john d ruddy

Little Acorns: Joss Paper and Roast Duck – Watch Now

In Joss Paper and Roast Duck a man is startled when his wife presents a shopping list – for her afterlife. Written by Eve Li and directed by Karen Quinn.

Commissioned by An Grianán Theatre


Wife: Diana Cheung
Husband: John D Ruddy

Written by Eve Li
Directed by Karen Quinn
Camera: Charlie Joe Doherty
Lighting: Niall Cranney
Sound recordist and camera operator: Peter Rose
Set design/camera operator : Robert Attewell
Costumes: Anne-Marie Kilfeather
Video Editor: Emory Ramsay
Sound Editor: Reuben Boylan
Captioning: Nicola Burns
Little Acorns animation: Daniel McGarrigle at Rezolve Media
Producer: Patricia McBride
Administration: Helene McMenamin, Laura Ferry
Jig of Slurs Dublin Reel by Sláinte
Autumn Walk by Alexander Nakarada

Filmed using equipment kindly funded by the Arts Council of Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon Capacity Building Support Scheme

Recorded at An Grianán Theatre in May 2021.
All rights reserved.


Originally from London, Eve now lives in Falcarragh and is a member of the Donegal Intercultural Platform and the Pobail le Cheile committee. Her interests are writing and using theatre to bring awareness to social issues such as human right violations, racism, homelessness and mental health. She has recently completed a Community Development course with Maynooth University and has provided voluntary assistance to asylum seekers in Donegal and around Ireland.


At the end of January 2021 we put a call out for writers to submit short plays, 5 to 10 minutes long, that we could film and share on our social media platforms. We had over 50 plays submitted and chose 6 in all to turn into short films. We’ve been filming and editing them throughout April and May and will be sharing them over the next few weeks.

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Manny Man Does the History of Ireland – Free Online Screening

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

We are making our production of John D Ruddy’s Manny Man Does The History of Ireland On Stage available to watch free online from Monday 19th through Sunday 25th October.

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Féile Uladh Timetable

Féile Uladh – An Cumann Scoildrámaíochta 2019

Amharclann An Ghrianáin, Leitir Ceanainn

Déardaoin 21ú & Dé hAoine 22ú Márta

Moltóir:  Pluincéad Ó Fearraigh

Déardaoin 21ú Márta:

Seisiún 1   Comórtas

10.00 ‘Plúirín Sneachta’ 3

Scoil Cholmcille, Maigh Rua

10.40 ‘Winnie Wonka’ 6

Scoil Naomh Dúigh, Anagaire

11.10 *Ní mar a chítear a bítear* 9 *

Gaelscoil Eadáin Mhóir, Doire Cholmcille

11.40 *Blitz Bhéal Feirste* 9 *
Gaelscoil na bhFál, Beal Feirste

12.10 ‘Na Criáin Chráite’ 18

Gaelscoil Ultáin, Muineachán

12.40 ‘Glórtha ón Ghorta’ 6

Scoil Phádraig Naofa, Crois Mhic Lionnáin

1.10 ‘Grá an tSamhraidh’ 15
Bunscoil Cholmcille, An Charraig Mhór

1.40 ‘Turas Chailín Óig’ 6
Bunscoil Bheanna Boirche, Caisleán Uidhilín

Seisiún 2

3.00 *Stad den Flasáil*   4 *

Gaelscoil na gCeithre Máistir

3.30 *Lán Tí* 6 *

Gaelscoil na gCeithre Máistir

4.00 ‘An Corp’ 6

Scoil Mhuire, Na Doirí Beaga

4.30 *An Teachín Crainn* 2 *

Céim Aniar

Déardaoin 21ú Márta:

Seisiún 3   Comórtas

6.00 ‘An Cearrbhach Mac Cába’ 10

Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair

6.30 *Cé hé mo Valintín?* 17 *

Club Óige na Crannóige

7.00 ‘Tadhg Soineanta’ 12

Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair

7.40 *Faigh Grimm Ar Mo Bhrionglóid* 17 *

Club Óige na Crannóige


Dé hAoine, 22ú Márta

Seisiún 4

10.00 ‘An tOráiste’ 2

Scoil Bhríde, Leitir Mhic a Bhaird

10.40 *Laochra Scoil Bhríde*   2 *

Scoil Bhríde, Mín an Chladaigh

11.10 ‘Draíodóir Oz’ 6

Gaelscoil an Lonnáin, Béal Feirste

11.40 *An Seancheann Críonna* 3 *

Scoil Naisiúnta Iorball Sionnaigh, Muineachán

12.10 ‘Oíche na Gaoithe Móire’ 9

Gaelscoil na gCrann, An Ómaigh

12.40 ‘Cat sa Hata’ 15

Gaelscoil Ultáin, Muineachán

1.10 ‘Píobaire Breac’ 15

Gaelscoil Aodha Rua, Dún Geanainn

1.40 ‘Cinnín Oír’ 18

Scoil Chnoc na Naomh

2.10            ‘Áille agus Gránna’ 15              

Bunscoil Naomh Proinsias, An Lorgain

Dé hAoine, 22ú Márta

Seisiún 5   Comórtas

3.30 ‘Alladán’ 2
Scoil Mhuire, Caiseal

4.00 ‘Áilleacht agus Brúid’ 6

Scoil Chnoc na Naomh

4.40 ‘Misneach Pheatsaí’ 5

Scoil Adhamhnáin, An Luinnigh.

5.20 ‘Péire Speacláidí’ 12

Pobalscoil Chloich Cheann Fhaola

5.50 ‘Na Fianna & An tOchtar Fear Maith’ 6

Scoil Adhamhnáin, An Luinnigh.

6.30 Moltóireacht, Ainmniúcháin agus Bronnadh na nDuaiseanna.



Féile Náisiúnta

An Muileann gCearr

3ú – 10ú Aibreán

Moltóir: Neasa Ní Laoire




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Manny Man Does a Trivia Tour of Ireland!

As we travel round the island of Ireland here’s some historical trivia for each of the locations we’re touring to, courtesy of Manny Man of course!

An Grianán Theatre, Fri 9 February 2019Alley Theatre, Strabane, Sat 10 February 2019Watergate Theatre, Kilkenny, Tues 12 FebRiverside Theatre, Coleraine, Wed 13 FebruaryBelltable, Limerick, Sat 16 FebMullingar Arts Centre, Thu 28 Feb & Sat 1 MarchAmharclann Gaoth Dobhair, Sat 2 MarchBackstage Theatre, Longford, Tue 5 MarchPlayhouse, Derry/Londonderry, Thu 7 MarchMarket Place Theatre, Armagh, Fri 8 MarchBalor Arts Centre, Ballybofey, Sat 9 MarchDunamaise Arts Centre, Portlaoise, Tues 12 & Wed 13 March

Wexford Arts Centre, Sat 16 Marchglór, Ennis, Sun 17 March


See the tour dates here:

An Grianán on tour – Manny Man hits the road.

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An Grianán on tour – Manny Man hits the road.

An Grianan Theatre presents John D Ruddy & Louise Conaghan in Manny Man Does the History of Ireland.

We had such a fun time making Manny Man Does the History of Ireland for last year’s Earagail Arts Festival that we just couldn’t keep it to ourselves! So we’re delighted to announce that we’ve reassembled the team and we’re taking Manny Man on the road!

We’ll be touring the show to 16 venues across the island of Ireland, north and south of the border, throughout February and March 2019. As well as performances here in An Grianán on 5, 6 & 8 February we’ll also be visiting Strabane, Kilkenny, Coleraine, Limerick, Mullingar, Gweedore, Longford, Derry, Armagh, Ballybofey, Portlaoise, Newbridge, Wexford and Ennis.

Tour Dates

Tuesday 5 & Wed 6 February at 11am
Fri 8 February at 8pm
An Grianán Theatre

Sat 9 February at 8pm
Alley Theatre
028 7138 4444

Tues 12 February at 11am
Watergate Theatre
056 776 1674

Wed 13 February at 8pm
Riverside Theatre
028 7012 3123

Saturday 16 February at 2.30pm
061 953 400

Thur 28 February at 8pm and Fri 1 March at 10am
Mullingar Arts Centre
044 934 7777

Sat 2 March at 8pm
Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair
074 953 2687

Tues 5 March at 11am
Backstage Theatre
043 3347888

Thur 7 March at 8pm
The Playhouse
028 7126 8027

Fri 8 March at 7pm
The Market Place Theatre
028 3752 1821

Sat 9 March at 8pm
Balor Arts Centre
074 913 1840

Tues 12 March at 7pm & Wed 13 March at 10am
Dunamaise Arts Centre
057 866 3355

Fri 15 March at 10am, 12pm, 7pm
Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge
045 448 327

Sat 16 March at 3pm
Wexford Arts Centre
053 912 3764

Sun 17 March at 12.30pm
065 684 3103

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News for teachers: Manny Man the stage show

John D Ruddy brings his creation Manny Man to the stage with An Grianán Theatre in 2018.A youtube sensation, a hit book and soon to be a stage show! See Ireland’s tumultuous millennia of history turned into a fun and easy-to-understand story.

We are currently developing a stage adaptation of John D Ruddy’s Manny Man Does the History of Ireland with a view to presenting it to schools audiences in May 2018.

Manny Man brings history to life with clarity and hilarity in videos that have amassed millions of views around the world.

Why did the Celts love stealing cows? What was the Norman Invasion, and were they all called Norman? From the Ice Age up to the present day, through the Vikings and Tudors, British rule and the fight for independence, he covers it all – with his tongue in his cheek, of course.

Ideal for 5th & 6th national school classes and second level history students.

Rehearsed reading

We will hold a rehearsed reading of the play with its cast John D Ruddy and Louise Conaghan on Thursday 19 October to an invited audience only. If you are a teacher interested in attending please get in touch with Nicola or Daithi at the box office on 0749120777. This will be a great chance to get a preview of the show and feedback and suggestions will be welcome.

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Theatre Artist in Residence County Donegal, 2017/2018

Thanks to the Arts Council, Donegal has successfully secured a Theatre Artist in Residence for the third year running. This theatre artist residency is a three-way partnership between the artist Guy Barriscale, Donegal County Council Arts Office and An Grianán Theatre.

The residency is based on previous work devised and created by Guy Barriscale, who writes as Guy Le Jeune. Guy has created many projects celebrating the stories and history of the people of Donegal including ‘Fiesta’, a joyful celebration of the famous Ballroom of Romance; ‘I Would Walk These Fields Again about the life and times of Canon James McDyer and ‘Unified the Musical’ about the infamous yarn factory which was the highlight of last year’s Earagail Arts Festival.

I Would Walk These Fields Again, a play by Guy Le Jeune about Father McDyer of Glencolmcille, An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny

John D Ruddy and Louise Conaghan in I Would Walk These Fields Again, a play by Guy Le Jeune about Father McDyer  will be performed on 19  & 20 July 2017 in Glencolmcille.

In the forthcoming year Guy will be collaborating with the Killybegs Fisherman’s Organisation to create a new work called “Shoot The Gear” for the Donegal Bay and Bluestacks Festival. This will be premiered in Killybegs at the end of September. He will also be working with the University of Ulster, in researching and devising a piece of touring theatre exploring the experiences of people with dementia and their primary carers, with a view to a production in 2018. He is also excited to be working with Ionad an Chrois Bhealaigh, Árainn Mhór, to create a work celebrating their unique island life experience.

Next week in Glencolmcille there will be two more performances of “I Would Walk These Fields Again”. This celebration of the life of James McDyer, featuring the acting talents of John Ruddy and Louise Conaghan will be shown in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Folk Village. Performances are on 19 and 20 July.

The girls recreate a night at the Fiesta ballroom. Photo by Declan Doherty. Fiesta, July 2014

The girls recreate a night at the Fiesta ballroom. Photo by Declan Doherty. Fiesta, July 2014

Guy is a writer, theatre maker and reminiscence facilitator who has lived and worked in Donegal for almost 20 years. He has over thirty years of experience in professional theatre in a wide variety of roles. He is also a writer of short stories and is working on the drafts of a number of novels. His short story Jamesy was commended in the 2011 Sean O’Faolain Prize. 22 Kilos was short listed for the Fish Short Story Prize 2012. Small Town Removal was placed third in the inaugural Costa Book Awards, short story prize in January 2013. He has recently completed a second draft of a novel with the working title The Swimmers, which explores emigration and the experiences of the Irish in England. He is also working on a further draft of Essex Road, a bleak comedy set in the London-Irish community. A previous draft of Essex Road was Highly Commended in the 2014, Irish Writers’ Centre, Novel Fair Competition. An early draft of The Cake and Condiment Rules, a satirical and caustic crime novel, was long listed for the 2016 Irish Writers’ Centre, Novel Fair Competition.


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Father McDyer drama returns

Tour: Wed 18 May Letterkenny, Thur 19 May Roscommon, Fri 20 May Carndonagh, Sat 21 May Kilcar.

There’s a second chance to see drama I Would Walk These Fields Again as it embarks on a mini tour this May as part of the Bealtaine Festival. Produced by An Grianán Theatre in association with the Donegal County Council, I Would These Fields Again is a celebration of the life of well known Donegal native Father James McDyer – his life, his work and his legacy.

John D Ruddy and Louise Conaghan in I Would Walk These Fields Again, a play by Guy Le Jeune about Father McDyer of Glencolmcille, An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny

John D Ruddy and Louise Conaghan in I Would Walk These Fields Again, a play by Guy Le Jeune about Father McDyer of Glencolmcille.

Starring John D Ruddy and Louise Conaghan, the play was well received by local audiences when it debuted last year. There will be four performances – starting at An Grianán Theatre on Wednesday 18 May, Roscommon Arts Centre on Thursday 19, Colgan Hall in Carndonagh on Friday 20 and Kilcar Parish Hall on Saturday 21 May.

Father McDyer was a man of great energy, humour and conviction, qualities which are captured in this drama by Guy Le Jeune.

Born in Glenties in 1910, Father McDyer was ordained in Maynooth. He spent ten years in London during the Second World War where he tended to the needs of the emigrant Irish population. He returned to Ireland, spending four years on Tory Island before being sent to the parish of Glencolmcille in South-West Donegal, in 1951. From then until his death in 1987 he worked tirelessly against what he termed “the curse of emigration”.

I Would Walk These Fields Again, a play by Guy Le Jeune about Father McDyer of Glencolmcille, An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny

He encouraged new enterprises, set up a cooperative, persuaded government ministers and their departments to support his ideas and inspired the community to help themselves, rather than rely on handouts from the State. In his own words, he described himself as a “Christian Communist”, taking his inspiration from the political turmoil and radical ideas of the early twentieth century.

2015 Fr James Play - 214

Writer Guy Le Jeune is Theatre-Artist-in-Residence at An Grianán Theatre, supported by the Donegal County Council and the Arts Council. His previous plays for An Grianán include On The Camel’s Hump and Fiesta. He is currently writing a new musical, Unified, which will be the feature event of this summer’s Earagail Arts Festival.

Tour Dates

An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny
Wednesday 18 May at 8pm Box Office 074 912 0777

Roscommon Arts Centre
Thursday 19 May at 8pm Box Office 090 66 25 824 

Colgan Hall, Carndonagh
Friday 20 May at 8pm Tickets available on the door.

Halla ná Paróiste, Cill Chartha/Kilcar Parish Hall
Satharn 21ú Bealtaine/Saturday 21 May at 8.30pm Tickets available on the door.

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A Terrible Beauty: Remembering 1916

A Terrible Beauty: Remembering 1916 is our short season of events marking the centenary of the Easter Rising.

We have three shows which will look at 1916 from three different perspectives. We have a dramatic reading of Kieran Kelly’s new play Beneath An Irish Sky which looks at the impact that the Rising had on Donegal. Then we have two Letterkenny performers, John D Ruddy and Brian Gillespie, starring in The Rising, a fast paced and entertaining show which looks at the events that led to 1916 including the first World War. Finally we have Left Behind,  a music concert from Michelle O’Rourke and composer Simon O’Connor which is inspired by some of the women involved in the Rising.

The British troops departing Letterkenny in 1922 following the War of Independence

British troops departing Letterkenny in 1922 following the War of Independence

Beneath An Irish Sky, Tues 22 March 2016 at 8pm Tickets: €5

How did the events of Easter week 1916 affect the people of Letterkenny and Donegal? Based on archive reports and eye witness testimonies, Beneath an Irish Sky is a fictionalised account of one man’s journey through those those turbulent times, questioning what made him pick up a gun to fight for his country and how one moment in his youth affected the rest of his life.

Written by local author and historian Kieran Kelly, Beneath An Irish Sky will be presented as a rehearsed reading featuring a cast of eight actors directed  by David Grant (Frank Pig Says Hello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Find out more.

Ireland 1916 2016 The Rising  with John Ruddy and Brian Gillespie March 2016 Easter

The Rising: John D Ruddy reprises his role alongside new cast member Brian Gillespie (not pictured).

The Rising, Wed 23 March 2016 at 8pm. Tickets: €15/€12

Touring nationally to great acclaim, this production features two local performers –  John D Ruddy is a Letterkenny based actor whose recent roles include Fiesta, The 39 Steps and I Would Walk These Fields Again. A native of Letterkenny, Brian Gillespie now lives in London where he is the artistic director of B-Hybrid Dance.

Described by the Irish Times, as “90 minutes of exhilarating and terrifying factual theatre”, The Rising relives the tumultuous days of the 1916 Rising through the eyes of two friendly adversaries, O’Brien, a Catholic, and Mc Keague, a Protestant. Over an action packed performance O’Brien and McKeague will tell the story of this pivotal event in Irish history in vaudeville style, with humour, song and dance, as they re-enact the Rising and the events that led to it, including World War 1. Find out more.

Simon O'Connor and Michelle O'Rourke - Left Behind: songs of the widows of 1916. An Grianan Letterkenny April 2016

Composer Simon O’Connor and vocalist Michelle O’Rourke present Left Behind: Songs of the 1916 Widows. 1 April 2016.

Left Behind: Songs of the 1916 Widows, Friday 1 April 2016 at 8pm Tickets: €15/€12

Written by composer and curator Simon O’Connor, and commissioned and presented by vocalist Michelle O’Rourke, Left Behind is a new collection of songs to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.Drawing on the experiences of women closely connected to the conflict, including the wives of prominent rebel leaders, O’Rourke and O’Connor have created a unique suite of compositions that offer an emotional, human perspective on a narrative that is too often told in baldly male heroic terms.

Beginning life as simple vocal/piano pieces, these songs have been transformed with the addition of O’Connor’s former bandmates from celebrated Dublin rock band The Jimmy Cake.

This small ensemble brings a volatile, dramatic energy to the retelling of the stories of Lillie Connolly, Grace and Muriel Gifford, Agnes Mallin and others. Find out more.

This performance supported by Donegal County Council and the Ireland 1916 Cetenary programme.

These events supported by Donegal County Council and the Ireland 1916 Cetenary programme.

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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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