Your GIAF21 Event Guide by Genre

12 July 2021

Your guide to in person, online, indoor, and outdoor events at Galway International Arts Festival 2021

Download the full programme here. Tickets on sale Friday 16 July, 10am.



Live-stream 15, 16, 17 & 18 September, 8pm

On Demand 20-26 September

[SOLD OUT] In Person 2-18 September, various times

▪ Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival present Medicine, written and directed by Enda Walsh. Devastatingly funny and profoundly moving, Medicine examines social responses to mental health concerns, while deconstructing the fabric of theatrical performance. Clare Barrett, Aoife Duffin, Domhnall Gleeson and jazz drummer Sean Carpio star in the world premiere production of this new play.

Live - Black Box Theatre. Online: Livestreamed and view on demand.


In Person, 11-18 September
1pm, 3.30pm, 6pm and 8pm

▪ From The Donmar Warehouse, award-winning playwright Simon Stephens has adapted Nobel Prize-winner José Saramago’s dystopian novel Blindness as a theatrical sound installation, directed by Walter Meierjohann. Hailed by The New York Times as ‘A brilliant production’, Juliet Stevenson voices the Storyteller/Doctor’s wife in this gripping story of the rise and, ultimately, profoundly hopeful end of an unimaginable global pandemic.

Live - Mick Lally Theatre


In Person, 30 August – 5 September, 1.30pm

▪ Company SJ and the Abbey Theatre in association with Dublin Theatre Festival and Galway International Arts Festival present Beckett sa Creig: Leathanta Sona [Happy Days] by Samuel Beckett, performed in the Irish language on the spectacular landscape of Inis Óirr. Translated by Mícheal Ó Chongaile, directed by Sarah Jane Scaife and featuring Bríd Ní Neactain and Raymond Keane.

Live - Inis Oírr, Aran Islands


In Person, 30 August – 11 September

Online, from 6 September

▪ From Luke Murphy’s Attic Projects, a new work that is part theatre, part mini-series and part dance all wrapped up in the tapestry of an unfolding sci-fi thriller. Performed over four episodes, Volcano can be enjoyed individually or as a series.

Live – Nun's Island Theatre and online, view on demand.


In Person, 1 – 11 September, 8pm
Matinees Thursday 2 and 9,
Saturday 4 and 11 September, 3pm
No show Sunday 5 September

▪ Decadent Theatre present There Are Little Kingdoms by Kevin Barry, directed by Andrew Flynn, chronicling life in the towns and cities of a changing land, where a strange new music sounds, where there are many uncertainties and absurdities, but where still there’s laughter in the dark – which echoes as compassion.

Live – Town Hall Theatre


In Person, 1-18 September
No shows Monday or Tuesday

▪ Branar creates a unique experience that brings audiences on the epic journey of our native language, devised by the company and directed by Marc MacLochlainn. Sruth na Teanga is an immersive theatre event which audiences of 10 enter at a time. Branar’s signature storytelling combines puppetry, music, video mapping and live performance in this immersive experience. Commissioned by Galway 2020. World premiere.

Live - Galway Airport


In Person, 4–12 September, 1.30pm and 4.30pm
No performances 6-7 September

A Handful of Dreams, from Fidget Feet Aerial Dance Theatre, is an awe-inspiring and heart-warming outdoor show which combines aerial and circus arts with live Irish traditional music and dance. Featuring and electric ensemble of five spectacular aerial dancers and two live musicians aerialists under the direction of company founder Chantal McCormack.

Live - Commercial Boat Club, Woodquay


[SOLD OUT] In Person, 7-12 September
1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4pm
6pm, 7pm, 8pm, No show 5pm

▪ Immerse yourself in a Virtual Reality experience that merges dance, original song and arresting performances, transporting audiences through the breathtaking landscape of Connemara in Ar Ais Arís, from Brú Theatre. Irish language literature and visual poetry combine to create this immersive experience, inspired by texts from Máirtín Ó Cadhain, Pádraic Ó Conaire and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill.

In Person Virtual Reality Experience – Commerical Boat Club, Woodquay.

THE SEAGULL [after Chekhov]

Online, 5-12 September

▪ A streamed captured performance of The Seagull [after Chekhov] by Thomas Kilroy, directed by Garry Hynes. In this Druid production filmed exclusively for GIAF, Kilroy’s free adaptation of Chekhov’s classic transposes the action from provincial Russia to the West of Ireland in the late nineteenth century.

Online, view on demand


In Person, 6 – 18 September
From 12 noon every 30 mins to 6pm
with later evening shows to 8pm on Fridays

Bedsit Written and directed by Enda Walsh. World premiere of a new work, presented by GIAF, the eighth in an ongoing series of immersive theatre installations. With absorbing and vivid texts by Enda Walsh revealing the highly intimate lives of each Rooms’ character, which takes on a quiet poetic force through remarkable storytelling. Design by GIAF’s Artistic Director Paul Fahy.

Live - Columban Hall, Sea Road.


[SOLD OUT] In Person, 28 August – 4 September
28 August – 2 September, 8pm
Friday 3 September, 6pm and 9pm
Saturday 4 September, 2pm and 6pm
No show Monday 30 August

After Love is a collaborative project, led by choreographer, dancer and actor Stephanie Dufresne, combining dance, physical theatre, music and poetry. Based on a debut poetry collection by Dani Gill with original musical score from Anna Mullarkey and Adrian Harte.

Live - Bank of Ireland Theatre, NUI Galway


In Person, 27 August – 5 September, 9.30pm
No shows 30, 31 Aug and 1 Sept

▪ From Fíbín Sa Taibhdhearc, Cogadh na Saoirse is a multi-staged visual spectacle where the big house, country hall, pub and fairground become stages for colourful characters to share stories and perspectives on war. Written and directed by Philip Doherty.

Live – Fíbín Teo, Baile na hAbhann, Co Galway



Friday 3 September, 9pm

Galway International Arts Festival and Other Voices come together to broadcast a once-off livestream from the fabulous setting of St Nicholas’ Church. Showcasing a number of great Irish voices, the event promises to be something a bit special. With NewDad, Anna Mullarkey, Tolü Makay, Susan O’Neill and Mick Flannery.

Online, live-stream



[SOLD OUT] In Person, Thursday 2 September, 8pm

CelloVision's e-Motions is a live multimedia performance presenting renowned choir Resurgam, Luminosa Orchestra, cellist Adrian Mantu, accordionist Dermot Dunne and guests.

Live - Galway Cathedral and online, live-streamed


[SOLD OUT] In Person, 28 September, 8pm; 29 August, 8pm; 16 September, 8pm

▪ Galway Music Residency's Contempo25. To celebrate its 25th birthday ConTempo Quartet will perform its favourite works. They will be joined by special guest Finghin Collins for a finale concert of Russian connections. Series of three concerts at St. Nicholas’ Church with special guests.

Live - St Nicholas’ Church


▪ The 2021 First Thought series will include a mix of live and online-only events, curated by Catriona Crowe, which will be broadcast across GIAF’s digital platforms. Guests will include Sinéad Burke, Misha Glenny; Bonnie Greer; Fintan O’Toole; Noelle Browne; Diarmaid Ferriter, Peter Lunn and Teresa Lambe amongst others.

Live and online: streamed

▪ Vinyl Hours is a series of talks with music aficionados where guests reveal their most treasured songs in conversation with music maestro Tiernan Henry. Join us for an intimate conversation with special guests including the award–winning and critically acclaimed musician and broadcaster Philip King; diversity advocate, podcaster, and fashion influencer Sinead Burke; singer-songwriter Niamh Regan and former Republic of Ireland football manager Brian Kerr.

Live - O’Donoghue Theatre NUI Galway and online


A centrepiece of the programme is the much anticipated second part of John Gerrard’s Mirror Pavilion, Leaf Work. The second part of Galway International Arts Festival’s commission for Galway’s European Capital of Culture 2020 will be located on the spectacular 4,000 year-old Derrigimlagh Bog in Connemara. The Pavilion is a beautiful and striking structure, with three sides and the roof clad in a highly reflective mirror and the fourth wall a high–resolution LED wall. Derrigimlagh Bog was the transmission site for the first transatlantic radio signal from the Marconi station in 1907 and the landing place for Alcock and Brown’s first ever transatlantic plane crossing in 1919. In Leaf Work the character performs a lament for the effects of these human advances on the upon non–human worlds and its relentless suffering.

Experience in person in Connemara and online: Live streamed

Joy Gerrard, Precarious Freedom: Crowds, Flags, Barriers. As a spectacle of resistance, public protest has a long history and is a powerful form of expression in a time of instant, ‘citizen enabled’ global media. Drawing on over a decade of image-making and research on themes of protest and urban space, Joy Gerrard archives and painstakingly remakes media-borne crowd images. Her subjects include climate change, Brexit, BLM protests and women’s equalities. These crowds are re-imaged in large monochrome paintings and small complex drawings made with Japanese ink. Curated by Aoife Ruane, Highlanes Gallery

Experience in person - Festival Gallery, William Street

▪ With House of Memory, Architecture at The Edge, wishes to mark in some tangible way a response to the universal realities of death, dying and loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. This installation invites the public to share their personal experience by leaving a momento or a short message in remembrance and as a symbol of hope for the future.

Experience in person - Festival Gallery, William Street

▪ Interface, Broken Vessels is a site-specific, international collaborative arts project curated by South African artist Brent Meistre. Situated in the unique environs at Interface, a visual artists’ workspace in the Inagh Valley, three Irish and three South African artists will collaborate to respond to structures located at this former salmon hatchery. The Irish artists are Louise Manifold, Anne Marie Deacy and Noelle Gallagher with Christine Dixie,Lesego Rampolokeng and Monique Pelser from South Africa.

Experience in person – Interface @ Lough Inagh Valley Salmon Hatchery, Connemara

Decade, spanning ten years, this exhibition traces the evolution, visual concerns and subtle shifts in direction of Ger Sweeney’s work.

Experience in person -Galway Arts Centre

imPRESSions 2021, an online exhibition focusing on fine art printmaking, celebrating the remarkable activity and commitment to printmaking in Ireland, as well as reflecting on the passion for the medium worldwide.


126 Artist–Run Gallery is delighted to present Reliquary of Beasts, a kaleidoscope of animal practices responding to the perceptions of value and animals in art today. Reliquary of Beasts responds to how we view animals in art and the newly diverging cross–border practices on animal products.

Experience in person – Gallery 126, St. Bridget’s Place

▪ Company SJ and the Abbey Theatre in association with Áras Éanna present, Laethanta Sona: Saol ar an Creig [Happy Days: Life on the Rock] a photographic, sonographic and videographic exhibition celebrating the process of Laethanta Sona on Inis Oírr.

Experience in person - Áras Éanna, Inis Oírr

▪ From Engage Art Studios, They Heard Her Voice in the Lapping Waters, Jojo Hynes, inspired by the stories of female water deities throughout the world.

Experience in person - Engage Art Studios, Lower Salthill

Galway International Arts Festival acknowledges the support of its principal funding agencies, The Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland, Galway City Council, its Education Partner NUI Galway, its Energy Partner Flogas, and Drinks Partner Heineken®.

Galway International Arts Festival would like to acknowledge the support of Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture for funding Mirror Pavilion, and for the additional support provided by Festival Energy Partner Flogas, Festival Partner Aerogen and Bluesky Ireland.