An Evening Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Siobhán McKenna

Actress Catherine Denning in the role of San Siobhan, George Bernard Shaw’s Joan of Arc in Maelíosa Stafford’s production of TAIBHDHEARC@90. The image on the screen is an archive photo of actress Siobhán McKenna. Photo: Seán Ó Mainnín
Oct 31 2018 Posted: 14:32 GMT

NUI Galway’s Arts in Action and The James Hardiman Library in association with An Taibhdhearc, will host a very special evening celebrating the life and legacy of one of Ireland’s greatest actors, Siobhán McKenna, on Wednesday, 7 November.

Set against an evocative multi-visual backdrop of archive film, TV and theatre footage, Lelia Doolan will pay tribute to the extraordinary life and legacy of her friend, Siobhán McKenna. The event will feature archive material sourced from Siobhán McKenna and Druid Theatre archives in the Hardiman Library at NUI Galway.

Celebrating 90 years of An Taibhdhearc, this unique evening will feature a live performance by acclaimed Irish singer, Rita Connolly who will perform a collection of songs by the award-winning Irish composer for film, TV and theatre, Shaun Davey, renowned for his large-scale concert works, The Brendan Voyage, The Pilgrim and The Relief of Derry Symphony. Rita Connolly will also perform The Deer’s Cry, which she recently performed in Croke Park during the Papal visit, the Special Olympics anthem May We Never Have to Say Goodbye and Ripples in the Rockpools from Granuaile.

Speaking about the event, Mary McPartlan, Artistic Director of the Arts in Action programme at NUI Galway, said: “Arts in Action is about collaboration and highlighting the value and the historic richness of the Irish Language, Irish Culture and the Arts in general, that exists in the City and County of Galway. Having the opportunity to celebrate An Taibhdhearc 90, is a privilege for our students and staff at NUI Galway.”

Aodh Ó Coileáin, Chair of An Taibhdhearc and Programme Director of the MA (Cleachtas Gairmiúil sna Meáin), Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge, said: “An Taibhdhearc has always been proud of Siobhán McKenna’s association with the Middle Street Theatre. Her early memories included attending the Christmas pantomimes, but eventually in 1950, she was to amaze Galway audiences with her portrayal of Joan of Arc at an Taibhdhearc. It is fitting that town and gown should join to celebrate Siobhán McKenna’s legacy and also the historic links between an Taibhdhearc and the University. An Taibhdhearc’s Archive has been held at the James Hardiman Library in NUI Galway since 1990.”

The evening will be opened by Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of NUI Galway. This special event will take place at An Taibhdhearc, Middle Street, Galway on Wednesday, 7 November at 8pm.

Tickets are €20 and concession €15. To book tickets, visit: or phone 091 562024.

For more on Arts in Action 2018-2019 programme of events, visit:  and view An Taibhdhearc's promotional video about the event, here:


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