EXHIBITION: Girlhood: Orla Sloyan
Girlhood, is an exhibition of striking photography by Orla Sloyan. Girlhood is the collaborative result of a photographic project between the photographer and the Maughan family that documents the family’s special and intimate occasions from 2007 to present day.
The Maughan family are members of the Travelling community living in Castlebar town. The project began as a study on Irish identity and cultural diversity and has since evolved into a multidimensional body of work that has revealed much more, including a complex personal story of cherished family milestones. Whilst the images offer the viewer with an opportunity to observe the Maughan’s family album, it also concentrates on the passage of time and its effect on the young female family members as they move from their childhood through their teens and into adulthood.
More info: The official opening will be on Friday 10th March, 8pm at Ballina Arts Centre and the exhibition runs until 29th April. Admission free, all welcome.
Riverside Theatre Group returns to Ballina Arts Centre on to give the audience a highly anticipated performance of Stolen Child.
Set in 1990, the play tells the story of a young Dublin woman’s journey to find her natural mother. She enlists the help of a private detective whose irreverent humour and hard-drinking lifestyle mask a deep understanding of human frailty. Parallel to her quest is the heartbreaking personal story of her mother’s upbringing by nuns in a 1940s Industrial school and the harsh facts surrounding the enforced adoption of her newborn baby.
‘Stolen Child’, written by Bairbre Ni Chaoimh and Yvonne Quinn, first performed in 2002, and was one of the first plays to explore the secret history these schools, the plight of unmarried mothers and the adoption process.
More info: Performances on Thursday 9th, Friday 10th and Saturday 11th March, at 8pm. Tickets: €12 / €10. Early booking advised.
Derry singer-songwriter, Bronagh Gallagher will make her Ballina Arts Centre debut on Thursday 16th March, hot on the heels of the release of her new album, ‘Gather Your Greatness’.
Bronagh is widely regarded as one of the great soul voices on the Ireland music scene. She rose to fame after being cast as Bernie in Alan Parker’s film, The Commitments, aged just 17. Since then, her acting career has alternated between high profile film roles in Pulp Fiction, Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace and Sherlock Holmes among others, to theatre work and TV drama.
However, she maintains a special place for singing, writing and performing music. ‘Gather Your Greatness’, Bronagh’s third album, was released last year and features both Maria McKee and Brian Eno on backing vocals.
More info: Thursday 16th March, 8pm. Tickets: €15. Early booking advised.
Parke Drama and Arts Group perform John B Keane’s Moll in Ballina Arts Centre on Thursday 23rd March.
Moll is a comedy set in a rural presbytery in Kerry where the newly appointed priest’s housekeeper takes over a parish house with a “divide and conquer” strategy.
When Canon Pratt and his two curates, Father Brest and Father Loran, lose their esteemed Ms Bottomly, they must recruit a replacement to carry on with the cooking and cleaning. They select Ms Maureen Kettle, Moll. She wraps the Canon around her little finger, feeds him well while starving the curates and continues this pattern as the Canon is promoted and one of the curates takes his place. When it comes to the question of Moll’s pension, more chaos ensues – however with the support of the Bishop, Moll proves to be an unstoppable force.
More info: Thursday 23rd March, 8pm. Tickets €10. Early booking advised.
Gatehouse are a newly-formed band with a line up of experienced and up and coming artistes, who recently launched debut album Tús Nua. Playing at Ballina Arts Centre on Friday 24th March, 8pm are: John McEvoy (fiddle/viola/piano); Jacinta McEvoy (guitar/concertina/backing vocals); Rachel Garvey (vocals); and John Wynne (flutes/whistles).
The songs and tunes from Gatehouse’s repertoire are based in the North Connaught traditions, the sean nós singing tradition of Connamara, the rich Ulster song tradition and a sprinkling of other influences. The band’s a
rrangements are appropriate and musically thoughtful. The band also draws on some newly composed music, including two of John McEvoy’s compositions which are included in Tús Nua.
More info: Friday 24th March, 8pm. Tickets: €12 / €10. Early booking advised.
Páraic Breathnach comes from a long line of storytellers, and his new version of Straight Outta Connemara tells of his long and difficult journey from the windswept shores of South Connemara to Henry Street in Dublin.
His storytelling will lead the audience on a ‘cosán dearg’ of detours, diversions and devilment visiting various places around the known world, ending up where he started. The stories recall an Ireland where the Church still reigned, where politicians were still respectable and the ‘cosmhuintir’ knew their places. Breathnach spent most of his youth trying to get the hell out of Connemara and cast off the shackles of ignorance and repression that dominated the West at that time. It casts a cold eye on the society of that time but finds humour and laughter even in the most miserable circumstances.
This show is not suitable for children or people of sensitive disposition.
More information: 8pm, Friday 31st March. Tickets: €12 / €10. Early booking advised.