A trad supergroup

A concert by the trad supergroup Usher's Island kicks off a week of live theatre and music in Donegal

A trad supergroup

There’s a great concert at An Grianán Theatre in Letterkenny tomorrow, 5th April.

Named after one of the medieval quays along the River Liffey in Dublin, Usher’s Island is a brand-new supergroup uniting two generations of trailblazing Irish musicians.

The revered figures of Donal Lunny, Andy Irvine and Paddy Glackin link the band’s heritage to the glory days of Planxty, the Bothy Band, Moving Hearts, Mozaik and other seminal boundary-crossers, while two of today’s leading heirs to these pioneering artists, Mike McGoldrick and John Doyle, contribute their vast experience of contemporary Celtic and other international roots styles.

To book call 074 91 20777 or go online at angrianan.com. Tickets will also be available on the door on the night.

The Cripple of Inishmaan

My favourite of Martin McDonagh’s plays, “The Cripple of Inishmaan”, is on at An Grianán Theatre this coming Saturday 9th April. It’s set on the remote island of Inishmaan off the west coast of Ireland. Word arrives that a Hollywood film is being made on the neighbouring island of Inishmore. The one person who wants to be in the film more than anybody is young Cripple Billy, if only to break away from the bitter tedium of his daily life.

“The Cripple Of Inishmaan” examines an ordinary coming of age in extraordinary circumstances and shows once more that McDonagh is master of the deepest, darkest and most powerful humour.

Since its premier at the National Theatre in 1996 McDonagh’s work has gone on to achieve its rightful place in the great pantheon of Irish drama. Well worth seeing! You can book on 074 91 20777 and angrianan.com

Ó Pheann an Phiarsaigh (From Pearse’s Pen)

There’s a play as Gaeilge in the RCC in Letterkenny tonight, Monday 4th April. In this personal and stirring representation of the life and works of one of Ireland’s most famous and revered sons, written by Noel Ó Gallchoir, the best of Pádraig Mac Piarais’ (1879-1916) creative writings are brought to life and illustrated masterfully.

In this personal and honest depiction of Mac Piarais, the deepest recesses of his personality are explored and he is celebrated and remembered as a prolific poet, an inventive writer, a powerful dramatist, an astute and innovative educator, a dedicated revolutionary and a compassionate man who worked tirelessly in promoting the language and the culture of his country, and who gave his life in the cause of his nation. Tickets are only €10.

Oliver The Musical

Balor DCA brings the much loved musical adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “Oliver!” to the stage in Ballybofey from the 14th April to the 24th.

Join young orphaned Oliver (Tiernan Doherty) on a wild adventure through Victorian England as he navigates London’s underworld of theft and violence searching for a home, a family and – most importantly – love. With spirited, timeless musical favourites such as “Where Is Love”, “As Long As He Needs Me”, and “Food Glorious Food”, Oliver! Is a musical classic.

With a great local cast including Jack Quinn as Fagan and Cian Gallagher as The Artful Dodger, it’s directed by Kieran Quinn with musical direction by Denise Roper, the same creative partnership that made “The Sound Of Music” such a success last year. Book on 074 91 31840 or at balorartscentre.com.

Paddy McMenamin Album Launch

Glenfin fiddler Paddy McMenamin launches his debut album, “Paddy McMenamin and Friends” this Thursday, April 7th, in the Villa Rose Hotel in Ballybofey. Included on the album are Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh, Dermot Byrne, Martin Tourish and Matt McGranaghan, so well worth picking up a copy.