Arts and Parts by Daithi Ramsey

An Grianan Theatre has two great dramas on its stage within five days starting this Friday.

An Grianan Theatre has two great dramas on its stage within five days starting this Friday.

In fact, it’s three great dramas as the first is a double bill of short Brian Friel plays - Winners and Afterplay. Then, on Monday, November 21 and Tuesday, November 22, it’s the wonderful Conor McPherson play The Seafarer.

This Friday and Saturday, An Grianan has two of Friel’s most acclaimed one act plays.

The first of the two is Winners - directed by John McGinley, and featuring Sarah McGoohan and Odhran O’Donnell.

In Winners, a teenage couple study for their final examines on a sunny day outside. Their future seems to be all set: Mag is pregnant, they are engaged to be married, the lease for their flat is signed. The day, however, ends quite differently than expected. Fragile and poetic in style, it is a firm favourite of drama lovers the world over.

The second drama on the evening is Afterplay - directed by Sean McCormack, featuring Jean Curran and Donal Kavanagh, and the voices of Kieran Kelly. Afterplay is Friel’s homage to the Russian playwright Chekhov. Twenty years after their previous fictional lives ended, two characters from different Chekhov plays meet by chance. In a run-down café, Andrey Prozorov, the brother of Chekhov’s Three Sisters (and husband of the ghastly Natasha), wanders in to find Sonia Serebryakova, niece of Uncle Vanya. Friel fleshes out the experiences they might have had and the relationship they might pursue.

The Seafarer, stars acclaimed Donegal actor Frankie McCafferty. One of the most popular plays ever seen at An Grianán returns in a new production by the award winning Nomad Theatre Network and Decadent Theatre.

It’s Christmas Eve and Sharky has returned to Dublin to look after his irascible, ageing brother who’s recently gone blind. Old drinking buddies Ivan and Nicky are holed up at the house too, hoping to play some cards. With the arrival of a stranger from the distant past, the stakes are raised ever higher.

In the midst of this eerie, darkly humorous tale, celebrated playwright Conor McPherson celebrates the tender story of a family and examines how we face the demons of our past as we struggle to find redemption. So, pull up a chair alongside Sharky, Nicky, Ivan and co and enjoy a great story, well told.

The Seafarer has wowed audiences’ internationally, winning Olivier and Tony awards, and was voted one of the top plays of the last decade in the Sunday Times Critics Choice. This production is directed by Andrew Flynn, and features a stellar cast which includes Garrett Keogh, Frankie McCafferty, Joe Savino, Robert O’Mahoney and Paul Roe.

To book or for more information on any of the shows at An Grianan Theatre call 074 912 0777 or go online at