An Grianán Theatre

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An Grianán Theatre
An Grianan Theatre.jpg
General information
Type Theatre
Architectural style Modern
Location Letterkenny, County Donegal, Republic of Ireland
Completed 1999
Opening October 1999

An Grianán Theatre (Irish: Amharclann an Grianán), with a seating capacity of 383, is the largest theatre in Letterkenny and in the whole of County Donegal.[1] It is located on Port Road in Letterkenny. The Director is Patricia McBride. An Grianán Theatre opened in October 1999. Magic of the Musicals was the first show performed on the An Grianán stage.[2]

Each year it is used as a venue for the major local festivals, including the Earagail Arts Festival. It was also used to host the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, in the summers of 2005 and 2006.[3] It hosted the Pan Celtic Festival in 2007.[4]


On Saturday 12 May 2007, a Rathmullan based graphic design studio picked up the 2007 European Design Award in Athens, Greece. A jury of Europe's top design critics selected the studio's variable design for An Grianán Theatre from a pool of work by many other top European designers.[5]


Backstage at An Grianán

Public facilities[edit]

An Grianán can also be used as a corporate venue, offering advanced technical and catering facilities. In addition to this, a full range of projection equipment is available for use.

The café is open all day with a full bar service available before and after each performance.

There are full facilities for people with disabilities including designated seating in the auditorium, a lift and specially adapted WC. There is also an inductive loop hearing system.

There is ample and spacious parking to the rear of the building.

The green room of An Grianán Theatre

Private facilities[edit]

The backstage area of An Grianán has a number of facilities for visiting performers. These include dressing rooms and private bathroom facilities. The spacious green room has a framed t-shirt on the wall signed by The Frames, with Glen Hansard declaring it "the best green room in Ireland". There are also a number of workshop areas backstage and off the foyer downstairs. A mirror may be found on the right as one heads from the green room toward the stage. The stage is entered through a door from the left hand side facing the audience.

An Grianán's costume department may be found through a series of doors off the downstairs foyer. It contains a large number of costumes and props from past performances.


A dressing room backstage at An Grianán Theatre

The foyers and public galleries are used as an exhibition space.

Recent exhibits are listed below:

The Sound of Sculpture by Redmond Herrity ran from Monday 8 January until Saturday 10 February 2007.[6]

The Sound of Sculpture show included a mix of mediums, from limestone, marble to stainless steel and canvas. Redmond's own musical inspirations such as Jimi Hendrix and Mick Jagger featured on large portraits carved in slate. Other pieces inspired by music include a 10-foot marble keyboard and 24-foot low D whistle. The exhibition was officially opened by Moya Brennan.

In February 2007, Johnny McCabe exhibited his collection of landscapes and portraits at An Grianán. The exhibit ran from Friday 16 February until Saturday 10 March 2007, and was opened by Letterkenny Mayor Ciarán Brogan. Works displayed included "Ards Forest", "Rossnowlagh Beach", "Near the Gap" and "Muckish Mountain". Much of McCabe's work is inspired by Spanish Renaissance painters, including Caravaggio and Velázquez. Also on display was a giant mural of Jimi Hendrix.

13 March saw the official opening of the Names Will Never Hurt Me exhibition put together by members of the LOFT LK. The exhibition was run in conjunction with the LOFT's Mental Health Week and contains a number of images on canvas and paper of various themes associated with mental health. Some of the images have attracted controversy due to their content.

Past performees[edit]


An Grianán has attracted a number of well-known musicians, actors, and comedians in recent years. The Frames play there on a regular basis, last performing on Tuesday 3 October 2006.[3] Rodrigo y Gabriela performed on 23 March 2005[7] and 24 February 2006,[3] whilst Aslan performed on 19 February 2005.[7] Josh Ritter has performed on a number of occasions, including 7 March 2006, when he collapsed onstage during his performance. He returned to finish the show on 4 September, playing a second night the day after.[3] Singer-songwriter David Kitt performed on Saturday 10 February 2007, while Fionn Regan returned for another date on Wednesday 25 April 2007, such was the popular demand for his first show on 1 December 2006.

An Grianán is also famous for hosting the annual Saint Eunan's College Concert which usually takes place in May each year. On 20 March 2007 it hosted the annual Battle of the Bands contest for a third time. This is an event organised by Letterkenny Arts Centre, in association with the young people of Letterkenny, in which local bands participate to win a coveted place at the Party in the Park festival in Letterkenny Town Park in August.

View from An Grianan's stage

In 2000, An Grianán was the venue for the World Premiere of the new Irish musical "Caisleain Oir". The entire run of performances were sold out and the production company restaged it the following year, again to packed houses. The musical is based on the Irish novel of the same name but it is in the English language. Again in 2005, another production of the musical was a complete sell out.

Below is a list of other notable bands and musicians who have performed at An Grianán:


Among the comedians who have performed in the past, with their last performance dates listed, are :
An Grianán has been used as a venue for the Smithwick's Comedy on Tap festival.



Below is a list of notable dramas and dances which were performed at An Grianán in 2007:[9]

A group of young people gather outside the Theatre
Below is a list of notable dramas and dances which were performed at An Grianán in 2006:[10]

Other items of note[edit]


Letterkenny Youth Theatre is run in association with An Grianán Theatre and usually meets on Fridays. It offers the chance for young people to gain valuable experience in areas such as acting skills and stage management. It has run a number of small one-off productions in the past, in Letterkenny and also performed Shortcuts outside the town in November 2006. On Monday 23 April and Tuesday 24 April 2007, LYT ran a two-night show in the theatre where two plays were performed – Folie Tha' and Taking Breath.[11] A year later LYT ran a two-night show in the theatre where they performed the play – Alien Nation.[12] On Thursday 25 June and Friday 26 June 2009, LYT ran a two-night show in the theatre in which they performed a devised piece entitled – La Vide de Picasso.[13] LYT performed The Taming of the Shrew in 2010. On 22 August 2010, LYT entertained crowds at a festival in the Glebe Gallery by performing various different monologues.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 54°57′11″N 7°43′53″W / 54.95306°N 7.73139°W / 54.95306; -7.73139