Galway International Arts Festival’s Rooms by Enda Walsh tours to the Barbican in London next April 11th-19th, where it will form part of the centre’s 2019 season.
This Rooms tour brings together Enda Walsh’s five poetic short stories – Room 303, A Girl’s Bedroom, Kitchen, Bathroom & Office 33A - as one for the first time.
Walsh has collaborated with GIAF’s Artistic Director Paul Fahy for the past five years to create this ongoing series of works, which was listed as a New York Times Critic’s Pick following its US premiere.
Ushered into a series of five realistic spaces, housing clues to the character once confined within their walls, audiences will hear haunting accounts of solitude as part of an immersive theatre installation.
As one of an audience of six, they step inside the meticulously detailed rooms, exploring each for two minutes before the recorded audio begins.
Absorbing texts by Enda Walsh draw them into the highly intimate lives of these individuals, with narration by Niall Buggy, Charlie Murphy, Donal O’Kelly, Paul Reid and Eileen Walsh.
Each of the Rooms series is written and directed by Enda Walsh, with design by GIAF Artistic Director Paul Fahy, lighting by Adam Fitzsimons and sound by Helen Atkinson.
The first of the series, Room 303, premiered at Galway International Arts Festival in 2014. The second, A Girl’s Bedroom premiered at the festival in 2015, then toured to Washington’s Kennedy Centre as part of Ireland 100: Celebrating A Century of Irish Arts and Culture, a major festival highlighting Irish culture and its relationship to America. Room 303, A Girl’s Bedroom and Kitchen, the third in the series, subsequently toured to the Irish Arts Centre in New York in 2017.
Speaking from Dublin, where he is currently directing the Béla Bartók opera Bluebeard’s Castle for Irish National Opera, Enda Walsh commented: "I am absolutely delighted that five of the installations from the ongoing Rooms series will show next spring in the Barbican in London. Rooms started, and continues from, my earliest understanding of what theatres meant to me. It was a room where we got to meet strangers. In these small rooms, it’s an attempt to stop and listen to someone, to knit a commonality between them and us, to allow ‘the quiet’ to talk.”
Head of Theatre at the Barbican Toni Racklin added, "We are thrilled to have a Galway International Arts Festival production – Rooms, by Enda Walsh - at the Barbican next year.
“The five meticulously designed rooms will be installed together for the first time in one space here at the Barbican. Having previously seen Rooms in Ireland, one each year at GIAF, I’m looking forward to revisiting them all as one experience next spring. The stories revealed in each intimate environment, recounted in exquisite detail by some of Ireland’s finest actors, will, we believe, fascinate London audiences, resonating long after the event.”
GIAF Artistic Director Paul Fahy added: “We are thrilled and honoured to return to the Barbican, one of the world’s leading international stages, following on from Woyzeck in Winter last year and Lessness during the International Beckett Season in 2015. It will be a real thrill to see all five Rooms together for the first time.”
Public bookings for Rooms will open on the Barbican website on Friday 26 October.
Galway International Arts Festival would like to acknowledge the support of its principal funding agencies the Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland and Festival Partners Heineken and NUI Galway.