Arts Column with Conor Malone

This Week in the Arts

This Week in the Arts

MC Maximum Homosapien hosts another Crash Cabaret at An Grianan tomorrow night. Also on Friday is a stage adaptation of Stephen King’s bestseller and Hollywood blockbuster Misery – that’s on in The Playhouse, Derry.

On Saturday, Declan Sinnott plays The Balor, The Crokey Hill Players perform The Real McCoy at An Grianan, Fascinating Aida whose Ryanair skit Cheap Flights became a viral youtube sensation are at The Millennium Forum, Derry and the heroics of the 1967 Celtic European Cup wining team are recounted in On Our Way To Lisbon at the Playhouse, Derry.

Blockbuster musical Chicago opens at The Millennium in Derry next Monday and runs nightly until Saturday, October 27. On Tuesday, you can enjoy renditions of some of country musics best loved hits in A Night At The Grand Ole Opry in An Grianan.

Folk singer Judy Collins is at An Grianan next Wednesday, October 24, while the hit country and western comedy Long Gone Lonesome Cowgirls is back at The Balor, Ballybofey by popular demand for a two night run – next Wednesday and Thursday.

Out Of The Shadows

The Balor welcomes one of Irish music’s most influential figures this Saturday as Declan Sinnott steps out of the shadows to perform a rare solo gig to mark the release of his album I Love The Noise It Makes.

Declan’s contribution to Irish music is truly remarkable. Everywhere you look in the development of folk music, you’ll find Declan’s unmistakable hand. He was a founding member of both Horslips and Moving Hearts, spent thirteen years guiding the career of Mary Black and, of course, has been Christy Moore’s guitarist for the last twelve years.

Remarkably, at the age of 61, I Love The Noise It Makes, released last month, marks Declan’s debut solo album. Says Declan: “The record I’ve made is very much me. The idea that the person singing the song also wrote the song has always seemed to me to be the ideal. I could never see myself recording an album of cover versions and that may be one of the reasons I was so slow to make an album.”

After a lifetime of shaping, nurturing and influencing other artists and groups, the opportunity to see and hear a legend reveal his own personal sound is to be savoured. I for one am fascinated to see the end product and this is a gig I’ve been looking forward to ever since it was booked.

Support on the night comes from Strabane singer songwriter Paul Tully. I’ve heard Paul play a couple of times. He has some fantastic songs that he performs superbly so make sure and get there in time for the support slot too. Declan Sinnott plays The Balor this Saturday at 8.30pm. Admission is €15 and tickets are available from The Balor Box Office on 074 913 1840 or online at

Balor Music

Declan Sinnott is one of five live music acts we have coming up 
in The Balor in what I think is probably I strongest ever month music-wise.

After Declan, we have Australian AC/DC tribute act Acca Dacca on Sunday, November 4. These guys are as authentic as it gets short of the real thing. Indeed, they actually come with AC/DC guitarist Angus Young’s personal seal of approval. His quote: “If you can’t see us, go see Acca Dacca”.

After that we have Rory Gallagher of “Jimmy’s Winning Matches” fame. Rory shot to everybody’s attention with the song that became the unofficial anthem of the Donegal All-Ireland winning side but I’ve been a big fan ever since the Revs were making waves back in the day. A talented songwriter and infectious live 
performer, Rory has much more 
to his bow than a ‘one-hit wonder’. Rory is here on Saturday, November 10.

There are two heavy hitters towards the end of November, with Damien Dempsey (Saturday November, 17) and Bell X1 on Friday, November 23. Both these acts are old friends of ours having performed numerous times at The Balor. They’re always great gigs.

Info and tickets on all the above are available from The Balor Box Office on 074 913 1840 or online at

Crash, Bang, Wallop

It doesn’t seem like a month since the last one but it’s Crash Cabaret time again at An Grianan, Letterkenny this Friday. MC Maximum Homosapien is your host for an evening of eclectic fun where literally anything can happen.

This Friday, there’s comedy from Declan Williams, folk metal from Nigel Hegarty and Peadar Coll and John Muldowney, and Jonathan Smeaton will also perform a few tunes. There’s also life sketching – it was a great hit at the last cabaret so they’re doing it again. Comedy, folk metal and life sketching all under the one roof for a fiver. Sure where would you get it?

Crash Cabaret takes place tomorrow night at An Grianan, Letterkenny. Things start happening from about 9pm on and can finish quite late. For more info and bookings, give An Grianan a ring on 074 912 0777.

And All That Jazz

One of the most famous, best loved and successful Broadway musicals comes to Derry next week as Chicago opens in the Millennium Forum on Monday.

Chicago is the longest-running musical in American history and the fourth longest-running show in Broadway history.The original Broadway production opened in 1975 and ran for an incredible 936 performances. It’s also the longest running American musical in London’s West End history.

It was, of course, also made into an Academy Award film starring Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere.

We’re lucky to have in 
The Millennium Forum a venue in the immediate vicinity that can cope with the sheer logistics of hosting a large scale West End production. 
If musicals are your thing, this should definitely be on your can’t miss list.