culture night

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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Culture Night 2020

Culture Night 2020

Connect Through Culture

A message from our friends at the Donegal County Council Cultural Division:

Culture Night 2020: Friday 18th September

Download the 2020 programme

Oíche Chultúir returns!

Donegal County Council Culture Division is proud to present their 12th annual programme of events for Culture Night, the all-island public event that celebrates culture, creativity and the arts.

We invite people of all ages to take time out to explore the richness and joy of Irish culture and heritage. In response to the restrictions posed by the on-going Covid 19 pandemic, this year’s programme will be presented in both physical and online events allowing for people at home and abroad to connect with Donegal culture.

Culture Night County Ambassador

We are delighted that the inimitable Donegal playwright, performer and musician Little John Nee represents us as our county Ambassador for 2020. He had this to say about his role.

“I am happy for this opportunity to do what I love doing; celebrating Donegal artists and the beautiful odd way we go about things in this beautiful odd place”.

Highlights of events from the Donegal programme include:

Although we have had to reimagine the event for this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have still been able to work with many of our venues artists and programmers to create a programme that combines online and safe offline activities, on Friday 18th of September!

Here are just a few of the Online events.

Biodiversity in Your Back Garden

For Culture Night, Donegal County Council’s Culture Division has commissioned a series of short videos of ways in which you can care for the nature on your doorstep or the biodiversity in your back garden. Featured local gardens and experts include Liz and Ralph Sheppard on their farm at Carnowen House, Raphoe; Elizabeth Temple at Salthill Gardens, Mountcharles; George McDermot, Buncrana Town Gardener; Joanne Butler at OURganic, Gort a’ Choirce and Angus Kennedy of Nature North West, Ramelton.

Mockingbird Theatre

Featuring Anne Gallagher and Ronan Carr, Mockingbird Theatre presents a short (back and sideways) film – The Final Cut – about two barbers who reunite for one last haircut during the Lockdown Crisis – proving that we are never truly apart from the one we love. Written and directed by Ronan Carr

Where I’m From

A short piece documenting this transatlantic youth writers workshop facilitated by Donegal County Council Cultural Services who worked with Chicago based Young Chicago Authors (YCA) and young people from Donegal Youth Service, the KidsOwn young writers group and young people from the YCA summer artistic internship program.

2020 Live Offline events include

Donegal County Museum

Donegal County Museum present the ‘Railways of County Donegal’ exhibitionWhich features the photographs of A M Davies, who travelled the lines around County Donegal during the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Regional Cultural Centre

The Regional Cultural Centre’s current exhibition on plastics – Can’t Live With It, Can’t Live Without It – will feature newly created artworks by Ed Devane, as well as an exhibition of new work by painter Liz Doyle and Wild Swans: ‘Forgotten Places’ Online Exhibition .They will also screen the RCC Sessions, a Late night music broadcaster where Paul McDevitt and Jimmy Stafford curate a selection of specially filmed live sets by a host of their local favourites. Featuring Maria McCormack, Jonathan Smeaton, Sheerbuzz, Mark Black and Without Willow.

An Grianán Theatre

An Grianán Theatre are pleased to host the first performances of a new comic drama by Louise Conaghan – The Morrigan

Central Library

The Central Library presents Jessica Harkin’s Family Magic Show as well as a series of special guided tours of the Library’s unique Donegal Studies section.

Full Programme and Information

This, however, is only a taste of what’s on offer. To get the full programme and all booking details, please log onto and select the programme for Donegal.

Further information contact Sally Murphy, Murphy Communications on 0871476339.
Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook @CulturenightDonegal

Culture Night is brought to you by The Arts Council in partnership with Donegal County Council

Press enquiries:

Contact: Sally Murphy, Culture Night Co-Ordinator T: 0871476339. E :

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Culture Night – Blue Ribbon says Donegal A-Moooo!

The Blue Ribbon Group will be performing a special Donegal themed concert this Friday night as part our Culture Night events. They’ll be on stage from 7 to 8pm and best of all the show is completely FREE!


The formidable fun team of Alma Kavanagh, (Principal of St Joseph’s Rathmullan and sister of Donegal’s own Rory Kavanagh) and Brighdín Carr (LurgyBrack NS, Director of Blue Ribbon Arts and admirer of Rory Kavanagh) have done it again!!! Since their ‘Everybody plays for Jimmy’ skit hit webland two years ago, the girls came under pressure to produce another version this time around …however, being proud Donegal fans (and indeed ambassadors) and rebels to the cause, the girls decided NOT to revamp the 2012 PMC Medias hit, but instead re-invented a traditional flavour to the Number One song of that momentous year, Rory and the Island’s ‘Jimmy’s Winning Matches’ as an INSTRUMENTAL skit, which could be sung happily by schoolchildren young and old all over the county in the build-up to the best team in Ireland’s Donegal’s Big Day on Sunday next!

Since their proud sponsorship of the Donegal team in 2010, Donegal Creameries now have an-udder string to add to their County bow, with the surprise and superb talent of their very own mascot, Daisi, who features in Rory’s Granny’s instrumental version of Jimmy’s Winning Matches by the Blue Ribbon Band, and boy does Daisi know how to ‘milk’ the cameras.  Originally a cameo role, Daisi’s deft dance-moooooves prove that the cream really does rise to the top, and it wasn’t long into the Pmc Medias YouTube shoot of Blue Ribbon’s instrumental video before Rory’s musical Granny, Ms Alma Curran (real-life sister of Rory Kavanagh), decided to highlight the ultra-moooosical Daisi and so, a star is born.

Udderly moooodest, Daisi is proud to star in the video, which can be found on Roryand the island’s facebook page, as well as blueribbonarts, pmc medias and Donegal Creameries facebook pages and of course on Youtube by searching ‘Jimmy’s winning matches (Jimstrumental)’  by Rory’s Granny.

The video shoot includes hilarious scenes starring the staff and pupils of Ms Curran’s own school, St Joseph’s NS, Rathmullan, also Scoil Mhuire, Ramelton and pupils from Lurgybrack N.S. Letterkenny, even featuring Lola the dog and children from Lurgybrack Autism Unit. Rory’s Granny whistles her way through the instrumental whilst tackling (and of course levelling!) Kerry Mammy Mary Maguire in Letterkenny Town Park in front of many Blue Ribbon Arts die-hard Donegal fans, dances in the tide at Rathmullan beach and inspires even the Lord Mayor of Rathmullan to join in on the frenzy, not to mention inspiring the children of Blue Ribbon to take to the streets of Falcarragh, and even to invade and transform the soccer territory of Ballybofey’s Finn Park into a Donegal GAA Victory Ground.  Even David Craig (‘Come on Sam Maguire’)  catches the fever and exchanges his guitar for dancing shoes, and not to have the limelight stolen from her, Daisi turns up with Irish Dancer Sophia Whoriskey at Black’s farm to join forces with the almighty Donegal Teddies of Bomany.

RTE’s Lisa McKelvey also features as she interviews Daisy, Rory’s Granny, Blue Ribbon and staff and customers of the newly opened ‘Michael Murphy Sports’ shop for an exclusive slot which will be broadcast in the build-up to the match.
Featuring the music of Jimmy’s Winning Matches written by Rory Gallagher, arranged and played by Brighdín Carr and the Blue Ribbon Band, this youtube video was arranged and directed by Brighdín, recorded by Jason Friel and Ben Carr, produced by Marty Curran of PMC Medias. This ‘Jimstrumental’ is a traditional Celtic take on the vibrancy, craic and energy of Donegal as a county, it’s children, it’s fans, it’s teamwork, and a fine Irish musical tribute to it’s GAA team and Manager, Jim McGuinness.

Rory’s Granny is proud to be back in the limelight following her unbelievable success with Blue Ribon’s ‘Everybody Plays for Jimmy’ in 2012. ‘I think it was my ability to poledance with the Sam Maguire in Voodoo that made our song and YouTube video such a success. Trevor Loughrey and Noel Sweeney (Swilly Drive) were grand, but everyone knows that I was ‘Man of the Match’ that year. Now I’m willing to share my platform with Daisi’.

Daisi the Cow of course has the last word. ‘I will be there on Sunday, in all my glory. I love Mick Mooo-rphy, and you never know, if Donegal’s  Mooo-ya Doherty ever does a revamp of RiverDance, I’m the perfect cow for the job.’

Now come on Donegal, let’s get this party started!!!

The Blue Ribbon Group will be back with us in November with their  country music themed show HonkyTonk Ho! Ho! Hoedown! on Friday 21 and Sat 22 November. More info here.

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Culture Night! This Friday!

Yes, it’s that time of year again when arts and cultural institutions across the country throw open their doors to the general public for a night of FREE culture!

Here at An Grianán we have another great line up to keep you entertained through to the wee small hours including the Errigal Groove Orchestra, the Blue Ribbon Group and the brilliant Sweeney’s Jazzmen and lots of special guests! It all starts from 6pm this Friday 19 September.

Culture Night provides a terrific opportunity for families to sample aspects of Irish Culture and Heritage. This extraordinary night of cultural festivities has grown each year since its inception in 2006 with inspiring commitment from local authorities, cultural organisations and participants throughout the country. There is a diverse programme of performances, events and exhibitions available to the public.

This will be Letterkenny’s 6th  occasion to participate in Culture Night. In common with other participating towns and cities across the country, the town will see an evening of highly accessible, FREE OF CHARGE, family friendly events. The programme is centered around, among others, Donegal County Museum, the Regional Cultural Centre, Letterkenny Town Park, the County Donegal ETB Music Education Partnership, An Grianán Theatre, The Artworks, The Central Library, St. Eunan’s Cathedral, Conwal Parish Church, Create-A-Link Art Studio, ArtCo Gallery, Donegal Youth Service @ The LOFT and the Save The Church Lane group.

You can download the official Letterkenny Culture Night programme right here.

Culture Night at An Grianán

6.00pm -6.45pm

The Errigal Groove Orchestra

Street music performance at the new An Grianán Theatre Plaza

Formed in 2011 by Donegal Music Education Partnership under the directorship of saxophone tutor Sean McCarron, Errigal Groove Orchestra  has evolved into a vibrant and talented Jazz Ensemble.  Meeting monthly and with its student membership coming from all over the county, this impressive collective breathes fresh life into old jazz standards.  Performances to date include the City of Derry Jazz and Big Band Festival and at the headquarters of the Department of Education and Skills in Dublin.

7.00pm – 8.00pm

Blue Ribbon Group

The Blue Ribbon Group, under the direction of Brighdin Carr, has facilitated classes in music, dance and drama for many hundreds of young people in Letterkenny, over the years.  Blue Ribbon’s special Culture Night Showcase at An Grianán Theatre will feature solo and choral singing, music and drama as well as choreographed dance routines in popular, hip hop, Irish and contemporary styles.

9.30pm to late

Sweeney’s Jazzmen

Paul Sweeney is one of Donegal’s true musical treasures, a renowned jazz trumpet player who played for many years with the legendary Capitol Showband, while also turning his hand to art and architecture – a true renaissance man. In recent years Paul has enjoyed a regular (and massively popular) Sunday residency in Dublin with his outfit Sweeney’s Jazzmen.  For this very special Culture Night appearance, he’ll be joined by a jazz quartet and several special guests, for a night of swinging Dixieland tunes and hot jazz classics aplenty. Also joining Paul will be some of the stars of the An Grianán Theatre / Earagail Arts Festival hit production, ‘Fiesta’. Paul himself played at Letterkenny’s Fiesta Ballroom on many memorable occasions. It’s gonna be a night to remember!

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