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!
See the tour dates here:
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.
Tuesday 5 & Wed 6 February at 11am
Fri 8 February at 8pm
An Grianán Theatre
Sat 9 February at 8pm
028 7138 4444
Tues 12 February at 11am
056 776 1674
Wed 13 February at 8pm
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
Thur 7 March at 8pm
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.