Countdown begins for Galway Arts Festival

The 2024 Galway International Arts Festival will include seven world premiers, a new visual arts commission, the most extensive music line-up to date, and new theatre co-produced with partners Landmark Productions and Once Off Productions.

Planete Vapeurs' giant Pegasus will ride through Galway (Photo: Caroline Barbitt)

Planete Vapeurs' giant Pegasus will ride through Galway (Photo: Caroline Barbitt)

Theatre audiences can look forward to the world premiere of Reunion by Mark O’Rowe. The playwright turns his laser focus on the deep currents of family life with biting humour and insight. The GIAF and Landmark co-production features a roll-call of Ireland’s finest actors, including Ian-Lloyd Anderson, Cathy Belton, Venetia Bowe, Stephen Brennan, Robert Sheehan and Catherine Walker.

Other premieres include Unspeakable Conversations by Christian O’Reilly, (Once Off Productions and GIAF ) starring Olivier Award-winning disabled actor Liz Carr and fellow disabled actor Mat Fraser. Can an argument be made for killing disabled babies? That is the performance's disturbing question.

The Map of Argentina by Marina Carr is a new play that tunnels deeply into the complicated contours of family dynamics, pushing the boundaries of love, power and desire directed by Andrew Flynn (Decadent Theatre ). Dining Room is an immersive theatre installation created as part of an ongoing extraordinary series called Rooms by Enda Walsh and Paul Fahy.

Other Festival highlights include Druid’s Endgame, Samuel Beckett’s tragi-comic masterpiece, directed by Tony Award-winning Garry Hynes; the sensational Australian acrobats from Circa with their European premiere of Duck Pond, a reimagining of the classic Swan Lake, and from the Lebanon Tania El Khoury’s Cultural Exchange Rate an immersive installation which examines the never-ending story of migration.

'The Couple' by Patricia Piccinini

Australian sculptor Patricia Piccinini will showcase her extraordinary lifelike, hybrid creatures in We Travel Together at the Festival Gallery. Other exhibitions include works by Bernadette Kiely, Miriam de Búrca, Brian Bourke, Karen Cox, Brian Ballard, Yvonne McGuinness, Cecilia Danell and Katerina Gribkoff, Seán O’Riordan, Peter Bradley and a site-specific group show featuring seven female artists When We Cease to Understand the World in the incredible setting of Interface, in the Inagh Valley, Connemara.

GIAF’s live music programme is its largest to date, with performances from The Saw Doctors, Annie Mac, Passenger, Leftfield, Stewart Copeland, Gavin James, Jess Glynne, KETTAMA, Kneecap and Block Rockin Beats scheduled for the Heineken Big Top, Galway International Arts Festival’s iconic live music venue on the banks of the River Corrib.

The music programme continues with an exciting line-up at Róisín Dubh, including Niamh Regan, Susan O’Neill, Glasshouse, Telebox, The Undertones, Muireann Bradley, Will Butler and Sister Squares, Simple Kid and more. At Monroes, enjoy Róisín O, Teddy Thompson, George Murphy, Tara Howley, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Oisin Leech with special guests Lemoncello, Lumiere, Gruff Rhys and Darren Kiely, while the ambient St. Nicholas’ Church is host to the sublime Tibetan singer Yungchen Lhamo, and ConTempo with the In Flow Gamelan Group, a pitched percussion ensemble made up of performers with intellectual disabilities.

The First Thought Talks series is the Festival’s thought leadership platform that interrogates issues and challenges of the world. Guests will include journalists Marion McKeone and Fintan O’Toole; novelists Colm Tóibín, Andrew O’Hagan, Mike McCormack and Elaine Feeney; academics and authors Diarmaid Ferriter and Pankaj Mishra; philosopher Susan Neiman; actor and activist Liz Carr; tech expert Elaine Burke; climate change adviser Marie Donnelly; barrister Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh; playwright Marina Carr and psychiatrist Brendan Kelly, amongst others.

Topics include the crucial choice facing the US electorate, our climate, the rise of machines, the ponderables of a United Ireland, how close we actually are to a nuclear catastrophe and much more.

Galway International Arts Festival’s free Street Art Programme brings the city alive each year. This summer sees the incredible Planet Vapeurs roam the city’s medieval streets with the spectacular winged-horse Pegasus. Guru Duru brings their ever-popular Silent Disco Walking Tours to town, and the spectacular Les P’Tits Bras’ new aerial show West Wind will bring Eyre Square alive with their jaw-dropping aerial acrobatics.

The Festival Garden returns to Eyre Square with food, drinks, occasional DJs and live sets from festival artists while Deirdre O’Kane, MC Gerry Mallon, Randy Feltface and Phil Ellis feature in the comedy line-up.

Full programme and booking details for this year’s festival can be found at www.giaf.ie and @galwayintarts

 

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