Winter/Spring “Ardhowen at Home” online programme confirmed

15th January 2021

Following on from the 2020 digital programmes, the Ardhowen is delighted to announce a new series of music and drama livestreams for the winter and early Spring 2021.

The programme aims to build on the success of some local and regular favourites from last year and will also introduce some new acts who have never performed at the Ardhowen before.

The livestream programme restarts on Friday 22 January with one of Co Donegal’s favourite sons – blues / rock guitarist Johnny Gallagher – returning to the venue after a barnstorming solo show in August!  This time he’s performing with his trusty sidekicks, the Boxty Band.  The following weekend is more relaxed with Ardhowen favourite Anthony Toner playing a solo acoustic set on Friday 29 January.

Talented Irish artist, songwriter and producer Matt McGinn plays Ardhowen on Friday 5 February, accompanied by John McCullough on keyboards while Sunday 14 February sees Monaghan’s Two Five Ones make their Ardhowen debut in a special Valentine’s Day performance, blending jazz, blues and a vintage sound; and Belfast singer / songwriter Ken Haddock makes his solo debut the following weekend, Friday 19 February.

Speaking about the “Ardhowen at Home” Winter programme, the Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Diana Armstrong said, “ the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted significantly on the entire Arts sector with theatres currently closed to the public for the foreseeable future and other entertainment venues also currently closed. However, I am delighted that the “Ardhowen at Home” online programme has provided artists with the opportunity to perform to a captive audience from both the Ardhowen lounge and the auditorium while allowing us to  enjoy their talent from the safety of our own home.

I have been amazed by the huge numbers of viewers which the online programme has thus far attracted with people both at home and much further afield tuning in to the performances in large numbers. What has been particularly encouraging, is the number of people who left comments on the live streams thanking the artists for providing such high quality entertainment.

I am very much looking forward to the new online programme and I would like to thank both the artists and the staff at the Ardhowen for providing such tremendous and uplifting entertainment throughout what has been an incredibly challenging period.”

As well as the music livestreams, the Ardhowen Book Club continues on the first Thursday of each month.  Facilitated by Nuala O’Toole, February’s “Book of the Month” is The Liberation of Brigid Dunne by Patricia Scanlan.

Drama has always been very popular at the Ardhowen and Enniskillen Drama Festival is one of the highlights of the Ardhowen Spring programme. While the Amateur Drama Council of Ireland has cancelled the 2021 drama festival circuit due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Ardhowen is planning an exciting online replacement to take place in the same week as the Enniskillen Drama Festival would normally happen.

Although a number of planned drama livestreams for January and February have had to be cancelled because of the COVID-19 restrictions, the Ardhowen is hoping to be able to present Not The Enniskillen Drama Festival in mid March.  This is a unique and exciting partnership between the venue and the Enniskillen Drama Festival committee.  Not The Enniskillen Drama Festival will be an online, non-competitive drama showcase featuring local theatre groups performing short plays, sketches and monologues.  Full details will be available nearer the time.

The livestreams continue into March with some traditional and classical music and a week-long programme of events and activities to mark St Patrick’s Day and Irish language festival Seachtáin na Gaeilge.

There are also other online activities including ‘how to do’ arts and crafts videos, Fermanagh Film Club’s programme of arthouse and foreign language films, and some live classical and traditional livestreams.

To find out more, please contact the Ardhowen team by email at ardhowen@fermanaghomagh.com or telephone 0300 303 1777.

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