Event details

  • Abbey Arts Centre
  • November 14, 2020
  • Saturday, 8:00PM to 10:00PM

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Zandra Queen of Jazz

Abbey Arts Centre

Saturday, 8:00PM to 10:00PM
November 14, 2020


Abbey Arts Centre

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Zandra Queen of Jazz

Abbey Arts Centre

Saturday, 8:00PM to 10:00PM
November 14, 2020


Level Three Covid-19 Restrictions and Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival – Live Performances Programme.

With Donegal’s imminent move to Level Three of the Plan for Living with Covid-19 now confirmed until October 16 next, this has implications for all of the planned programme of Donegal Bay live music and theatre performances at the Abbey Arts Centre, Ballyshannon and the Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey. Due to the additional restrictions on indoor,  public gatherings that will follow, it will not now be possible for these venues to host any of the Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival live performances as advertised, as the period of Level Three Restrictions coincides directly with the festival dates.

As such, the  Festival,  the venues and the artists impacted are working together to devise optimal solutions for each impacted event. Our collective aim will be to save as much of the festival programme as possible by rearranging performance dates to late October and into November.  The Festival website will be regularly updated to inform the public of details of rearranged performances, or other possible solutions such as online broadcasts.

Members of the public who have already purchased tickets for festival events which cannot now take place on their advertised dates may opt for a full refund immediately, or they may wish to rebook for their particular event, as rescheduling is organised over the coming days. Please check with the festival website or contact the venue where the booking was made, for further updates.

Meanwhile, the Festival’s online programme commences this evening (Friday, September 25) with the first episode of Dark Daughter’s four-part online drama, Drumshee Days, which you can enjoy from 7:00pm on the festival Youtube channel, via the festival website

Abbey Centre Covid-19 Policy

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