A Terrible Beauty: Remembering 1916

A Terrible Beauty: Remembering 1916 is our short season of events marking the centenary of the Easter Rising.

We have three shows which will look at 1916 from three different perspectives. We have a dramatic reading of Kieran Kelly’s new play Beneath An Irish Sky which looks at the impact that the Rising had on Donegal. Then we have two Letterkenny performers, John D Ruddy and Brian Gillespie, starring in The Rising, a fast paced and entertaining show which looks at the events that led to 1916 including the first World War. Finally we have Left Behind,  a music concert from Michelle O’Rourke and composer Simon O’Connor which is inspired by some of the women involved in the Rising.

The British troops departing Letterkenny in 1922 following the War of Independence
British troops departing Letterkenny in 1922 following the War of Independence

Beneath An Irish Sky, Tues 22 March 2016 at 8pm Tickets: €5

How did the events of Easter week 1916 affect the people of Letterkenny and Donegal? Based on archive reports and eye witness testimonies, Beneath an Irish Sky is a fictionalised account of one man’s journey through those those turbulent times, questioning what made him pick up a gun to fight for his country and how one moment in his youth affected the rest of his life.

Written by local author and historian Kieran Kelly, Beneath An Irish Sky will be presented as a rehearsed reading featuring a cast of eight actors directed  by David Grant (Frank Pig Says Hello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Find out more.

Ireland 1916 2016 The Rising  with John Ruddy and Brian Gillespie March 2016 Easter
The Rising: John D Ruddy reprises his role alongside new cast member Brian Gillespie (not pictured).

The Rising, Wed 23 March 2016 at 8pm. Tickets: €15/€12

Touring nationally to great acclaim, this production features two local performers –  John D Ruddy is a Letterkenny based actor whose recent roles include Fiesta, The 39 Steps and I Would Walk These Fields Again. A native of Letterkenny, Brian Gillespie now lives in London where he is the artistic director of B-Hybrid Dance.

Described by the Irish Times, as “90 minutes of exhilarating and terrifying factual theatre”, The Rising relives the tumultuous days of the 1916 Rising through the eyes of two friendly adversaries, O’Brien, a Catholic, and Mc Keague, a Protestant. Over an action packed performance O’Brien and McKeague will tell the story of this pivotal event in Irish history in vaudeville style, with humour, song and dance, as they re-enact the Rising and the events that led to it, including World War 1. Find out more.

Simon O'Connor and Michelle O'Rourke - Left Behind: songs of the widows of 1916. An Grianan Letterkenny April 2016
Composer Simon O’Connor and vocalist Michelle O’Rourke present Left Behind: Songs of the 1916 Widows. 1 April 2016.

Left Behind: Songs of the 1916 Widows, Friday 1 April 2016 at 8pm Tickets: €15/€12

Written by composer and curator Simon O’Connor, and commissioned and presented by vocalist Michelle O’Rourke, Left Behind is a new collection of songs to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising.Drawing on the experiences of women closely connected to the conflict, including the wives of prominent rebel leaders, O’Rourke and O’Connor have created a unique suite of compositions that offer an emotional, human perspective on a narrative that is too often told in baldly male heroic terms.

Beginning life as simple vocal/piano pieces, these songs have been transformed with the addition of O’Connor’s former bandmates from celebrated Dublin rock band The Jimmy Cake.

This small ensemble brings a volatile, dramatic energy to the retelling of the stories of Lillie Connolly, Grace and Muriel Gifford, Agnes Mallin and others. Find out more.

This performance supported by Donegal County Council and the Ireland 1916 Cetenary programme.
These events supported by Donegal County Council and the Ireland 1916 Cetenary programme.

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