Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival 2015.
The 15th. annual Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival commences next weekend, from Friday next to Sunday, September 25th. to October 4th. Festival events will take place in a host of towns and villages in South and South West Donegal including Ballyshannon, Bundoran, Ballybofey, Donegal, Dunkineely, Killybegs, Gleann Choilm Cille, Ardara and Glenties.
This is an exciting time for the Festival as it presents its strongest theatre programme to-date and plays its part in assisting the continuing development of the tourism sector in the county by adding a significant cultural offering to the Wild Atlantic Way
The Festival theatre programme will see five local companies produce two brand new plays, one Irish premier, an Irish language version of a John B. Keane classic and a Donegal treatment of a much-loved Italian comic farce.
Remembering Fr. James McDyer
Headlining the Festival’s exciting theatre programme this year will be the premier of a new play, I Would Walk These Fields Again, on the life and times of the great Fr. James McDyer of Glencolmcille. Written by Guy Le Jeune and performed by John D. Ruddy and Louise Conaghan, this An Grianán Theatre production will be seen in Glencolmcille on Sunday and Monday, September 27 and 28, in Glenties on Wednesday, September 30 and in Ballyshannon on Thursday, October 1. There will also be a performance at An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny on Friday night, October 2.
New Drama from Balor Rep and Bread and Roses.
Bread and Roses Theatre will bring their Earagail Arts Festival hit play, a production of Dario Fo’s hilarious farce, Can’t Pay? Won’t Pay!, to the Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon on Saturday night, September 26 while the Balor Rep bring another new play, The Lad From Laghey by Michael Hartnett, set in South Donegal during World War II, to Bundoran Community Library on Tuesday, September 29, to McIntyre’s, Dunkineely on Friday night, October 2 and to the Balor Arts Centre on Sunday, October 4.
Meanwhile the brilliant agri-comedy, Charolais, direct from a hugely successful run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, will be at the Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey on Thursday, October 1 and Aisteoirí Ghaoth Dobhair will bring their brilliant staging of John B. Keane’s hilarious comedy, Moll – considered by many to be the fore-runner of hit TV comedy series Father Ted – to Halla Muire, Gleann Cholm Cille on Satruday night, October 3.
Music at Blue Stacks
Brid Harper CD Launch
Musical highlights will include the launch by virtuoso Castlefin fiddle player Brid Harper of her debut CD, Brid Harper and Friends, at the Balor Arts Centre on Friday night, September 25. Her stellar friends on the night will include Dermot Byrne, Steve Cooney, Trevor Hutchinson, Bronagh Graham and PJ McDonald. Meanwhile, legendry folk band Scullion make an appearance at the same venue a week later on Friday, October 2.
Johnny Doherty & The Glenties Fiddlers Gathering
The Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival is also working closely once again with two of Donegal’s most enjoyable autumnal gatherings – the Johnny Doherty Festival of Music and Dancing in Ardara (September 25-27) and the annual Donegal Fiddlers Gathering in Glenties (October 2-4).
Among the featured artists at the Johnny Doherty Festival will be award-winning Scots Gaidhlig singer Mischa Macpherson, accompanied by Glasgow-based pianist James Ross, in concert on Friday night, September 25th., the now annual visit of the hugely popular Irish-American band Cherish The Ladies to Ardara on Saturday night, September 26 and a much anticipated concert on Sunday night, September 27 with the fabulous Friel Sisters from Glasgow.
The 33rd, annual Glenties Fiddlers Gathering – organised by Cairdeas na bhFidléirí – takes place at the Highlands Hotel, Glenties from Friday to Sunday, October 2-4. This year’s Fiddlers concert on Saturday night October 2 will feature Dermot McLaughlin and Dermot Byrne, Iarla O’Donnell, Dominic Gallagher and special guest from Scotland, Aonghas Grant.
Donegal Designer Makers – Art @ 100
The Festival’s visual arts programme will see an exhibition of new work by the Meitheal Ealaíne artists group in Ghleann Cholm Cille, as well as new work in Ardara from the Donegal Designer Makers, as part of the ID 2015 Year of Irish Design initiative. Twelve members of the innovative crafts and design collective will create new work especially for this exhibition. These high quality one-off works – in jewelery, fashion garments, ceramics, batiks, photography, knitwear, cosmetics and home furnishings – will be on sale at their Gallery Shop in Ardara for no more than €100 each. The exhibition opens this Saturday afternoon, September 19 at 2.00pm
RTE Radio 1’s Sunday Miscellany
In addition, the Festival is delighted that RTE Radio 1 will record two editions of its iconic Sunday Miscellany radio programme, in The Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon on Sunday afternoon, October 4. Among the writers to be featured on the programme will be Mary O’Donnell, Olive Travers, Frank Galligan, John Nee, Denise Blake, Nuala Ni Chonchuir, Caitlin Ni Ghallchoir, Joe Brennan and Martin McGinley. Musicians to be featured will include The Henry Girls, Amy Gillen, Seamie O’Dowd and Aidan O’Donnell and Danny Meehan. Two editions of the iconic radio programme will be recorded in Ballyshannon and they will be broadcast to Sunday Miscellany’s weekly audience of over 250,000 listeners, in Ireland and overseas.
FREE Festival Programme
The FREE Festival Programme will be widely available throughout the South and South West of the county, from this weekend. Look out for it in local shops, libraries, hotels, restaurants, tourist information points and at all participating venues.
The 15th annual Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival is presented by Donegal County Council and co-funded by The Arts Council/An Comhairle Ealaion.