News

COVID-19 | Coronavirus

Coronavirus Covid 19 update
An Grianán Theatre is monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19 and will continue to do so. We will follow the advice and direction of relevant authorities in all matters of public safety.

All events are currently scheduled to proceed, unless otherwise notified.

For more information and updates,
see www.hse.ie
and
www.gov.ie/health-covid-19

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Letterkenny’s New Cultural District: Have your say

Urban realm project to create Cultural District for Letterkenny

Letterkenny Cultural District

An architectural installation which will bring arts and culture onto the street is set to improve Letterkenny’s pedestrian connections in 2020. The new ‘cultural district’ will open up previously underutilised land to connect High Road and Port Road as part of the Irish Architecture Foundation’s Reimagine… project to enhance the local built environment of six towns across Ireland.

Led by Rathmullan-based Architects Pasparakis Friel, the IAF-commissioned Reimagine Letterkenny project will improve connections between The Donegal County Museum, An Grianán Theatre and The Regional Cultural Centre, with completion of phase one on schedule for May 2020.

Fidget Feet aerialists perform at the launch of the 2014 Earagail Arts Festival at An Grianán Theatre.

Spectators enjoying an outdoor aerial dance performance by Fidget Feet at An Grianán Theatre.

The architectural studio is working closely with the local community and Donegal County Council to develop a concept which they hope ‘will act as a catalyst for the growth of culture and arts in the wider region’.

Ronan Friel of Pasparakis Friel said: “A key component of our proposal is the adoption of the gables of existing buildings as ‘canvasses’ which will guide you through the Letterkenny Cultural District whilst celebrating and showcasing works of art and culture. The new Cultural  District destination holds immense potential for arts and culture in Letterkenny and the wider region. Our studio is excited about driving forward such an ambitious project.”

Commenting on the Donegal project, Nathalie Weadick, Director of the IAF, said: “We’re delighted to have architects Pasparakis Friel working with the local community in Letterkenny to develop an architectural solution which will better connect the town’s new Cultural District.

“This project will open up physical connections between Letterkenny’s cultural hubs. It’s an exciting opportunity for the local community to have their voices heard and to work with the architects to create an exciting new space in their town.”

Have your say

The public are invited to attend either of the following workshops to give their views and collaborate with the team in developing ideas for the project:

  • Wednesday 18th March 7.30pm-9.00pm at The Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny
  • Saturday 21st March 2.00pm-4.00pm at The Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny

You can also fill in the online survey here

For more information:

https://www.facebook.com/LKCD-Letterkenny-Cultural-District-102305154719376/

The ‘Reimagine…’ project is supported by the Creative Ireland Programme’s National Creativity Fund.
For further information on Reimagine…, visit: https://architecturefoundation.ie/news/reimagine/.

About the IAF

Established in 2005, the IAF is an independent organisation dedicated to the promotion of architecture as culture. The IAF seeks to champion the power of architecture to transform lives and improve the places where we live, learn, work and play. For further information on the IAF, visit: https://architecturefoundation.ie.

Follow the IAF on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

About the Creative Ireland Programme

The Creative Ireland Programme is guided by a vision that every person in Ireland will have the opportunity to realise their full crea ve potential. It is an all-of-government initiative, from 2017 to 2022, to place creativity at the centre of public policy. Further information is available here: https://www.creativeireland.gov.ie/en

The National Creativity Fund enables the Creative Ireland Programme to activate, enable and support genuinely ground-breaking and innovative initiatives, research projects and community programmes, which have creativity and wellbeing at their centre. Through a series of strategic partnerships with cultural organisations, education and academic institutions and healthcare specialists, the selected projects are ambitious, innovative and inclusive and will help inform and implement the vision of the Creative Ireland Programme right across Government. Over €1.2m will have been invested in the 30 initiatives over the duration of the Fund in 2018 and 2019.

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John Grant at the Earagail Arts Festival

This week we can announce another fantastic act for this year’s Earagail Arts Festival, acclaimed singer/songwriter John Grant.

Presented by Earagail Arts Festival in association with Paradigm, John Grant will close this year’s Donegal International Folk & Roots Weekend during the festival.

Grant will perform solo playing songs from across his celebrated career in a rare stripped–back live show at An Grianán Theatre on Sunday, 19th July at 8pm.

A former member of the Denver-based alternative rock band The Czars, the American singer songwriter embarked on a solo career in 2010 with his debut solo album (Queen of Denmark) being named Best Album of the Year by Mojo.

With his fourth solo album Love Is Magic, Grant continues to evolve, creating his most electronic record yet, in collaboration with Benge (Ben Edwards), analogue synth expert/collector and a member of electronic trio Wrangler, Grant’s collaborators earlier this year under the collective name of Creep Show on the album Mr Dynamite.

Tickets go on sale at 10am on Fri 28 February. Booking info here.

Grant joins hit musical Good Vibrations as part of a very strong programme for this year’s festival. More events to be announced.

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Good Vibrations is coming to An Grianán & Earagail!

We are thrilled to announce that we’ll be presenting the Lyric Theatre’s hit stage musical version of Good Vibrations as part of July’s Earagail Arts Festival.

“New York has the haircuts, London has the trousers, but Belfast has the reason!”

★★★★ ‘The full-throated spirit of punk is alive and roaring in the auditorium.’ The Irish Times

Good Vibrations tells the story of Terri Hooley, a radical, rebel and music-lover in 1970s Belfast. When the conflict shuts down his city, and all his friends take sides and take up arms, Terri opens a record shop on ‘the most bombed half-mile in Europe’ and calls it Good Vibrations. Through it he discovers a compelling voice of resistance in the city’s underground punk scene. Galvanising the young musicians into action, he becomes the unlikely leader of a motley band of kids and punks who join him in his mission to create a new community, an alternative Ulster, and to bring his city back to life.

‘Good Vibrations is as intense and big-hearted as Terri Hooley himself.’ The Irish News

It has been adapted for the stage by the same writing team behind the film biopic – Colin Carberry and Glenn Patterson – for which the pair were nominated for Outstanding Debut at the 2014 BAFTA Film awards.

Please note this performance contains strong language and some references to violence. Age recommendation 15+

Thurs 23rd July at 8pm
Fri 24th July at 8pm
Sat 25th July at 8pm
Sun 26th July at 3pm

Evenings: €25, 4 for €90, groups of 10 or more €20 each.

Matinee: €20, 4 for €70, groups of 10 or more €15 each.

Book now!

★★★★★ ‘Sometimes you watch a piece of theatre and you just know you are witnessing something special, something everyone should see, and Good Vibrations is just that. A show good for the soul.’ Belfast Live

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Hansel and Gretel: Take a closer look

Hansel and Gretel opened its national tour at the Abbey Theatre on 8 February, a tour which will conclude here at An Grianán on Saturday 7 March.

As you would expect from our national opera company this is a gorgeous production with very high production values as you can see from these images taken by Patrick Redmond. Set & Costume Design is by Jamie Vartan, and lighting is by Sarah-Jane Shiels.

Hansel and Gretel is a co-production by Irish National Opera, Theatre Lovett and Abbey Theatre.

L-R: Raymond Keane (The Night Watchman), Raphaela Mangan (Hansel), Miriam Murphy (Mother), Ben McAteer (Father). Photo by Patrick Redmond.

L-R: Raymond Keane (The Night Watchman), Raphaela Mangan (Hansel), Miriam Murphy (Mother), Ben McAteer (Father). Photo by Patrick Redmond.

L-R: Conductor Richard Peirson (at piano), Amelie Metcalfe and Ronan Millar (Yellow Coats, The Lost Children), Raymond Keane (The Night Watchman). Photo by Patrick Redmond.

L-R: Conductor Richard Peirson (at piano), Amelie Metcalfe and Ronan Millar (Yellow Coats, The Lost Children), Raymond Keane (The Night Watchman). Photo by Patrick Redmond.

L-R: Conductor Richard Peirson (at piano), Raphaela Mangan (Hansel) and Amy Ní Fhearraigh (Gretel), and Raymond Keane (The Night Watchman). Photo by Patrick Redmond.

L-R: Conductor Richard Peirson (at piano), Raphaela Mangan (Hansel) and Amy Ní Fhearraigh (Gretel), and Raymond Keane (The Night Watchman). Photo by Patrick Redmond.

L-R: Amy Ní Fhearraigh (Gretel) and Raphaela Mangan (Hansel). Photo by Patrick Redmond

L-R: Amy Ní Fhearraigh (Gretel) and Raphaela Mangan (Hansel). Photo by Patrick Redmond

Carolyn Dobbin (Witch. Photo by Patrick Redmond.

Carolyn Dobbin (Witch. Photo by Patrick Redmond.

L-R: Conductor Richard Peirson (at piano), Raphaela Mangan (Hansel, above in cage) Carolyn Dobbin (Witch, in white), Amy Ní Fhearraigh (Gretel), and Raymond Keane (The Night Watchman). Photo by Patrick Redmond.

L-R: Conductor Richard Peirson (at piano), Raphaela Mangan (Hansel, above in cage) Carolyn Dobbin (Witch, in white), Amy Ní Fhearraigh (Gretel), and Raymond Keane (The Night Watchman). Photo by Patrick Redmond.

L-R_-Conductor-Richard-Peirson-(at-piano),-Carolyn-Dobbin-(Witch,-in-cage),--Raphaela-Mangan-(Hansel,-above-on-balcony),-Amy-Ní-Fhearraigh-(Gretel)

L-R_-Conductor-Richard-Peirson-(at-piano),-Carolyn-Dobbin-(Witch,-in-cage),–Raphaela-Mangan-(Hansel,-above-on-balcony),-Amy-Ní-Fhearraigh-(Gretel). Photo by Patrick Redmond.

 

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The Songbirds

Songbirds Promotional Video from Guy Le Jeune on Vimeo.

The script for ‘The Songbirds’, an innovative new piece of theatre developed by An Grianán Theatre, has been informed by interviews involving people living with dementia who participated in an Ulster University research study on reminiscence led by the School of Nursing.

The Songbirds is a play about memory, humanity, love and life. It is also a play that explores the lived experience of people living with dementia and celebrates their lives and stories.

The piece is a two hander, performed by Donegal actors Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhridge and Valerie Bryce, and was written and directed by Guy Le Jeune (Shaking the Tale, Fiesta), whose practice is in the area of reminiscence theatre and theatre from memory.

It has already received remarkable audience feedback from student nurses, junior doctors, consultant psychiatrists, secondary school students and from people living with dementia themselves.

February 2020 dates

06-Feb: Engage with Age, The East Belfast Network Centre
07-Feb: University of Ulster, Magee First Year Nursing Students
11-Feb: Malone Sports Hall, Belfast Forward South Partnership
26-Feb: Courtyard Theatre, Newtownabbey
27-Feb: Riverside Theatre, Coleraine Institute of Nursing and Health Research

Audience Feedback

“Two brilliant actors presented the paly SongbirDs to the members of Dementia NI at Shaftsbury Square, and to be honest, I was totally overwhelmed. Every action mirrored the day to day life of having a family member with dementia. So much of our time is repetition and reminding my husband of things that happen in our lives and the actors portrayed this. It also showed that just take each day as it comes, still try to make memories and above all, laugh and have fun. The writer and everyone involved deserve recognition for the brilliant job they have done and hopefully it cab be televised and put out there as it really can help families. Take plenty of tissues as I am still crying with sadness and laughter, 3 days later.” Linda Marmion

“The Songbirds was absolutely brilliant. I thought it looked really good on the video but live it was terrific. The end of the piece of so moving, everyone loved it.” Eamon Quinn, Director, Engage With Age

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Theatre Lovett on directing their first opera Hansel and Gretel

Muireann Ahern and Louis Lovett, Artistic Directors of Theatre Lovett and co-directors of Irish National Opera’s production of ‘Hansel and Gretel’, talk about their work and this new production.

Hansel and Gretel is a co-production from Irish National Opera, Theatre Lovett and the Abbey Theatre. It comes to An Grianán on Saturday 7 March 2020. Find out more here.

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An Opera For Your Inner Child and Your Grown-up Self

Irish National Opera, Theatre Lovett and the Abbey Theatre present Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel

Irish National Opera, Theatre Lovett and the Abbey Theatre present their national tour of Engelbert Humperdinck’s greatest hit, his heart-warming fairytale opera HANSEL AND GRETEL this spring.

After its opening run at The Abbey Theatre, Dublin, Saturday 8 – Saturday 15 February, 2020, Hansel and Gretel will be performed at An Grianán for one night only on Saturday 7 March – book now.

“Humperdinck’s music conjures just the right type of magic to ensnare us all in his world.” – Muireann Ahern, co-director

“A great starting point for anybody new to opera” – Fergus Sheil, INO Artistic Director

Irish National Opera, Theatre Lovett and the Abbey Theatre are collaborating for the first time on an exciting new production of Engelbert Humperdinck’s masterpiece, the compelling three-act opera Hansel and Gretel, reimagined in a mysterious modern setting. One of the greatest operas about children, Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel is sweet and beguiling, combining childlike simplicity with heart-aching beauty. Don’t be fooled. This is a story of greed, mouth-wateringly sugar-coated.

This provocative production will be performed in English, with English surtitles, by an Irish cast of six singers and three actors, with an ensemble of seven musicians on stage

After six nights at the Abbey Theatre, this new production of the world’s favourite fairytale opera goes on a nationwide tour to nine theatres around the country.

HANSEL AND GRETEL
Hansel and Gretel, with a libretto by the composer’s sister Adelheid Wette based on the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale, was an immediate, whirlwind success at its premiere in Weimar in December 1893. A year later it had been produced in 50 theatres in Germany alone, and it quickly made its way to Dublin, where it was produced in August 1895. It’s one of the small number of operas that has an enduring appeal for children as well as adults and INO’s new production will be sung in David Pountney’s English translation.

THEATRE LOVETT
Theatre Lovett has been described by The Irish Times “one of the most imaginative and indispensable companies at work today”. Muireann Ahern, who co-directs the opera with Louis Lovett, says “We are thrilled to be sinking our teeth into Humperdinck’s delicious opera. Our penchant is for stage work that appeals to both adult and child. We are looking forward to working with Irish National Opera for the first time, and bringing our cross-generational approach to this operatic party. We will have a fresh slant on the situation of the poverty-stricken family whose children stray into a beguiling culinary underworld.”

THE ABBEY THEATRE
Graham McLaren and Neil Murray, Directors of the Abbey Theatre add “Collaboration is a key pillar of our programming – joining forces with talented artists and companies on projects that, we feel, say something about the world we live in and hold a mirror up to Irish society. We are proud to partner with Theatre Lovett and Irish National Opera to bring a fresh, new production of this beloved fairytale and fantastic opera to audiences both here at the Abbey in Dublin and across the country.”

IRISH NATIONAL OPERA
INO Artistic Director Fergus Sheil says, “I really love the work of Theatre Lovett. Both Muireann Ahern and Louis Lovett have a cheekiness and irreverence that guarantees fun, but they also have a serious understanding of how to make their work really connect with audiences. And I have always had a soft spot for Engelbert Humperdinck’s best-known opera, which was praised by some of the great figures of his time, including Richard Strauss, who conducted the first performance, and Gustav Mahler, who conducted it the following year. Hansel and Gretel seemed to me like a perfect vehicle for Muireann and Louis to begin their first operatic exploration.

“We are excited to bring an INO production to the stage of our national theatre for the first time, and with the nationwide tour, the production will have the longest run of any Irish National Opera production to date.”

IRISH CAST
Mezzo-soprano Raphaela Mangan, who sings Hansel, says, “A children’s story told through opera, what’s not to love?” And she describes the role of Hansel as “one of my favourite roles to sing.” Soprano Amy Ní Fhearraigh, the production’s Gretel, says “It’s the perfect opera for audiences young and old with its combination of lush but approachable and playful music. And of course, it’s a fairytale story that everyone knows and loves.”

The all-Irish cast also includes Miriam Murphy, who makes her INO stage debut as Mother. Ben McAteer, whose INO debut as the Count in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro was described by Opera Journal as “perfectly measured for technique and character,” sings Father. Cork soprano Emma Nash, praised by the Sunday Independent for her “powerfully soaring Amore” in Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice for INO, sings the Dew Fairy and Sandman. Carrickfergus mezzo-soprano Carolyn Dobbin makes her INO debut as the Witch.

Performance date: Sat 7 March at 8pm. Tickets are €30/€27 with special discounts for families and under 18s. Find out more here.

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Letterkenny Trad Week 2020 – Side-splitting and heartwarming play for Trad Week

‘Trad’ by Mark Doherty for Letterkenny stage

AN Grianán Theatre hosts a side-splitting, heartwarming play as part of the sixth annual Letterkenny Trad Week line-up, 19th to 26th January 2020.

Following their highly-acclaimed 2018 tour, and their extended sold-out run at The Abbey Theatre, Livin’ Dred Theatre present the award-winning ‘Trad’ by Mark Doherty, an hilarious, absurd and poignant tale of a 100-year-old Irishman and his father on Thursday, 23rd January.

Actor and playwright Mark Doherty said he’d love to say that he intended to write Trad, that he conceived the idea, committed it to the page, and sat back and watched as it came to fruition as he had hoped and foreseen.

“I always imagined that this is how it works. And maybe it is, for great playwrights. My journey was a little different,” he told RTÉ Culture earlier this year.

“Trad began its life as a short radio piece- a two-hander, and little more than an extended sketch. It featured two ancient, bickering characters, father and son, bound together, mutually dependent, full of love and resentment equally, in an undefined time and place (anyone ever come across a fella called Beckett?). Anyhow, it went out on RTÉ radio, and that was that.

“But I soon realised there was more to be done with it. The manuscript lived in a bottom drawer for months, but I could hear the characters screaming at me still. I would go to bed at night and re-run bits of scenes in my head. Or wake up to find the father and son had infiltrated my dreams.

“I could hear them with great clarity. So out came the script again.

“Without meaning to sound silly, this is a beautiful and privileged position to be in: the feeling that the characters are leading the writing process. On the rare days when this happens, it really is a thrill to go to work.

“Around this time, Rough Magic and the Dublin Fringe Festival came up with an initiative for new playwrights, called Seeds. In this environment, with lots of help and encouragement, my little play developed further. A year and a million rewrites later and I felt Trad, as a full-length stage piece, was ready to show to somebody.”

Featuring Clare Barrett, Gus McDonagh and Seamus O’Rourke, live original music by Jim Doherty, and directed by award-winning actor Aaron Monaghan, ‘Trad’ at An Grianán on Thursday, 23rd January is not to be missed.

Further festival highlights include Sharon Shannon, The Lisa O’Neill Trio, Clann Mhic Ruairí, Paul Harrigan, Laoise Kelly & Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn, Lemoncello and The Straddy Session.

Letterkenny Trad Week, 19th to 26th January 2020, is brought to you by the Regional Cultural Centre Letterkenny and An Grianán Theatre, with the kind support of Donegal County Council, The Donegal News (Media Partner), Music Network, Arts Council of Ireland and Earagail Arts Festival.

Tickets are available from regionalculturalcentre.com, angrianan.com, Tel 07491 20777, on in person from An Grianán Theatre’s Box Office, Port Road, Letterkenny.

Letterkenny Trad Week 2020

Lisa O’Neill Trio & Lemoncello
Sunday, 19th January, 8pm
Regional Cultural Centre – €15/€12
Book now!

Anxo Lorenzo, Jim Murray, Dónal O’Connor & Jack Talty
Monday, 20th January, 8pm
Regional Cultural Centre – €15/€12
Book now!

Clann Mhic Ruairi & Guests
Tuesday, 21st January, 8pm
Regional Cultural Centre – €15/€12
Book now!

Laoise Kelly + Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn & The Straddy Session
Wednesday, 22nd January, 8pm
Regional Cultural Centre – €15/€12
Book now!

Trad
Thursday, 23rd January, 8pm
An Grianan Theatre – €18/€16
Book now!

Xylouris White & Navá
Friday, 24th January, 8pm
Regional Cultural Centre – €15/€12
Book now!

Paul Harrigan, Tim Edey & Friends
Album Launch
Saturday 25th January, 8pm
Regional Cultural Centre – €15/€12
Book now!

Sharon Shannon
Sunday 26th January, 8pm
An Grianán Theatre – €25
Book now!

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Letterkenny Trad Week 2020 – Sharon Shannon takes you back to 1989

Music spanning three decades from legendary musician

AN Grianán Theatre is delighted to welcome one of the biggest names in Irish trad to cross over into popular music for the upcoming sixth annual Letterkenny Trad Week (19th to 26th January).

Sharon Shannon

Legendary button accordion player Sharon Shannon will be closing the 2020 festival at the Letterkenny theatre on Sunday, 26th January.

In June 1989 Sharon was rehearsing and demoing tracks for her first album, when she was whisked away to the world famous Glastonbury festival with The Waterboys.

In the 30 years that have elapsed since then, Sharon has recorded ten studio albums; five live albums, release four four ‘Best of’ compilations and three live concert DVDs. Sharon has received many awards, including being the youngest ever recipient of the Meteor Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.

She has collaborated, recorded and toured with everyone from Willy Nelson, Bono, Johnny Depp, Shane McGowan, John Prine to Nigel Kennedy and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.

Sharon has also had many hit records including The Galway Girl with Steve Earle, It’s Christmas Time Again with Wallis Bird and Go Tell the Devil with Imelda May.

In the mid-1980s, Shannon studied the accordion with Karen Tweed and the fiddle with Frank Custy, and performed with the band Arcady, of which she was a founding member.

In May 1989, Sharon began work on her first album at Winkles Hotel Kinvara with producer John Dunford. This recording session lasted three days and featured guest appearances by some of the biggest names in Irish music, including Donal Lunny, Gerry O’Berne, Mary Shannon, Eoin O’Neill, The Waterboys/ Mike Scott and U2’s Adam Clayton. Last month, the musician released 16 tracks recorded at this time that have never been released on an album aptly called The Winkles Tapes.

Sharon’s Letterkenny Trad Week performance at An Grianán Theatre, for which she will be accompanied by Alan Connor on keys/guitar, will showcase music from her back catalogue beginning in 1989 right through to the present day.
Alan is a multi instrumentalist who has served as right hand man to International Artists Sharon Shannon & Jack L over the past ten years.

He has toured extensively all over the world including the USA, Australia, Asia, Canada and all over Europe.
Alan has also played with artists such as Imelda May, Shane McGowan, Something Happens, Mary Black, Steve Earle, Mary Coughlan, Frances Black, Finbar Furey and many more.

Further festival highlights in January include Lisa O’Neill, Clann Mhic Ruairí, Paul Harrigan, Laoise Kelly & Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn, Donegal/Carlow duo Lemoncello and Donegal-based group The Straddy Sessions.

Letterkenny Trad Week, 19th to 26th January 2020, is brought to you by the Regional Cultural Centre Letterkenny and An Grianán Theatre, with the kind support of Donegal County Council, The Donegal News (Media Partner), Music Network, Arts Council of Ireland and Earagail Arts Festival.

Tickets are available from regionalculturalcentre.com, angrianan.com, Tel 07491 20777, on in person from An Grianán Theatre’s Box Office, Port Road, Letterkenny.

Letterkenny Trad Week 2020

Lisa O’Neill Trio & Lemoncello
Sunday, 19th January, 8pm
Regional Cultural Centre – €15/€12
Book now!

Anxo Lorenzo, Jim Murray, Dónal O’Connor & Jack Talty
Monday, 20th January, 8pm
Regional Cultural Centre – €15/€12
Book now!

Clann Mhic Ruairi & Guests
Tuesday, 21st January, 8pm
Regional Cultural Centre – €15/€12
Book now!

Laoise Kelly + Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn & The Straddy Session
Wednesday, 22nd January, 8pm
Regional Cultural Centre – €15/€12
Book now!

Trad
Thursday, 23rd January, 8pm
An Grianan Theatre – €18/€16
Book now!

Xylouris White & Navá
Friday, 24th January, 8pm
Regional Cultural Centre – €15/€12
Book now!

Paul Harrigan, Tim Edey & Friends
Album Launch
Saturday 25th January, 8pm
Regional Cultural Centre – €15/€12
Book now!

Sharon Shannon
Sunday 26th January, 8pm
An Grianán Theatre – €25
Book now!

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