productions Fiesta and On the Camel’s Hump,  LUXe are a local theatre company which specialises in big outdoor visually spectacular theatre. The line up is completed by newcomers Bread and Roses who are presented their first production, Dario Fo’s Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay, as part of this year’s festival.

Actor Declan Gorman will be doing a couple workshops over the weekend in the RCC before presenting his acclaimed one man show The Dubliners’ Dilemma with us on Sun 19 July. The play recounts the behind the scenes drama of  attempting to publish James Joyce’s remarkable first book The Dubliners.

Dario Fo's political comedy farce Can't Pay Won't Pay. Bread and Roses Theatre Company, An Grianan Theatre, Earagail Arts Festival, July 2015. Theatre. Comedy. Letterkenny.

Dario Fo’s political comedy farce Can’t Pay Won’t Pay. Bread and Roses Theatre Company, An Grianan Theatre, Earagail Arts Festival, July 2015. Theatre. Comedy. Letterkenny.

And if you fancy a laugh then come see Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay. Bread and Roses might be new but the talent behind this new venture are all hugely experienced local theatre practioners. Find out more about the production here.

Beyond The Pale – Meet the Makers Symposium, 17 to 19 July, Letterkenny ~View the event flyer here.

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