an grianan youth theatre

Youth Theatre is back! New day, new times…And a new location!

Bugsy Malone, 2020. An Grianán Youth Theatre. Photo by Paul McGuckin.

UPDATE: 27 Sept 2021: With the exception of the 4-7 year old group, all our classes are now fully booked. If you would like to be added to our waiting list to be notified when we open classes for booking again you can do so by sending an eMail here – use the subject line ‘Youth Theatre Waiting List’ and include name, age and contact details.

Good news! An Grianán Youth Theatre finally resumes regular classes again after our long, long Covid enforced hiatus. It’s all change with a new day, new times AND a new location.

All classes – that’s junior and senior groups – will now be on Fridays and we will be temporarily moving location to ZoNa Dance Studios until our new studio space is ready next year.

Our junior classes (ages 4 to 12) will be just after school time from 3:30pm to 5:30pm while our senior classes (ages 13 to 21) will be from 6pm to 9pm. Places on our junior classes are available on a first come, first served basis while we will as usual be holding auditions for our senior classes.

Junior Drama

Autumn Term – 12 week term
24th Sept to 17th Dec (no class on Fri 29 Oct)

Class Times
Ages 4 to 7: 3:30pm to 4:15pm Book now
Ages 8 to 12: 4:30pm to 5:30pm SOLD OUT

Only 12 spaces will be available in each class and will be available on a first come, first served basis.

NB: all classes must be booked in advance. Registration forms (which will be sent after booking a place) must be returned prior to commencing class. Booking opens on Mon 13 Sept at 10am.

Senior Youth Theatre

Auditions to join our senior youth theatre will be held on Fri 24 Sept at ZoNa Studios.

We will be holding small Covid safe workshop auditions of 30 minutes –  please prepare a short performance of no longer than one minute. 

You must register in advance to take part in the auditions.

Register now for your audition slot.

The focus for our autumn term is going to be on getting back to basics. It’s a long time since we’ve all been together in a room so we’ll be learning how to work together as a group again and recapping all those essential skills to get us ship shape for our big 2022 project, a full cast production of comedy drama The Gentleman Pirate, written by senior member Niamh Langan, which will be our show for Cruinniú na nÓg in June 2022.

Senior Youth Theatre Autumn dates and times
Fri 1st Oct to Fri 17th Dec (no class on Fri 29 Oct)
Intermediate*: 6pm to 7.30pm
Advanced*: 7.30pm to 9pm

*groups will be decided during auditions on Fri 24th Sept.

NB: if you are a returning member you are required to audition to rejoin.

Find out more about our youth theatre here.


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Culture Night at An Grianán with The Gentleman Pirate

Culture Night 2021 - Come Together Again

The theme for this year’s Culture Night is ‘Come Together Again’ and whether you can make it out in person to see a show or get together at home to watch online we hope you can find time to enjoy some of this year’s events.

At An Grianán we’ll be presenting a blended programme of live and on demand events. Our youth theatre will present their new show The Gentleman Pirate in front of a live audience and we will be making a number of previously recorded shows available to watch on demand for free.

The Gentleman Pirate

While our youth theatre has been largely on hiatus over lockdown (with the exception of our Monologues project) we did manage to get a small Covid safe group together to work on a new show called The Gentleman Pirate. Written by senior youth theatre member Niamh Langan, this comic caper is suitable for family audiences and tells the not quite true story of Stede Bonnet, a member of the landed gentry who ran away to become a not very competent pirate and sometime shipmate to the legendary Blackbeard. It’s a little bit Blackadder, a little bit Monty Python and all round good fun!

Ciara Chernick and Niamh Langan (seen here as Tweedledum and Tweedledee in 2019’s Alice) are two of our returning cast members.

We’re so pleased with how the show is coming together that we are going to be developing it as a full cast performance for next year’s Cruinniú na nÓg so this will be your chance to see it before anyone else does.

NB: We will be keeping the audience to a max of 50 for this show and maintaining social distancing. Book here while tickets are still available,

The Gentleman Pirate is An Grianán Youth theatre’s first public show since Feb 2020’s immersive production of Bugsy Malone (above).

Watch online

We are making three of our past shows available to watch on demand for free:

To watch any of these shows for free simply use the code CultureNight

Sister Black by Maggie Hannon

Catherine Black (1878-1949) MBE, was born in Ramelton. She trained as a nurse in England and worked in the slums of Whitechapel, at the Somme in World war 1, and as King George V’s private nurse in the last 7 years of his life. Her memoir ‘King’s nurse Beggar’s nurse’ was published in 1939 and there’s a copy in the library at Buckingham Palace. This one-woman play is based on that memoir and is written and performed by local performer Maggie Hannon.

Louise Conaghan in The Morrigan, performed at An Grianán for Culture Night 2020. Photo by Paul McGuckin.

The Morrigan by Louise Conaghan

The Ancient Irish Gods and Goddesses have been roused from their slumber! This clown…ahem…goddess must find a way back to the Otherworld but before she does, she wants to know what on earth has been happening since she last walked it.

First presented for Culture Night 2020, The Morrigan is a high energy show with slapstick comedy suitable for all the family, written and performed by Louise Conaghan.

Manny Man Does the History of Ireland on Stage Online - streaming 19 to 25 October 2020

Manny Man Does the History of Ireland by John D Ruddy

Based on his series of books and YouTube videos, John D Ruddy brings Manny Man and the History of Ireland to the stage. Watch Syn and Oppy as they race through Irish history with illustrated cut-outs and craziness!

From the Ice Age all the way to Ireland today and all in less than 90 minutes, with the same tongue-in-cheek humour Manny Man is known for. When it comes to fun history, Manny Man is your only man! Suitable for family audiences ages 8+.

When is Culture Night?

Fri 17th September 2021

About Culture Night

Culture Night is an annual all-island public event that celebrates culture, creativity and the arts. On Culture Night, arts and cultural organisations and venues of all shapes and sizes, including the National Cultural Institutions, extend their opening hours to allow for increased access to the public. Special and unique events and workshops are specifically programmed at participating locations and everything is available free of charge.

Culture Night has grown from a relatively small scale cultural event staged only in Dublin in 2006 to the significant national cultural event it now is. The initiative has captured both the public imagination and the enthusiasm of artists and cultural organisations.

Culture Night Donegal is brought to you by the Arts Council, in partnership with Donegal County Council.

Download the official programme here.

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Monologues, An Grianán Youth Theatre, 2021

February 2021

Presented by An Grianán Youth Theatre

Monologues – An Grianán Youth Theatre from AnGrianan Theatre on Vimeo.

Our youth theatre monologues project was created in an effort to try and maintain youth theatre classes during Covid-19 restrictions over Winter 2020. When we first pitched the project in August 2020, we were still in a level 3 lockdown and in person classes were feasible, albeit with very reduced class numbers. Our intention had been to deliver a hybrid programme of both in person and online classes. However within a few weeks we were at first moved to level 4 and then, with the rest of the country, level 5, and all of our classes had to be delivered online. Our members stuck with us and in December, adhering to very strict quarantine measures, we were finally able to get our students into the theatre, one by one, to film their monologues.

The students were from our senior youth theatre with an age range of 13 to 18.

Want to join our youth theatre? We’re currently taking a break but if you would to be added to our waiting list you can do so by sending an eMail here – use the subject line ‘Youth Theatre Waiting List’.

A Bedtime Story
Written and performed by Inan Ekici

Always and Forever
Written by Frankie Wade
Performed by Niamh Langan and Frankie Wade

Written and performed by
Evin O’Donnell

Written and performed by
Isaac Morrison

Written and performed by
Niamh Langan

Written by Erinn Sweeney
Performed by Alice O’Connor

Written and performed by
Shauna O’Donnell

My Last Word
Written by Kate Smyth
Performed by Zoe McCauley

Written and performed by
Jack Lydon

The Poem
Written and performed by
Siobhan O’Brien

The Proposition of Bianco Caruso
Written and performed by
Jade Ormond

The Undoing
Written by Ellen McMorrow
Performed by Ella Terry Sweeney

Director: Nora Kavanagh
Production Manager: Niall Cranney
Sound: Peter Rose
Filming: Eugene McGinty, Charlie Joe Doherty
Editing: Nicola Burns

Recorded at An Grianán Theatre, December 2020 in accordance with Covid-19 restrictions.

Special thanks to the team at the Regional Cultural Centre.

An Grianán Youth Theatre is an initiative of An Grianán Theatre.

All rights reserved.

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Protected: Drone Bone Jetty – theatre making in lockdown.

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Halloween Zoom class – new link

Youth Theatre members – we’re using a different link for this week’s special Halloween zoom class. We’ve emailed it out this afternoon. If you have not received it yet please drop us an email here.

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Youth Theatre Zoom Classes

Youth Theatre members – you should have received your invitation for today’s zoom classes already. If not please drop us an email here.

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Youth Theatre Classes will continue on Zoom

Now that level 3 restrictions are in effect we have had to close the theatre again but never fear! Youth theatre will continue.

We will be running the classes via Zoom this Wednesday. We’ll send the meeting invitation out by email before class.

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Welcome back to our youth theatre!

Youth theatre! We’re so happy to you have you back. It’s been a long, lonely summer here at An Grianán. Here’s Nora with a little overview of our new Covid precautions to keep us all as safe and sound as we can be.

Prior to starting classes you and your parent/guardian need to fill in our online registration form here.

If you haven’t already done so you can pay your course fee of €60 online here.

If you would prefer to pay by phone you can do so during box office opening hours which are 9.30am to 4pm Mon to Fri. The phone number is 0749120777. The box office will not be open during class time so make sure you have paid your fees in advance.

NB: if you have missed out on a place and want to be added to the waiting list please send an email with your details here.


Our guidelines have changed a little:

  • Please arrive no more than 10 minutes before class time.
  • Entry – Students will enter and exit the building by the dock bay at the side of stage. This is the large roller door to the rear of the building. Please do not enter by the usual front entrance.
  • Masks. It is the policy of An Grianán Theatre that all people entering the building wear masks. However as we can maintain the recommended 2 metre distance on stage, it is optional to wear your mask while in the performing space.  But once you leave the performing please put your mask on.
  • Tables at the back of the stage will be used for storing of students’ personal belongings.
  • The stage has been divided into 2 meter squares. Each student will have their own 2 metre performing square that will allow for the recommended minimum 2 metres social distancing.
  • Toilet breaks – students will use the toilet facilities in Dressing Room 2. Do not use the public toilets downstairs. NB: No more than 2 people can enter Dressing Room 2 at a time.
  • No entry elsewhere in the building. Our designated youth theatre area is the dock, stage and dressing room 2. Please do not leave this area.
  • Contact tracing – students will follow our Covid protocols. Hand sanitiser will be provided at entry and exit points. To avoid cross contamination you must bring you own pen to sign in with.
  • Parents/guardians will not able to stay in the building during class.
  • The stage will be cleaned and sanitised before each class.
  • A certified first aider will be available on site at all times.
  • Isolation room – Dressing 3 (beside the Green Room) is now our isolation room.  if you are feeling unwell during class you will be escorted to this room where you can safely wait until we can contact your parent/guardian.
  • Zoom – parents must give their consent for students to participate in online activities. This is part of your registration form. Make sure that you have filled it in before starting term.
  • In addition to the facilitator another member of An Grianán’s staff will sit in on Zoom classes as per child safe guarding recommendations from Youth Theatre Ireland.

And folks, if you are feeling unwell please don’t come to class.

NB: Covid19 guidelines can change at very short notice – please make sure we have your most up to date contact information so that we can get in touch quickly.


Wed 9 Sept to Thur 10 Dec 2020 (no class midterm break)

Class 1: 4.30pm to 5.30pm
Class 2: 6.30pm to 7.30pm

A maximum of 9 students per class.


We’re teaming up with the digital media at the Regional Cultural Centre to film your monologues. We’ll determine those filming dates later on but assume for now that we’ll probably have to fit in a few extra sessions in December to get those all done.


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Safe resumption of Youth Theatre classes. Things are going to be different.

Fat Sam's Gang. A scene from An Grianán Youth Theatre/On Cue Academy production of Bugsy Malone, Jan 2020. Left to right - Amy Doherty, Darragh Ramsay, Rudi Murphy Brown, Patrick McCormack, Isaac Morrison, Ethan Barron and (crouching) Evin O'Donnell. Photo by Paul McGuckin. All rights reserved.

We have spent a lot of time over the summer deciding on to how safely resume youth theatre classes and we have come up with what we feel is going to be a fun but challenging project for our autumn programme.

NB: places on our autumn project are only available to students who are already members of An Grianán Youth Theatre. In the event that we do not fill all places we will hold online auditions to fill any remaining places. If you would like to be added to the waiting list send an email with your details here.

First the less good news. In order to maintain social distancing the number of participants we can have per class has been severely reduced. We can no longer use the rehearsal room which means all classes will be on our stage with a maximum of 9 participants per class. We have also taken the decision to suspend our junior classes (ages 7 to 13) until Spring 2021 and will concentrate on delivering a high quality programme for our senior youth theatre (ages 14+).

Current members: Please have a read below of our proposed programme and if interested in taking part please let us know ASAP. You can eMail Nicola or leave her a message via the youth theatre’s facebook page or the theatre’s instagram account.

So what have we decided to?

Monologues and Devising – being able to deliver a good monologue is a key skill for any actor and this term that is going to be our focus. This reduces the need for close physical interaction between students while allowing everyone to work on a skill that will help prepare them for future auditions. As we are going to record and screen the monologues this programme will also serve as an introduction for acting for radio and screen, new skills for most of our students.

Rather than using an existing monologue students will work on devising their own short original work which will be recorded and screened in December. We have invited the digital media team from the Regional Cultural Centre to record the monologues using professional film and sound equipment while our inhouse technical team will make sure it all looks beautiful.

An Grianán Theatre's stage has been divided into 2 metre boxes for social distancing in workshops.

An Grianán Theatre’s stage has been divided into 2 metre boxes for social distancing in workshops.

Students will be assigned a box at the start of term which will be theirs for the duration of the course.

Students will be assigned a box at the start of term which will be theirs for the duration of the course.

How will it work?

We will hold classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Wednesday classes will be in person in the theatre. We will have two classes with a maximum of 9 participants per class. Classes will not be divided according to age. These classes will focus on performance.

Class 1: 4.30pm to 5.30pm (NB: this class is now fully booked)
Class 2: 6.30pm to 7.30pm

Course fees can be paid online here.

Thursday classes will be online using Zoom. These will be group classes led by Nora and will focus on devising and writing your monologues. There will also be breakout rooms where students can work together in smaller groups.

We know that for a lot of you that one of the most important elements of being in youth theatre is hanging out with your friends so we hope that by offering the online classes that you can still enjoy some of that social interaction that we now can’t have in our in-person classes.


Proposed restart date: Wed 9 Sept for in person classes.

Classes to run until Thur 10 Dec (and take our traditional break at Halloween).


Assuming that we fill all available places we’ll have 18 monologues to film so dates to do that will be determined nearer the date but assume that there might be some additional filming/rehearsal days in December.


We are preparing a video with Nora to outline our new procedures but for now here is a quick overview of what’s happening.

  • The stage has been divided into 2 meter squares. Each student will have their own 2 metre performing square that will be theirs for the duration of the term. They can also keep their personal belongings in this space.
  • Separate entry and exit points. Students will enter by the stage dock and exit via the exit emergency at upstage left. Do not enter by the usual front entrance.
  • Contact tracing – students will follow our Covid protocols. Hand sanitiser will be provided at entry and exit points. They must bring their own pen to sign in with.
  • Classes will not be grouped by age. Students from the same household will be kept in the same class.
  • Please arrive just before class time to minimise time spent hanging around and socialising.
  • Parents/guardians will not able to stay in the building during class.
  • The stage will be cleaned and sanitised before each class.
  • A certified first aider will be available on site at all times.
  • Toilet breaks – students will use the toilet facilities in dressing rooms 1 and 2.
  • Zoom – parents must give their consent for students 16 and under to participate in online activities.
  • In addition to the facilitator another member of An Grianán’s staff will sit in on Zoom classes as per child safe guarding recommendations from Youth Theatre Ireland.
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Bugsy Malone, 2020

An Grianán Youth Theatre in association with On Cue Academy
Play by Alan Parker
Words and Music by Paul Williams
By arrangement with Faber Music Ltd on behalf of Warner/Chappell Music Ltd

Directed by Nora Kavanagh

An immersive version of Alan Parker’s classic musical performed by a cast of young actors from ages 12 to 18.

Performance Dates: Jan 2020

This was no ordinary production of Bugsy Malone as it was performed as an immersive, interactive production utlising almost every area of the theatre as a performing space. The stage became a speakeasy, then a boxing ring and back to a speakeasy, the foyers were the scenes of showdowns between Dandy Dan and Fat Sam, the car park a murder scene, the stage dock the secret entrance to Fat Sam’s speakeasy. The audience of 80 were led by the cast through areas of the theatre the public seldom see as scenes were performed simultaneously around the building – they were interrogated by detectives, became co-conspirators in the shady dealings of crime bosses, took part in auditions, were entertained by Fat Sam’s Grand Slam’s dancers and singers, and of course everyone got splurged at the end.

The Cast

Ailbhe McFadden – Waitress, Cagey Joe’s Assistant
Aileen McGovern – Paper Boy, Down n Out, Gangster DD, Boxer
Alanna Sweeney – Oscar, Chorus, Down n Out
Alice O’Connor – Chorus
Amy Doherty – Knuckles (Fat Sam’s Gang)
Amy McClintock – Blousey
Anna-Lee Timoney – Corpse, Speakeasy’s Resident Drunk
Bailey May Walsh – Chorus (Tilly)
Bonnie Hegarty – Leroy, Gangster (Dandy Dan’s Gang)
Cian Donnelly – Gangster (Fat Sam’s Gang), Boxer, Down n Out, Paper Boy
Ciara Chernick – Doodle (Dandy Dan’s Gang), Boxer
Darragh Ramsay – Bugsy
Eilisha Devlin – Angelo (Fat Sam’s Gang)
Ellen McMorrow – Seymour Scoop, Down n Out, Chorus
Elliot Stoneham – Down n Out, Boxer, Paper Boy
Eoin McGovern – Captain Smolsky, Down n Out, Boxer
Erinn Sweeny – Down n Out, Chorus
Ethan Barron – Fizzy
Evin O Domhnaill – Fat Sam
Fodhla Ferry – Down n Out, Boxer, Auditionee
Frankie Wade – Tallulah
Hanna Lynch – Paper Boy, Down n Out, Babyface
Imogen Mahon – Violinist, Gangster (Dandy Dan’s Gang)
Inan Ekici – O’Dreary, Gangster (Fat Sam’s Gang), Down n Out
Isaac Morrisson – Cagey Joe, Flash Frankie, Ritzy (Fat Sam’s Gang)
Jack Lyden – Pop Becker/Shady, Boxer,
Jade Ormond – Louella, Police Officer, Boxer
James McCarron – Boxer, Down n Out
Karina Mc Gettigan – Dandy Dan’s Butler, Boxer, Down n Out
Kaylee Barnard – Gangster (Dandy Dan’s Gang), Boxer, Police Officer
Laura Foy – Down n Out, Violinist
Mark Laury Connolly – Dandy Dan
Niamh Langan – Gangster (Dandy Dan’s Gang), Boxer
Niamh Wilkin – Chorus
Orla Fabisiak – Bronx Charlie (Dandy Dan’s Gang), Boxer
Orla Lloyd – Gangster (Dandy Dan’s Gang)
Orlaith Sweeney – Chorus
Patrick McCormack – Shake Down Louis (Fat Sam’s Gang)
Riona McFadden – Chorus
Rosie McGilvery – Gangster (Dandy Dan’s Gang)
Rudi Murphy Brown – Snake Eyes (Fat Sam’s Gang)
Saoirse Alleyne – Chorus
Shannon Wilkin – Looney, Lena, Barber, Down n Out
Shauna O’Donnell – Chorus, Police Officer
Yagmur Ekici – Chorus (Velma)
Yana Laszcziw – Chorus

The Crew

Aengus Friel Lawrence – Technician
Anne-marie Kilfeather – Costume Design
Christopher Kilmartin – Transition Year placement student
Daithi Ramsay – Videography, Marketing & Box Office Manager
Dermot O’Donnell – Usher
Harry McCafferty – Usher
Helene McMenamin – Administrator
Jaspar Kardos – Assistant Stage Manager
Joe Dowling – Usher
Jude Barriscale – Stage Manager
Laura Ferry – Assistant Administrator
Marian Funston – Front of House Manager
Martina Murphy – Community Employment Scheme Supervisor
Niall Cranney – Production Manager, Technical Manager, Lighting & Sound Design
Nicola Burns – Production Assistant, graphic design & videography, marketing & box office
Nora Kavanagh – Director, Choreographer, Production Manager,
Pat Campbell – Musician
Patricia McBride – An Grianán Theatre Director
Paul McGuckin – Production Photography
Peter Rose – Technician
Robert Attewell – Set Design & Construction
Shirley Gallagher – Front of House Manager
The Murray Brothers – Musicians
Trudi O’Donnell – Musical Director, Vocal Coach, marketing

Inhouse Productions

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