Festival 2014 Programme Announced

28 May 2014

Galway International Arts Festival has announced its programme for 2014 with a wide range of international and home produced work featuring leading artists from Ireland and around the world, and also unveil its new name.

The premieres of three new plays, Ballyturk by Enda Walsh, Chapatti by Christian O’Reilly and Be Infants in Evil by Brian Martin; two new Festival galleries with major exhibitions from John Kindness, Janet Cardiff and Patrick O’Reilly; the Royal Court Theatre’s trilogy of Beckett’s Not I, Footfalls, Rockaby; The Waterboys; Brooklyn-based indie rockers The National; a series of conversations and discussions on creativity, health and well-being First Thought Talks; Rossi’s opera Orfeo in a new production by Resurgam and Atlantae; A Night at the Proms with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra; and a series of concerts Live at the Festival Big Top are just some of the highlights of the 37th Galway International Arts Festival.

"We feel adding international to our name best reflects where the Festival is at now," says Artistic Director Paul Fahy. "We have always presented a huge amount of international work, and in terms of our ambition of what we are producing and where we are touring it's a more accurate reflection of where we see ourselves. This year’s Festival features artists and companies from around the world with new co-productions and a strong focus on new Irish writing at the heart of this year’s programme.” The Festival’s Chief Executive John Crumlish added, “I think this programme will make for a very special Festival and will contribute significantly to our growing international reputation.”

View the full programme here.

Festival 2014 Hightlights

Amongst the highlights of Festival 2014 is the world premiere of the Festival's co-productions Ballyturk, Chicago’s Northlight Theatre and other theatre highlights include the Royal Court Theatre and Mighty Mouth’s Beckett Trilogy of Not I, Footfalls, Rockaby, directed by Beckett’s long-time collaborator and friend Walter Asmus starring Lisa Dwan; and the world premiere of Brian Martin’s Be Infants in Evil in a Druid production directed by Oonagh Murphy.

New Irish writing which features strongly this year also includes Raymond Scannell’s fascinating play Deep; Panti in her first ever theatrical stand-up show High Heels in Low Places; Galway’s Moonfish Theatre and An Taibhdhearc’s Star of the Sea adpated from Joseph O’Connor’s novel; Blath based on the children’s book The Flower by John Light a Branar production; and Blue Teapot Theatre Company’s devised work ID developed with Scott Williams.

Street Theatre

An action-packed European street theatre programme features Artizani’s giant inflatable dancing lobsters;10 neon pink aliens in Ljud’s The Invasion; grand-scale acrobatics from Les Philebulistes in Hallali; and Malabar’s Dragonus, a monumental moving dragon and acrobatic stilt-walkers providing heart-stopping excitement and terror in equal measure. Spectacle and visual arts meet in US artist Kurt Perschke’s RedBall Galway a spectacular sculptural installation which will appear in various city centre locations.

Live at the Festival Big Top

Co-produced with the Róisín Dubh, this features an amazing line-up of Irish and international musicians including one of the world’s finest bands and incredible live acts The National with special guests Phosphorescent; The Coronas with special guests Walking on Cars; Imelda May returning to the Festival following her sell-out show last year; A Night at the Proms with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra; and The Waterboys who perform at the Festival the first time in over a decade.


Other music highlight includes Ireland’s Cathy Davey, Mark Geary, Luka Bloom, Maria Doyle-Kennedy and Kieran Kennedy, We Banjo 3, Declan O’Rourke and A Dawn Chorus. Music from the USA includes Grammy-nominated Sarah Jarosz, Simone Felice with Samantha Crain, Cass McCombs, Kevin Devine, Hot 8 Brass Band, Uproot Hootenanny, and legendary band The Sonics who perform their very first Irish show at the Festival, while Academy Award nominated Canadian Owen Pallett also takes to the Festival stage.

First Thought Talks

First Thought Talks is a platform where a broad range of ideas and topics are explored through a series of conversations, one-to-one interviews and discussions. First Thought 2014 features conversations on creativity, and health and well-being with guests including Director of the National Theatre of Great Britain Nicholas Hytner; journalists and authors Michael Billington and John Kelly; graphic designer Annie Atkins; theatre director Walter Asmus; and health specialists Dr. Michael J. Dowling, Dr. Stephanie O’Keefe, and surgeon, author and BBC presenter Gabriel Weston.

Visual Arts

Festival 2014 sees the introduction of two spectacular temporary galleries the ABSOLUT Festival Gallery this year located in the Connacht Tribune’s Print Works at Market Street, which features the breathtaking Odysseus a recent body of work relating to Homer’s Odyssey by renowned Irish artist John Kindness; one of the pioneers of the pop art movement Eduardo Paolozzi; while Patrick O’Reilly, one of Ireland’s most prolific artists and sculptor presents a major new show Prelude at Galway Harbour’s The Shed on the Docks.

Other exhibitions include The Forty Part Motet a sound installation by leading Canadian artist Janet Cardiff; Liam O’Callaghan’s If and then…(again); with other exhibitions from Leonie King; Karen Conway; the 126 Annual Open Show; Brian Bourke and Jay Murphy; Maurice Quillinan and Evans of Eton.

View the full programme here.