Arts Column 06.02.14

Conor Malone

Reporter:

Conor Malone

Arts Column 06.02.14
This Week’s Highlights: If you missed The Unremarkable Death of Marilyn Monroe last Tuesday at An Grianan, there’s another chance to see it at The Playhouse in Derry tonight (Thursday). Elsewhere, accordionist Martin Tourish and Friends are at The Balor, Balybofey, The Royal & Prior Raphoe hold a concert at An Grianan and Gillie Leroy Jones celebrates the music of The Drifters with Under The Boardwalk at The Millennium forum, Derry.

This Week’s Highlights: If you missed The Unremarkable Death of Marilyn Monroe last Tuesday at An Grianan, there’s another chance to see it at The Playhouse in Derry tonight (Thursday). Elsewhere, accordionist Martin Tourish and Friends are at The Balor, Balybofey, The Royal & Prior Raphoe hold a concert at An Grianan and Gillie Leroy Jones celebrates the music of The Drifters with Under The Boardwalk at The Millennium forum, Derry.

There is a Murder Mystery evening / fundraiser for the theatre, Murder On Skull Island, in The Balor, Ballybofey on Friday night.

On Saturday, The Henry Girls launch their new album Louder Than words at An Grianan, Queen Tribute act Flash Harry play The Forum in Derry and the incomparable Tom Crean Antarctic Explorer is at The Playhouse.

There’s another heat of talent contest The Audition at An Grianan on Sunday. Up in Derry at The Forum, there’s a one act reading of new work by Dave Duggan entitled Denizen in the Danske Bank studio, while there’s An Evening of Nostalgia with Brendan Bowyer on the main stage.

All There Is, a brand new drama from Fahy Productions, begins a five night (Tuesday to Saturday) run at The Playhouse, Derry on Tuesday and Irene Melaugh’s new comedy A Whole Handlin’ begins a four night run at The Millennium Forum on Wednesday.

Louder Than Words

This coming Saturday sees The Henry Girls celebrate the release of their new album Louder Than Words with a homecoming gig of sorts at An Grianan in Letterkenny.

The three McLaughlin sisters from inishowen - Karen, Lorna and Joleen - have long been one of Donegal’s most popular groups.There’s certainly quite a buzz about this album release, with lots of airplay and radio interviews both local and national over the last few weeks. Hopefully this is the release that sees them really crack what is an ever growing international audience.

If it happens, it’ll anything but an overnight success, as the girls are one of the hardest working outfits in the business. Since the 2011 release of their much acclaimed December Moon they’ve toured constantly, bringing their music to myriad new places which brings them to Louder than Words - already being considered their finest work to date.

Musically, it’s a fusion of Donegal and the Appalachian mountains, combining Irish folk with bluegrass and American roots incorporating their trademark three part harmonies. It’s a sound that has rapidly gained them audience share at home and abroad along with the respect of peers such as Altan and Dervish.

The Henry Girls play An Grianan, Letterkenny this Saturday, February 8 at 8.30pm. Tickets are €15 (€12 concession) available from An Grianan on 074 912 0777 or online at www.angrianan.com.

The Other Side

I’m out of my comfort zone and learning what it’s like on the other side this week, as I’ve been drawn out from behind the scenes to appear on the stage for The Butt Drama Circle’s Murder On Skull Island at The Balor.

Murder On Skull Island is a Murder Mystery show set on – you guessed it – Skull Island, where a group of people have been invited to receive a generous gift. They start getting murdered one by one and the audience gets to play detective and guess who it is with prizes available for whoever gets the murderer and the motive correct. There’s also a guest appearance from a well known local but I’m not allowed say who it is.

So how did I get dragged into it? Well, it’s a fund raiser for the theatre so I could hardly say no. It has given me a real appreciation of just how much work is involved in playing a role on stage and that’s just with the rehearsals. I’ve yet to go through the whole performance stage fright part.

As I say, it’s a fund raiser for the theatre so, if you’re doing nothing Friday night come along and support us – and don’t be too harsh a critic! Murder on Skull Island is at The Balor this Friday, February 7 at 8.30pm. Tickets are €10 and are available from The Balor Box Office on 074 913 1840 or online at www.balorartscentre.com

Chronicles Of Long Kesh

Letterkenny Music & Drama group have been guaranteed box office these last couple of years with both The 39 Steps and Calendar Girls packing out theatres in Letterkenny and beyond. The follow a simple formula really – pick a really entertaining show and do it very, very well.

This year the group promise more of the same as they tackle Martin Lynch’s The Chronicles of Long Kesh. Lynch is the author of the hit comedy A History Of The Troubles (according to my Da) and Chronicles is the painful, shocking and hilarious story of Long Kesh, Northern Irelands most infamous prison.

The team behind The 39 steps and Calendar Girls tell us the tale through the eyes of prison officers, Republicans, Loyalists and a rich assortment of patriots, chancers, wives, escapers and hypochondriacs.

Both the script and the team behind the production have a proven track record of quality, so you’re absolutely guaranteed a great show. Letterkenny Music & Drama group present The Chronicles Of Long Kesh at An Grianan, Letterkenny from Thursday, February 13 to Saturday, February 15 at 8pm nightly. Tickets are €12 (€10 concession) and are available from An Grianan on 074 912 0777 or online at www.angrianan.com

Cancellations

Two shows scheduled for this week at The Balor - Fine Girl Ye Are slated on Saturday and The Kilkennys next Wednesday, have had to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

Sincere apologies for any inconvenience. If you had tickets booked for either show, refunds are available from The Balor on 074 913 1840.

Let’s Dance

An 8 week dance course under the tutelage of Aoife Toner begins next Wednesday (February 12) at An Grianan, Letterkenny. Designed for children aged 7 to 12 years, the course will develop music, movement and performance skills while inspiring confidence and giving the participants the chance to have plenty of fun, which is of course the main reason we do these things in the first place. The workshops culminate in a public performance of Peter and the Wolf, so you’ll get the opportunity to see your little darlings strut their stuff on the An Grianan stage. The cost for the course is a €25 which is just over €3 per week. Bargain!

For more information contact An Grianan on 074 912 0777