Grainne Renihan began her career as a country and rock singer based in Ireland. She spent two years singing with various bands in Ireland and toured the Continent with Jim Farley. She appeared on Irish television on a number of occasions and was awarded RTE's 'Best Country Singer' Award. In 1984 she made her theatre debut playing the role of Joan of Arc in the rock musical Voices at the Olympus Theatre in Dublin playing opposite Colm Wilkinson, as a result of which she was invited to appear with Wilkinson and Marti Webb in the RTE Gala Concerts at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. She subsequently came to England and joined the cast of The Pirates of Penzance at the Manchester Opera House for a season after which she toured in the role of Janet in The Rocky Horror Show and played principal girl in the pantomime Dick Whittington with Tommy Boyd. At the end of this engagement she joined the original cast of Chess which which she has appeared as both Svetlana and Florence.
(Note: All biographies are from the original Chess programme.)
Ed. Note: Grainne started in the chorus and was part of the "pop choir" who did the backing vocals for "Nobody's Side." She worked her way up and appeared as Florence for a significant part of the run of Chess. Below are some photos of her in the role.
There is a new interview with Grania (as she now spells it) on the Dress circle website. Click here.
After Chess, Grainne changed the spelling of her first name to Grania, closer to its phonetic pronunciation.