Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair
The stage before a concert, December 2017
|Address||Gaoth Dobhair, County Donegal
|Owner||Anne McIvor, Manus O'Donnell, Bernadette Mulligan, Paul McCool, Hugh McGinley, Hugh Devenney, Owen McBride, Cathal Gallagher and Michael Dwyer.|
Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair (pron. [ˈoːɾkˠlˠɔn̪ˠ ɣɨ ˈd̪ˠoːj]), anglicized as Gweedore Theatre, is a local theatre in the Gaeltacht region of Derrybeg in the parish of Gweedore, County Donegal, Ireland. It seats over 200 patrons, and ever since it was opened by actress Siobhán McKenna, it has staged hundreds of plays in the Irish language.
Aisteoirí Ghaoth Dobhair was a group of actors founded in Srath na Corcra, Derrybeg in 1932, and they gained critical acclaim and travelled as far as Glasgow to perform. The key people involved in the group were Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríghde, Áine Nic Giolla Bhríghde, Johnnie Sheáin Ó Gallchóir, Proinsias Ó Maonaigh, Máire Bn. Uí Bhraonáin, Tomás Mac Giolla Bhríghde, Seán Ó Casaide, Néilí Ó Maolagáin, Niall Ó Dufaigh, and Proinsias Ó Duibhir.
Aisteoirí Ghaoth Dobhair's Pantomimes
Several well-known local entertainers took to the limelight in productions of Geamaireachtaí Aisteoirí Ghaoth Dobhair. Eithne Ní Bhraonáin from Dore - now globally known as Enya. Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh - now of Altan fame. Máire Ní Bhraonáin - now known as Moya Brennan. Three of the Uí Chasaide clan Na Casaidigh. And the two Brennan brothers Pól and Ciarán of internationally renowned group Clannad. They all took part in the pantos before taking to the world-stage. The pantomimes have included the below productions:
- 1962 - Turloch Óg na dTuath
- 1963 - Ball Dearg
- 1964 - An tSleagh Ghlas
- 1965 - Fionnán in Arabia
- 1967 - An Gobán Saor
- 1968 - An Glas Gaibhlinn
- 1970 - Mac Rí Uladh
- 1973 - Iníon Rí Ailigh
The theatre is not currently used as often as it once was - possibly owing to a rule which precludes plays with English dialogue, and thereby limiting the production options. There is an average of two to three productions in the Amharclann each year, plus drama competitions which are entered by local schools.
The management board of the theatre have applied for a grant from the government to restore and renovate it.