eoghan mac ghiolla bhride

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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A look back at our family fun day

On Sat 17 May 2014 we officially unveiled the new town clock with a family funday. We had a great turn out despite the rainy weather and a good time was had by all! A big thank you to everyone who turned out and a special thank you to all the people who helped out on the day.


















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Mass Appeal, 2013

August, September 2013

By Bill C Davis

Directed by Sean McCormack


Eoghan Mac Ghiolla Bhride

John D Ruddy

Father Tim Farley (Eoghan Mac Ghiolla Bhride) is highly popular with his parishioners due to his charm, wit, easy-going manner and entertaining but unchallenging sermons. One Sunday, seminarian Mark Dolson (John D Ruddy) interrupts Father Farley’s sermon to challenge his stance on the ordination of women. The pastor is both outraged and intrigued by the young man, and asks to have him assigned to work with him. Each man has something to teach the other about how to perform his priestly duties.

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