A dozen young Donegal actors will take to the stage in Derry this weekend with the talented cast of a theatre company for adults with learning difficulties which is celebrating its fifteenth anniversary with a dynamic fundraising show.

Members of Stage Beyond stretching from Letterkenny to Gweedore have starring roles in their latest production billed ‘A Grand Spectacle’, which will take place in the City Hotel tomorrow at 7.30pm.

The 28-strong cast will be joined by critically acclaimed Derry composer and musician Frank Gallagher as musical director, and NI Opera star Doreen Curran who is also from the city.

Gallagher has worked with some of the biggest names in the showbiz world such as Dame Shirley Bassey to Sinead O’Connor, but he says nothing compares to being back home in Derry performing with Stage Beyond.

The London-based record producer and arranger whose credits include world renowned artists as diverse as Charlotte Church, OperaBabes, James Galway, Ronan Keating, Celtic Tenors, The Priests and Andre Rieu, told Donegal Woman: “This has been, without reservation, the single most rewarding experience of my career.”

Emma Diver, Frank Nelis, and Catherine Campbell. Photo: Brian Morrison

High praise indeed from Frank, who played a key role in some of the musical highlights during Derry’s reign as UK City of Culture 2013, and has been working recently with E Street Band Bassist Garry Tallent on his first solo tour, now back on tour with Bruce Springsteen.

Paying tribute to Stage Beyond manager Dee Conaghan and her team, Frank Gallagher said: “I am delighted to play my part in the celebration of this great company and for my time spent at home with something of a hidden jewel in the cultural landscape of the North West.”

Mezzo-soprano Doreen Curran, who will also wow the audience in the City Hotel’s Grand Ballroom said: “It’s an absolute privilege to be part of Stage Beyond’s performance on Sunday. Their enthusiasm and positivity is so uplifting and I feel honoured to be performing alongside them.”

Admission to ‘A Grand Spectacle’ on Sunday, June 18th is £20 and includes refreshments. Doors open at 7pm and the show starts at 7.30pm.