Arts Column with Conor Malone

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Arts Column with Conor Malone

This Week's Highlights

The Lifford Players scheduled performance of ‘Allo ‘Allo at The Balor, Ballybofey (Thursday June 30th to Saturday July 2nd) has just been cancelled/postponed. The play is scheduled for An Grianan on August 12th and 13th and it is hoped that it will be staged at The Balor towards the end of August.

North West Words hold their monthly celebration of poetry with a bit of music thrown in at Cafe Blend in Letterkenny tonight (Thursday June 30th). Also tonight, the musical Sorcha’s Story is at The Millennium Forum in Derry.

The launch of this year's Ballyshannon Folk and Traditional Music Festival takes place tonight (Thursday, June 30th) at 8pm in the Abbey Centre with music from Bel Canto and a full concert by trad/bluegrass group Erdini. Admission is free.

Singer songwriter Kieran Goss plays An Grianan Theatre, Letterkenny with special guest Annie Kinsella on Saturday July 2nd .

Derry Music City Festival, July 4-10 features some great acts including Villagers (who open the festival at The Glassworks on Monday July 4th), SOAK and The Strypes heading a huge line-up.

Redemption Song

Keith Donald is familiar to Irish music fans as the saxophone player with Moving Hearts. His soaring alto sax playing allied to the Uileann Pipes of Davy Spillane gave Moving Hearts their signature sound evident on tracks such as ‘Hiroshima Nagasaki Russian Roulette’ and ‘The Storm’.

He comes to The Balor, Ballybofey on Sunday July 10th and then to the Holy Trinity Parish Hall on Monday 11th as part of The Earagail Arts Festival with his new play NewBliss.

Written and performed by Keith, NewBliss is an autobiographical work, telling the story of Keith's professional career which saw him play with some of the biggest names in Irish music such as Van Morrison and Ronnie Drew as well, of course, as with Christy Moore, Donal Lunny et al with Moving Hearts.

Through verse, prose and music, Keith recounts the highs and lows of his six decade long career – half of which was spent under the shadow of alcoholism. Keith’s journey from addiction to redemption is an inspirational story and a real tour de force.

Keith Donald’s NewBliss is at The Balor Arts Centre Ballybofey on Sunday, July 10th at 8pm. Tickets are €12 (€10 concession) on 074 9131840 or NewBliss will also be at The Holy Trinity Parish Hall in Dunfanaghy on Monday, July 11th at 8pm. Tickets €12/€10 on sale at The Earagail Arts Festival Box Office in An Grianan, Letterkenny on 07491 20777 or at

Occupying Derry With Music

Villagers open Derry’s Music City Festival next Monday at The Glassworks supported by Ports. The Glassworks is the venue for several other good gigs during the weeklong festival with SOAK playing there on Friday 8th (supported by Saint Sister) and Nashville’s the Willis Clan playing there on Saturday 9th.2

Full details of the festival line-up at Tickets from the Millennium Forum Box Office on 048 7126 4455 or