Arts Column with Conor Malone

Weekly Round Up

Weekly Round Up

You have three more chances to catch Brendan O Carroll’s hugely popular Mrs Brown Rides Again – it’s at The Millennium Forum until Saturday. It’s also a busy three days at An Grianan with comedian Ardal O Hanlon tonight, music with Jack L tomorrow and drama with The 39 Steps on Saturday.

Also on Saturday, Jerry Fish is at The Alley in Strabane while on Sunday The Johnny Cash Story is at The Millennium and there’s top class folk/bluegrass with Southern Tenant Folk Union at The Balor.

A seven days that features some fine music is rounded off in style next Wednesday with Albert Lee and Hogan’s Heroes at An Grianan.

A Little Bit Of Everything At An Grianan

An Grianan’s programme is nothing if not varied this week – in fact over the next three nights there’s first rate comedy music and drama on offer. Kicking things off with a laugh tonight is Fr Ted star Ardal O Hanlon. I suppose, such was the success of the show, that no matter what he does Ardal will always be Fr. Dougal Maguire to some people but you’d do well to remember that he’s also a top class stand up comedian in his own right. Go to An Grianan tonight and see for yourself. Tickets are €20 each or 4 for €70.

Jack L (tomorrow, Friday 11th) has been on the scene quite a while now but he’s one of those artists that attracts a deeply loyal fan base and his shows always seem to sell well. He’s blessed with a great and truly distinctive voice which he puts to full use whether on his own songs or interpreting other peoples tunes in a way that makes them his own. He’s also a consummate showman – if you ever wanted to see a singer with the crowd totally in the palm of his hand, Jack’s your man. Tickets for this one are €20 each with a 4 for €70 deal also available.

On Saturday 12th, Letterkenny Music & Drama Society’s incredibly popular and successful The 39 Steps makes a triumphant return fresh from success at the All Ireland Confined competition and winning a gazillion trophies in drama festivals along the way. It’s a comedic reworking of the Hitchcock classic and you’d be hard put to tell the difference between this and the West End version. Go and see what all the fuss is about – it’s on this Saturday and it’ll only cost you €12 (€10 concession).

The three shows mentioned above all have 8pm starts and you can book tickets at An Grianan box office on 074 912 0777 or on-line at

Albert Lee & Hogan’s Heroes

Staying with An Grianan, connoisseurs of good music in general and top class guitar playing in particular will already have circled next Wednesday May 16th on their calendars for the what is by now annual visit of Albert Lee and Hogan’s Heroes.

Albert needs no introduction to Country Music and Rock fans. By common consent one of the world’s finest guitar players, he’s a two time Grammy award winner who’s played with the likes of Emmylou Harris and Eric Clapton as well as being a member of Billy Wyman’s Rhythm Kings.

The backing band – Hogan’s Heroes – aren’t too shabby either. First formed by Gerry Hogan over 20 years ago they’re renowned as one of the tightest bands in the business and the list of who they’ve played with would simply fill this column and, as I’m not paid by the word, I’ll simply direct you to to find out more.

Albert Lee and Hogan’s heroes play An Grianan, Letterkenny next Wednesday May 16th at 8.00pm. Admission is €20 and tickets are available from An Grianan box office on 074 912 0777.

The Coercion Of Substance

Is it just me or does “Coercion of Substance” sound a bit like a title for a Bond movie? In fact., it’s a major new Arts Council funded touring exhibition currently on show at the Regional Cultural Centre (located just behind An Grianan on the Port Road in Letterkenny). The show features the work of Samuel Walsh – one of Ireland’s leading artists over the last thirty years. Samuel is extremely highly regarded and was elected a member of Aosdana in recognition of his lifetime contribution to the Arts in 1997.

Exhibition opening hours are Tuesday to Friday 11am to 5pm and Saturdays from 1pm to 5pm. Admission is free and the exhibition runs until Saturday May 26th.

In addition to viewing Samuel’s work, you can also participate in a drawing workshop facilitated by the man himself this Saturday (May 12th) from 2pm to 3.30pm. Following the workshop, an artist’s talk is scheduled for 4pm with the exhibition’s official opening at 5pm. Admission for all the above is free of charge but you may want to book a place on the workshop in advance by phoning the Regional Cultural Centre on 074 912 9186.

Southern Tenant Folk Union

I flagged these guys up last week but, like the song New York New York says, they’re so good I’ll name ‘em twice. The Southern Tenant Folk Union play The Balor this Sunday May 13th. I didn’t know much about these guys when I booked them originally for a gig in February 2011 but they duly delivered one of the best gigs of last year. We’re delighted to have them back! If you’re a fan of folk and bluegrass, I can heartily and confidently recommend this gig to you. Hailing from Scotland, they’re a 7 piece acoustic folk band featuring banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, double bass and quite amazing harmony vocals.

The Southern Tenant Folk Union play The Balor this Sunday May 13th at 8.30pm. Admission is €15 and tickets are available from The Balor Box Office on 074 913 1840.