The Arts Column

What’s On This Week

What’s On This Week

Thursday is the second and last night to catch The Lifford Players production of Shadowlands at An Grianan, Letterkenny. Willy Russell’s magnificent and acclaimed musical Blood Brothers is in the middle of it’s Derry run - catch it at The Millennium Forum before it finishes on Saturday. Also at The Forum on Friday is the return of the Forums open mic comedy night Stand & Deliver.

Deirdre Forristal School of Dance deliver three performances at An Grianán - at 7pm on Friday night and at 1pm and 7pm on the Saturday. Also on Saturday, Neil Delamere brings his new show ‘Restructuring’ to The Balor, Ballybofey.

The Happy Prince enjoys two performances at The Abbey, Ballyshannon (at 3pm and 7pm) and local live music is on the menu at The Playhouse, Derry with Jammhouse. Popular comedy Give My Head Peace is at The Millennium Forum for one night only on Sunday 22nd while there’s a double bill of Jack Scoltock plays - The Last Mile To Manchester and The Atheist - at The Playhouse in Derry on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Also on Wednesday Peter Pan The Musical opens at The Millennium Forum (running til Saturday 28th) and at The Abbey on Ballyshannon there’s the opening of a three night run of Deckchairs iii.

Princes and Deckchairs

There is a very busy week in store at The Abbey Centre in Ballyshannon. The Donegal County Council funded The Happy Prince is at the Abbey Centre for two shows this Saturday at 3pm and again at 7pm. The Happy Prince debuted to a good reception at An Grianán, Letterkenny last week. It’s a musical retelling of the classic Oscar Wilde tale by Little John Nee with help from the Donegal Youth choir and Donegal Youth Orchestra under the guidance of conductor Vincent Kennedy. Tickets for the Happy Prince are €10 for adults, €5 for children with a €25 family of four ticket also on offer.

The following Wednesday April 25th sees the opening nihgt of a three night run of Deckchairs iii - 3 one act comedies written by Jean McConnell. It’s the latest offering from the Ballyshannon based Dark Daughter productions and is directed by veteran of TV and stage productions, Maura Logue. It’s curtain up at 8.30pm nightly and tickets for Deckchairs iii will set you back a mere €10.

You can book for both The Happy Prince and Deckchairs iii by giving The Abbey Centre a call on 071 985 1375.

Neil Delamere

Well April’s been a bit grim so far with the weather pulling it’s usual trick of giving us one unseasonably warm week to lull us all into a false sense of security and then bringing us right back down to earth with an arctic bang. It’s a good thing so, that Neil Delamere arrives right on cue this weekend to The Balor to give us all a dose of much needed cheer.

In all the time I’ve been booking comedy at The Balor Neil has consistently been the biggest box office draw and the funniest of all the Irish comedians. He generally plays here about once a year which, for other comedians, might generate a bit of familiarity breeds contempt, but Neil is such a prolific comedy writer that, amazingly enough, every show is full of completely new material. He seems to get better every year too.

The Boys Are Back in Town

Another stalwart of our programming at The Balor that I’m delighting to welcome back to The Balor next week are the absolutely brilliant Limehouse Lizzy. I grew up in a house with two older Thin Lizzy mad brothers so I consider myself a bit of a (albeit at times unwilling) connoisseur of all things Lizzy and can say without hesitation that these guys are the best Thin Lizzy cover band around.

Their lead singer Wayne Ellis look and sounds uncannily like Phil Lynott - well, a Phil Lynott that spent a couple of hours every day in the gym) and the band themselves have the distinctive twin lead guitar sound, that Lizzy made so famous, down to a tee.

Not content with aural excellence the lads make it their business to put on a fantastic visual display too with glittering backdrop, flashing sirens and even a few fireworks. It’s a full two hours of Lizzy classics with all the hits such as Dancing In The Moonlight, The Boys Are Back In Town and, of course, Whiskey In The Jar. They also throw in a few lesser known album tracks that the purists among you will love.

Limehouse Lizzy play The Balor on Sunday April 29th at 8.30pm. Support comes from Carrick singer Mary Gillespie. Tickets are €15 and available from The Balor box Office on 0749131840.

Crash Cabaret’s Back

An Grianán’s monthly Crash Cabaret bash made a welcome return after a lengthy hiatus last month. It obviously went well because it’s back fro more tomorrow week (Friday 27th) with a deadly looking line-up.

It’ll feature the debut of Donegal based elctro pop duo Nanu Nanu, the latest musical project from An Grianan fave Laura Sheeran as well as a special guest appearance from In Their Thousands - another Donegal band who have been making a real name for themselves lately.

Crash Cabaret being Crash Cabaret there’s bound to be a few off the wall surprises thrown into the mix. It takes place in the An Grianan cafe bar with pre show drinks and chat from 9pm and proceedings kicking off proper at 10pm. Well worth a fiver of anybody’s money.