Arts Column with Conor Malone 12.06.14

Arts Column with Conor Malone 12.06.14
This Week’s Highlights: Tonight (Thursday June 12th) is the third and final night of the Donegal National Schools Drama festival at The Balor, Ballybofey with pupils from Glencovitt N.S., Ballybofey and St Eunan’s N.S. Raphoe performing.

This Week’s Highlights: Tonight (Thursday June 12th) is the third and final night of the Donegal National Schools Drama festival at The Balor, Ballybofey with pupils from Glencovitt N.S., Ballybofey and St Eunan’s N.S. Raphoe performing.

Tomorrow night (Friday13th) Dejection Through Rejection – a contemporary dance piece performed by local schools and special needs groups - is at The Alley, Strabane. There’s dance of a different kind with Andrew Wetherall at Sandinos in Derry and comedy Boeing Boeing kicks off a two night stand at the Millennium Forum.

There’s a performance from the participants in the Balor Youth Theatre and Balor Guitar School at 12 noon on Saturday in The Balor. And The Emma Insley Circus Night takes place at 7pm in An Grianan.

What The Ladybird Heard, the stage adaptation of the much loved Julia Donaldson childrens’ book, is at The Millennium Forum on Sunday and Monday.

Female Voices

Female Irish vocalists are very much on the agenda at this years Earagail Arts Festival. Indeed, three of the standout music gigs are all female affairs. Sharon Shannon, Frances Black, Mary Coughlan and The Henry Girls all on the one bill at The Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny on Sunday July 13th.

Innovative, avant-garde composer, singer and songwriter Julie Feeney plays the Balor, Ballybofey the following Thursday July 17th. Julie’s self-produced debut album ‘13 Songs’ won the Choice Music Prize for Irish album of the year and the follow up album ‘Pages’ was also nominated for a Choice award as well as being festured in the Liberties Press book ‘101 Irish Albums You Must Hear Before You Die’ while her third album ‘Clocks’ went straight in at No.1 in the Irish Album charts and was voted ‘Album Of The Year’ by the Irish Times. A genuine artist and hugely enjoyable performer with a fine pedigree.

Completing the trio is Cavan’s Lisa O’Neill who plays An Grianan, Letterkenny on Saturday July 26th. Lisa has enjoyed a meteoric rise in the past year. She’s toured Ireland and mainland Europe with Glen Hansard, supported David Gray on his Irish tour (including a performance last December in An Grianan) and her new album same Cloth Or 
Not has both wowed the critics and won her a raft of new fans. Her rich folk voice complete with distinctive accent, melancholic melodies and lyrical wit mark her as a unique Irish talent. Opening for Lisa will be Rosie Carney from Downings, a hugely talented 16 year old who has been generating considerable industry buzz. Rosie has played here at The Balor a couple of times in the past year, including opening for the legendary Donovan, and she’s quite remarkable so don’t be one of those people who stay in the bar for the support act.

There’s information on all these gigs and of course much much more on the Earagail Arts Festivals website, www.eaf.ie. Tickets are available online and you can also book in person or over the phone at the Festival Box Office at An Grianan on 074 912 0777.

Boeing Boeing

Boeing Boeing at The Millennium Forum is a non stop comedy from French playwright Marc Camoletti, the author of Don’t Dress for Dinner. It’s a farce which tells the story of Bernard, a successful architect living in Paris, who thinks that he can easily cope as he juggles three flight attendant fiancées, each convinced that she is the only one.

As you can imagine, there’s some serious time management issues involved and he relies heavily on his maid Bertha to keep his schedule clash free and always have the correct photograph on the bedside table. You don’t need to be psychic to predict the inevitable chaos that ensues in this hysterical whirl of mayhem and matchmaking.

Boeing Boeing is at The Millennium Forum on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th of June. Tickets are £12.50 on opening night and range from £14.50 to £22 on the Saturday. Ring The Forum on 048 7126 4455 for bookings and more information.

Looking Ahead

June is generally one of the quieter times in the arts. Nevertheless, that tempus sure does fugit and we’re busy making plans for the rest of the year. So much so, that there’s a new Balor brochure currently at the printers detailing acts and activities til the end of August.

There are two big in-house productions courtesy of the Butt Drama Circle in August. JC Bonar will direct popular musical comedy Little Shop Of Horrors and Gordon Lucas will direct this summer’s youth production, the acclaimed Blood Brothers by Willy Russell.

Music wise, the quite brilliant Julie Feeney is the pick of the line up. I’m also looking forward to Canadian old time roots sensation Gordie McKeeman & His Rhythm Boys while local music veteran Jonathan Smeaton’s QSO album launch should be a riot (figuratively, hopefully not literally). There’s also the return of our Grand Ole Opry night with Songs From The Grand Ole Opry.

Keep an eye out for the new brochure or ring the Balor on 074 913 1840 and we’ll mail out a copy to you free of charge. Or go all environmentally friendly paperless office style and log on to www.balorartscentre.com to download a pdf.