Local singer, Maranna, to pull up Spiegeltent pegs on Sunday

Maranna McCloskey.
Maranna McCloskey.

Local traditional singer Maranna McCloskey will be one of the finale acts during this year’s Pan Celtic Festival in Londonderry.

The local singer, whose debut solo album ‘At Last’ was released in 2008, will share the stage with Scotland’s premier folk act, Capercaillie at the specially-imported venue called the ‘Spiegeltent’ (Tent of Mirrors) erected in Guildhall Square.

Her performance will take place on the closing night of the festival on Sunday (April 27) as part of a week-long series called ‘The Spiegel Sessions.’

She said: “I’ve been a fan of Capercaillie for a long time, and have great respect of the talent and voice of lead singer Karen Matheson.

“I’m thrilled that I’m going to see watch them on my own doorstep instead of watching them on BBC ALBA, not to mention completely honoured to be sharing the same stage as them.

“I’ve been doing a lot of research on the world famous Spiegeltent and can’t wait to perform in such a unique, beautiful venue.

“My very talented friends Plunkett McGartland (piano) and Brendan Monaghan (pipes & whistles) will join me, so it’s sure to be a great night’s craic,” he added.

With her warm alto-soprano voice to which she contributes to her deep family roots, steeped in traditional singing, she cites influences such as the music of Mary Black and Dolores Keane as her childhood inspirations.

As one of less than twenty existing in the world, the tent was built in the 1920s in Belgium, and travels around all of the major international arts festivals, including the Edinburgh Fringe and the Sydney Festival.

Traditionally a venue of choice for vaudeville, circus and cabaret acts, the circular wooden tents have become fashionable for contemporary music gigs, and in Derry it will also play host to acts such as Declan O’Rourke on Thursday (April 24) the Máirtín O’Connor Trio on Saturday (April 26) and many more.

The festival, which is now in its 43rd year, is hosted in different towns across Ireland, and crosses the border for the first time this month.

Visitors will be coming from the Celtic nations of Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall and the Isle of Man to perform and compete in the festival activities.

Maranna’s gig will be on Sunday (April 27) at 7.30pm.

Tickets, which are priced at £10, are available online at www.culturlann-doire.ie or can be purchased directly from the Cultúrlann box office at 37 Great James Street, Derry.

Alongside these evening concerts, there will also be a range of family-orientated events in the Spiegeltent from 11am to 3pm, including workshops and performances from the Armagh Rhymers.

The public will get the opportunity to learn about Celtic culture through a variety of activities, including Celtic art workshops to produce costumes for the Parade of Nations on Friday (April 25) at 6pm.

For those interested in the learning about the links and nuances between the Celtic languages, free taster courses and lectures will be running throughout the week in Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin and the Tower Museum.

For more information on the festival, visit www.panceltic.ie or call +44 (0)28 7126 4132.