GIAF Receives Warm Welcome at the Irish Embassy in London & Rave Reviews for Rooms by Enda Walsh

17 April 2019

This week Galway International Arts Festival received a very warm welcome from Ambassador of Ireland to the UK, Adrian O’Neill, at a reception at the Irish Embassy in London to welcome GIAF to London.

Guests at the reception included representatives from the Irish business community in London, the Irish cultural community, Tourism Ireland and Galway 2020. The Festival is in London with its production of ROOMS by Enda Walsh, which has opened to rave reviews at the Barbican Centre and runs until this Friday.

As part of the Embassy event, GIAF presented a First Thought Talk with Irish artist John Gerrard, which was live-streamed on the Festival’s Facebook page. John Gerrard is one of Ireland’s most unique and internationally celebrated artists best known for his large-scale and site-specific works. Paul Fahy, GIAF Artistic Director joined John Gerrard in conversation to discuss Gerrard’s work, and his exciting collaboration with GIAF for Galway 2020.

Galway International Arts Festival has commissioned John Gerrard to create two major artworks as part of the programme for Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture.

Ambassador of Ireland, Adrian O’Neill said: “I am delighted to host the First Thought Talk at the Embassy in association with Galway International Arts Festival. GIAF plays a hugely important role in profiling Ireland as a vibrant and inclusive cultural destination. It is also encouraging to see exciting cultural collaboration & partnerships between the Festival and organisations here in the UK. I am especially pleased that UK-based artists are taking part in the Festival, and am really looking forward to seeing Rooms at the Barbican later this week.”

Paul Fahy, GIAF Artistic Director said: "I’d like to thank Ambassador Adrian O’Neill for extending such a warm welcome to GIAF during our visit to London with Rooms by Enda Walsh, and for hosting the Festival’s First Thought Talk with Irish artist, John Gerrard. We first presented his work at the Festival in 2013 and it was wonderful to talk to John about his work, and about our exciting collaboration for Galway 2020."


★★★★The Guardian ★★★★The Financial Times ★★★★The Stage ★★★★ Broadway World ★★★★ London List

Galway International Arts Festival’s UK premiere of their renowned ROOMS series by Enda Walsh has garnered great praise during its run at the Barbican Centre in London, where it forms part of the centre’s 2019 season. Designed by GIAF’s Artistic Director Paul Fahy, who has collaborated with Walsh on these works over the past five years, audiences can experience Walsh’s five poetic stories in one immersive installation for the very first time.

Paul Fahy, Designer of ROOMS and Artistic Director of GIAF said:
'We were delighted with how the Rooms look at the Barbican and with the response from audiences and critics alike. Rooms is a collaborative project and I would like to thank Enda and all of our brilliant creative team for their work along with Culture Ireland for its support of Rooms at the Barbican.'

★★★★ The Guardian
'Part installation, part prose-poem, this strangely beautiful piece takes its audience into other people’s heads. Immaculately designed.'

★★★★ The Stage
'Compelling. The Rooms themselves are a work of art. Overpoweringly atmospheric. They swallow you up, surround you with sorrow, and spit you back out again.'

★★★★ The Financial Times
'a haunting immersive experience... meticulously decorated'

★★★★ Broadway World
'Highly evocative...the Rooms look stunning.'

‘Paul Fahy’s design is never less than a triumph’
The Times

GIAF’s First Thought Talk with John Gerrard is available to watch on the GIAF Facebook page.

GIAF’S production of ROOMS by Enda Walsh is on at the Barbican in London from 11-19 April

Galway International Arts Festival would like to acknowledge the support of Culture Ireland with the UK premiere of ROOMS. The Festival would also like to acknowledge its principal funding agencies the Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland and Festival Partners Heineken® and NUI Galway.