Beyond: The Story of an Irish Immigrant

Beyond: The Story of an Irish Immigrant

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Gráinne Brady is an Irish fiddle player from Co. Cavan. Currently based in Glasgow where she works as a professional musician, Gráinne plays in a variety of different bands including MG Alba Scots Trad Awards nominees Top Floor Taivers, string group The Routes Quartet, and Gaeilge/Gàidhlig supergroup LAS.

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Gráinne Brady presents

Beyond: The Story of an Irish Immigrant

BEYOND: The Story of an Irish Immigrant is a project which will explore the social themes associated with the mass immigration of the Irish to Scotland, particularly at the start of the 20th century. Gráinne’s debut album ‘The Road Across the Hills’ is the first part of this project and will delve into the life of the Irish Immigrant in Scotland, a country to which many Irish came to seek work over the last few centuries.

With all music composed by Brady, 'The Road Across the Hills' will act as a soundtrack to the novel 'Children of the Dead End', the unofficial autobiography of Donegal poet and writer Patrick MacGill. Born in Glenties in 1889, MacGill emigrated to Scotland in the 1900s, and with barely an education, began to discover his talents as a writer whilst working as a labourer on the railways in Glasgow and as a navvy in Glencoe. His writings reflected on his growing preoccupation with the poor, the downtrodden and the workers who, like himself, toiled in the mud to build civilisation but lived on the outside of society.

With themes of immigration and extreme poverty, each track on 'The Road Across the Hills' was written in response to pivotal moments in the novel; a book that has stuck with Gráinne since first reading it as a child. Entwining the musical tale are excerpts from MacGill’s poetry, acting as a reflection upon the story, adding even more depth to the soundtrack.

The music will take the listener on a journey; from MacGill's childhood in rural Donegal, to gruelling labour in Scotland, as a potato picker, or ‘tattie howker’, labourer and navvy, with some colourful characters along the way, as well as a bittersweet story of love and loss. The story speaks for the outcasts in society, the labourers, navvies and waifs. It speaks for the Irish immigrant. It depicts the hardships endured by both the Irish and Scottish lower class in times past. The music delves into this world, whilst highlighting the enduring hope that drove such determination to succeed despite the odds – an enduring concept just as relevant today in the discussions around immigration as when MacGill was writing.

Although Gráinne moved to Glasgow from Ireland in a much more enlightened time, the compositions are not only inspired by this tale but are also a reflection of her own musical journey over the last few years. Joining Brady for this performance will be Andrew Waite (accordion) and Innes White (guitar/mandolin). The band will be performing music from ‘The Road Across the Hills’ with storytelling and spoken word.

Show Info

The Theatre

Venue: 12-13 Shaftesbury Square, Belfast, BT2 7DB

Access: Directly from Shaftesbury Square

Date(s): Tuesday 26th February 2019 

Starts: 8:00pm (Book Bar* open from 7:30pm)

Running Time: 2 hours +

Disabled Access: Theatre (ground floor) is fully accessible. Toilets & Book Bar (1st floor) are not wheelchair friendly. Carer tickets available: Call 02890325881 to book.

*The Book Bar is our charity bar, run to help support Accidental & the new building.

Ticket Info

£10 - STANDARD TICKET - a standard ticket that helps cover the basic costs of the show.

£12 - DONATION TICKET - a special ticket that gives a little extra to the exceptional and hardworking artists creating the show.