Event details

  • Abbey Arts Centre
  • October 1, 2020
  • Thursday, 8:00PM to 10:00PM

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Zandra Queen of Jazz

Abbey Arts Centre

Thursday, 8:00PM to 10:00PM
October 1, 2020


Abbey Arts Centre

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Zandra Queen of Jazz

Abbey Arts Centre

Thursday, 8:00PM to 10:00PM
October 1, 2020


Preparations are continuing for the 20th Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival which will take place, live and online, in various towns, villages and rural communities in South Donegal from 25th September to 10th October 2020. Among the highlights are three new works celebrating the lives of three remarkable women.

All Tickets priced €15. Due to Covid-19 social distancing regulations, seating capacity will be limited significantly. Pre-Booking is Essential at 071 9851375. In the event of these performances not being able to proceed due to a changing Public Health environment, all tickets will be fully refunded to the purchaser.

Zandra, Queen of Jazz

A play with original music, based on the extraordinary true story of Ireland’s first female saxophonist. Zandra Mitchell lived the later years of her life just up the road, in Rossnowlagh. Darn Skippy Productions are delighted to bring Zandra, Queen of Jazz home, for one night only at Abbey Arts Centre, after two sold-out runs at Smock Alley Boys’ School Theatre, Dublin.

With just her sax and a suitcase, Zandra Mitchell joined a jazz band and toured the world. Born in Phibsborough, Dublin in 1903, she was Ireland’s first female saxophonist. While the twenties roared she found her way through Europe to Berlin. The dictators rose; the books burned; the bombs dropped…and Zandra played her sax.

Lynch…traces the fortunes and misfortunes of a trailblazer, with candour and wit…gives the impression of improvisation, though the lines are flawlessly rehearsed and the rhythms exact… Richard Lennon’s accompanying soundtrack oscillates between the jazz of the Roaring Twenties and sombre atmospheres that reflect the darker undertones of Zandra’s life and times… Lynch’s labor-of-love honours Josephine Alexandra Mitchell in a way that a few lines in jazz historiography cannot – Ian Patterson, All About Jazz

Directed with a real sense of pace and zip, and a wonderful feeling of the style of the 1920s, by Katherine Soloviev. Original music was written by Richard Lennon…wonderful, original, seductive jazz…tinged with regret, nostalgia, happiness as well, and memory. The lighting…has the smokey effect of a speakeasy in the 1920s. A show where all the elements of theatre fused together to make a really unique and fascinating piece – John Dalton, Centre Stage, Dublin City FM 

Splendid debut stage production…Sensitively directed by Katherine Soloviev… enticing original music… – Broadway World

Roseanne Lynch… is simply incredible… Richard Lennon, who provides original music perfectly echoes the tunes and beats of the story… This is both an invigorating and empowering performance – Florence McGowan,

Katherine Soloviev uses music and movement to inject the one-woman show with a stylish dynamism. Lynch’s performance is elegant and poised. …brings an untold story vividly to life – Katy Hayes, Irish Independent

Lynch tells Zandra’s story with gusto and it is a story worth the telling – Frank L, No More Workhorse

Supported by Jazz Ireland

The early development of this piece was supported by an Emerging Artist Bursary from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Arts Office; with further support from DLR LexIcon Library.

Written and Performed by Roseanne Lynch
Directed by: Katherine Soloviev
Original Music, Arrangements and Sound Design by Richard Lennon
Costume and Lighting Design by Lianne O’Shea

Poster design by Eugene Korolkov

Zandra | Abbey Arts Centre