Conor Malone on The Arts

Conor Malone on The Arts
This week’s highlights: You wait all year for a one act drama festival and then two of them come at once. The Letterkenny One Act Festival takes place at An Grianan Theatre starting tonight and running til Saturday. Likewise, the One Act City Of Derry Drama Festival is at The Playhouse from Thursday til Saturday.

This week’s highlights: You wait all year for a one act drama festival and then two of them come at once. The Letterkenny One Act Festival takes place at An Grianan Theatre starting tonight and running til Saturday. Likewise, the One Act City Of Derry Drama Festival is at The Playhouse from Thursday til Saturday.

Elsewhere tonight, the Ballybofey & Stranorlar Women’s Group Variety Concert takes place at The Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey with proceeds going to the Mammy I Want To Walk Fund. It’s the second and final night of Bookworms at The Alley, Strabane and monthly live music night The Lark & The Robin in McGrory’s, Culdaff features Ciaran Lavery and Matt McGinn.

Castlederg ‘psycho ceilidh’ outfit The Logues are at The Balor, Ballybofey on Friday. Americana star Carrie Rodriguez plays The Balor on Saturday 15 while The Hot Sprockets are at The Greenroom in Letterkenny.

On Sunday, 16 you can brush up on your culinary skills with Donal Skehan at An Grianan, Letterkenny.

Edgy Americana

If you’re a fan of Americana, it doesn’t come much better than Carrie Rodriguez who plays The Balor on Saturday. The chart-topping singer, musician and songwriter brings an edge to her music, it’s classic Americana but darker, with crunchy guitar riffs and a touch of angst.

Carrie was born into a musical family – her father is seasoned songwriting veteran David Rodriguez – and growing up the likes of Lyle Lovett would be regular callers to the door. Her pro career really took off after she met Chip Taylor (Wild Thing, Angel Of The Morning) at the South By Southwest festival: they went on to record four albums and an EP together as well as touring extensively.

Carrie’s produced eight albums in as many years. Her latest entitled Give Me All You Got was immediately acclaimed as her finest work to date and flew to the top of the US Americana chart.

As to be expected from someone who practically grew up singing with a fiddle in her hand, she’s at her best live and on the road. Joining her for this Balor gig will be Luke Jacobs on pedal steel, electric and acoustic guitar and vocals.

The Logues play The Balor this Friday November 14 at 8.30pm, tickets €12.50. Carrie Rodriguez is at The Balor on Saturday November 15 at 8.30pm, admission €15. Tickets for both gigs are available from The Balor Box Office on 0749131840 or online at www.balorartscentre.com

Kitchen Hero

One of the most popular of the new breed of TV chefs is 25 year old home cook, food writer and television presenter Donal Skehan. Although still only young, Donal has written three cookbooks – Good Mood Food, Bringing Cooking Back Home and Kitchen Hero: Great Food For Less. He’s also the presenter of BBC’s Junior Masterchef and RTE’s Kitchen Hero.

With all that going on it’s pretty amazing that he’s also found the time to tour a live cookery show around the country. Twice. Last year Donal was the first ever Irish chef to tour a live show and he enjoyed it so much that he’s doing it again. His Kitchen Hero Two Tour rolls into An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny this Sunday November 16 and will see him cook up delicious, everyday, simple homecooked meals live on stage with lots of fun, loads of food and lashings of audience participation.

Donal Skehan Kitchen Hero takes place Sunday November 16th at 4pm at An Grianan, Letterkenny. Tickets, priced €20 are available from An Grianan on 0749120777 or online at www.angrianan.com

Myth, Magic and Music in Glenties

There’s lots of common connections between Donegal and the western fringe of Scotland. I daresay a few more will be forged the weekend after next as Scottish storytellers, singers and musicians pay a visit to link up with their Donegal counterparts for a weekend of workshops, concerts and general merriment.

The weekend, dubbed ‘Myth, Magic and Music in Colmcille Country’ is the brainchild of fiddler Denise Boyle and funded by Colmcille, a partnership programme between Foras na Gaeilge and Bord na Gaidhlig which promotes the use of Irish and Scots Gaelic.

Those travelling in from Scotland include fiddlers Jamie McDonald, Robbie Grieg, Simon Bradley and Anna Wendy Stevenson, flute and fiddle player Rachel Harris and guitarist and singer Kaitlin Ross. They’ll join some of Donegal’s best known tale tellers and players including Vincent, Jimmy and Peter Campbell, Frank Galligan, Caoimhin MacAoidh and Martin McGinley.

There’ll be ghost stories told where they happened around Glenties, story-telling and singing sessions in both Irish and scots Gaelic, fiddle workshops, music sessions and a gala concert in the Highlands Hotel on the night of Saturday November 22.

For more information on the weekend contact the organiser Denise Boyle on denisemulnaminia@yahoo.ie

Crafty work

The annual An Taisce Donegal Association craft fair takes place this Sunday November 16th in the Mount Errigal Hotel, Letterkenny. There’ll be over 40 stalls exhibiting a wide range of arts and crafts including ceramics, furniture, jewellery, wood turning, painting, knitwear, weaving, candles and photography. The fair is a great way to encourage and highlight traditional craft making in Donegal. It’s not too early to be thinking about Christmas presents and this might be the ideal place to pick up some distinctive gifts.

The fair takes place this Sunday from 12 noon to 6pm and there’s a €3 admission fee.Arets