Arts Column with Conor Malone

Arts Column with Conor Malone
This Week’s Highlights

This Week’s Highlights

The week kicks off with laughs aplenty as Ladies’ Night, a brand new comedy from The Butt Drama Circle, opens a three night run at The Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey tonight (Thursday 5th to Saturday 7th).

The Way To The Crock Road, a drama based on the real memoirs of a girl growing up on the shores of Lough Neagh, is at The Playhouse in Derry for to nights – Friday 6th and Saturday 7th.

One of Ireland’s most distinctive voices, Sean Keane, plays The Abbey Centre in Ballyshannon on Saturday 7th and there’s more comedy in An Grianan, Letterkenny on Sunday 8th with the irascible and irrepressible Rich Hall.

In keeping with the comedy theme, Boeing Boeing, a comedy play about a Paris base architect trying to date three air hostesses at the same time starts a 4 night run in the Millennium Forum Derry from Wednesday 11th though til Saturday 14th.

Countdown to Earagail

The launch of the 2014 Earagail Festival took place yesterday morning in An Grianan Theatre Letterkenny.

The headline theatre piece is Fiesta, a brand new play recounting the memories of one of Donegal’s most popular ballrooms. The music of the showbands including The Capitol Showband, the Miami Showband, The Clipper Carlton playing to two thousand people at ten bob a head,Brylcream, hairspray and McDaid’s minerals - it’s all here in two hours of pure nostalgia. There’s also I Do which allows you to be a fly on the wall in the lead up to a wedding from six different perspectives – each segment actually taking place in a real hotel room in Letterkenny’s Clanree Hotel - and consistent makers of excellent new theatre Fishamble are back with Swing.

The Clanree Hotel also features prominently in the music programme with Sharon Shannon, Frances Black, Mary Coughlan and The Henry Girls all on the one bill for one of the main music gigs of the festival. Other interesting gigs include rising Cavan star Lisa O Neill at An Grianan and Julie Feeney at The Balor. Other notable gigs are The Melting Pod finale featuring Chic’s Ralph Rolle, guitar virtuoso Eduardo Niebla and an album launch from veteran Donegal music stalwart Jonathan Smeaton.

There are workshops, exhibitions, kids shows, outdoor events like The Global Village Gathering and, praise be to the heavens, the drive-in movies at Ards Forest Park are back. The full programme is available to download at and there are hard copies being distributed around the county. The festival box office is located at An Grianan, Letterkenny on 074 912 0777.

Calling World Cup Widows

Ladies – very, very soon it will be World Cup time which means that for a month the remote control will belong to your husband and conversation will be at a premium. So you owe it to yourselves to get some pre-emptive therapy in the form of Ladies’ Night, a brand new rip roaring comedy starting a 3-night run in The Balor tonight. Linda decides to organise a lingerie party in an attempt to lift her spirits and revive her flagging love life. As wine flows, tongues loosen and inhibitions are discarded, the girls decide to give dowdy Emma a makeover so that she can regain the affections of her philandering husband, with risqué and chaotic results. Ladies’ Night is at The Balor, Ballybofey from Thursday June 5th to Saturday June 7th. Tickets are great value at €10: phone 0749131840 to book or log on to

Sean Keane

There’s an opportunity to hear one of Ireland’s most distinctive voices sing some greats songs as Sean Keane visits The Abbey Centre in Ballyshannon this Saturday.

It’s great to see Sean back on the scene . He took a near four year hiatus beginning in 2010 due to tragic personal circumstances but he’s now back where he belongs with an album release, a new single, ‘Don’t Teach Me How To Cry’, and tours of Germany and America under his belt. He’ll be joined on stage by Pat Coyne on guitar and Fergus Feeley on Mandocello and together they’ll belt out classics like Exile, Isle of Hope, Paint Me A Picture of Ireland and many more. Sean Keane is at The Abbey Centre, Ballyshannon this Saturday June 7th. Ring 074 985 1375 for bookings and more information.

Rich Hall

Purveyors of quality comedy won’t want to miss Rich Hall when he visits An Grianan, Letterkenny this Sunday. An irascible American lampooning anything and everything, Rich’s grouchy, deadpan style has established him as a master of absurdist irony and the king of rapid fire wit.

His plain spoken growling indignation and acerbic observations have a talent for hitting his targets unerringly in the bullseye. He’s been described as a transatlantic messanger lampooning each country he visits with common sense and, as you’d expect, he’s no less harsh on his homeland.

Many of you will of course be familiar with Rich from his TV work. He’s based in England now and is a regular on so many of the comedy panel shows that they do so well across the water – the likes of QI, Have I Got News For You, Never Mind The Buzzcocks. Tickets are €20 (4 for €70 if you can round up some friends).