Galway International Arts Festival today announced details of its 2018 Festival Programme. The Festival, which takes place from 16-29 July, features an exciting Irish and international programme of theatre, opera, dance, circus, music, spectacle, visual art, and First Thought Talks featuring interviews and discussions on the theme of home.
Explore the programme here:
Theatre, Opera, Dance & Circus programme.
Street Art & Spectacle
First Thought Talks
GIAF 2018 will, in its theatre strand, present six world premieres and five Irish premieres, welcoming artists and theatre makers from across the world to Galway. These include the world premieres of Paul Muldoon’s Incantata, two new plays by Sonya Kelly and Cristin Kehoe from Druid, and a new theatre installation from Enda Walsh.
The Festival also continues to play a vital role in supporting new work and presents two exciting visual arts / installations commissions from David Mach Rock ‘n’ Roll and Olivier Grossetête The People Build and Galway will be the destination for artists across many musical spectrums and this year First Thought Talks shines a light on ‘Home’ in all its many forms. This year will also see the addition of the new Festival Garden, the home of the Festival in the heart of Eyre Square and the new information hub for festival goers, where they can relax and enjoy occasional DJs and live sets from guest artists too.
The Festival’s Chief Executive John Crumlish said: “We are very excited about this year’s festival. It is our biggest programme ever and continues our build up into 2020 when Galway has the European Capital of Culture designation. We have expanded our theatre and music programmes and have a free programme that audiences will be very excited by. I would like to thank our funders and sponsors who have helped make all this possible and look forward to seeing everyone for a great July in Galway.”
Commenting on this year’s programme, Galway International Arts Festival’s Artistic Director Paul Fahy stated, ‘For 14 days and nights, artists from Ireland and all over the world will descend on our city, to re-imagine the world and our place within it. It is a pleasure to deliver a programme of art and ideas by some of the world’s most brilliant minds. We look forward to welcoming you to Galway in July for this great adventure.’
International theatre and dance highlights
One of the outstanding elegies of the 20th century Paul Muldoon’s haunting Incantata is reimagined for the theatre and will star Stanley Townsend and directed by Sam Yates’ a Galway International Arts Festival and Jen Coppinger production.
Three major productions from Australia include the jaw-dropping virtuosity and extraordinary teamwork, of Backbone, from Gravity & Other Myths, totally thrilling and contagiously joyful, this is circus as you have never seen it; and Humans, a thrilling and heart-stopping performance from Circa’s astonishing acrobats who make a welcome return to Galway following an absence of 9 years, and a gorgeous, funny and sensory evocation of Patrick White’s Australia, The Aspirations of Daise Morrow, Brink Productions, which explores the complications of compassion and the majesty of love.
Three of this year’s productions are immersive theatre experiences and installations. The runaway hit of the 2017 Edinburgh Festival, Flight adapted from Caroline Brothers’ novel Hinterland, recently took New York by storm, an exquisite, intimate, magical and spellbinding show. Experience the human cost of the war in Syria, in Tania El Khoury’s unique, unforgettable, interactive and immersive experience, Gardens Speak. In Office 33A, a unique new work by Enda Walsh, a man recalls the love he found and how he must keep that love alive.
Marshalling the power of protest song and dance, The Fall from South Africa’s Baxter Theatre, goes to the heart of how race, class, gender, power and history’s voices intersect.
There are two new plays from Druid: Furniture, a play about perceptions and possessions, and Shelter, a portrait of life on the edge. Sonya Kelly’s new comedy, Furniture looks at how the things we own shape our worldview, while Cristin Kehoe’s new play is in turns brutal, touching and funny.
A major new production from Irish National Opera, in association with GIAF and United Fall, of Gluck’s revolutionary work Orfeo ed Euridice, featuring a powerful mix of music, song, dance and imagery directed by Emma Martin.
Experience the human cost of the war in Syria, with a unique, unforgettable, interactive and immersive experience, Gardens Speak. In Office 33A, a unique new work by Enda Walsh, a man recalls the love he found and how he must keep that love alive.
In its largest theatre programme to date, GIAF also presents: a new Abbey Theatre commission Baoite, a co-production with An Taibhdhearc in association with GIAF, which explores hidden fractures, lies, legacies, deceit and ultimate betrayal, in a once–solid clan. A parent–teacher meeting goes very wrong in Class, by Iseult Golden and David Horan, a play about learning difficulties: in school, in life, wherever. Cloud Study, from Irish Modern Dance, a new wild, beautiful and explosive running dance, which chases dreams, memories and home. Wit, a sharply funny Pulitzer Prize winning play by Margaret Edison, and Port Authority, a Decadent Theatre production, is a moving tale of loves lost and found; the consequences of big dreams and the significance of our smallest choices.
An exciting international Street Art & Spectacle Programme sees the return of The People Build, a new Festival commission and an awe-inspiring architectural that event will transform thousands of cardboard boxes into floating works of art. Museum of the Moon, a spectacular giant moon featuring detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface will appear in various locations across Galway. Immerse yourself in a unique and sensory experience in the Luminarium, a monumental walk-in sculpture, while the magical and hypnotic Birdmen see huge illuminated, mysterious creatures roam the streets of Galway.
Festival 2018 sees the return of the Festival Gallery at the former Connacht Tribune Print Works, home to a major exhibition and Festival Commission Rock ‘n’ Roll by Turner Award nominated artist David Mach. Sarah Hickson’s trips to the temporary refugee camps of Northern France are documented in her photographic memoir Sounds Unseen, while abandoned fairgrounds, overgrown glass houses and derelict hotels all feature in Jennifer Cunningham’s new exhibition After the Future. Ghost Chapel, a large-scale outdoor work at the Claddagh Basin, is based on the 6th–century chapel located on the uninhabited St. MacDara’s Island in Connemara. Other exhibitions include Deirdre O’Mahony’s new film Speculative Optimism; Impressions highlights the varying aspects of contemporary printmaking; artist collective Domestic Godless at Galway Arts Centre; Ronnie Hughes and Evgeniya Martirosyan at 126, and Art of Protest at the Kenny Gallery which features work by artists including Brian Maguire who have made social commentary, satire and political narrative part of their artistic output.
GIAF welcomes a new sponsor on board this year for the newly named Heineken Big Top (co-produced with the Róisín Dubh), which features an amazing line-up of Irish and international musicians, including Dan Snaith’s Canadian outfit Caribou, Gavin James, Madness, The Flaming Lips, The Stunning, Walking on Cars, Kodaline, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra Festival Proms, 2FM Live with Jenny Greene and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and Amadou & Mariam.
Other music highlights include: The Olllam, All Our Exes Live in Texas, Mongoose, Ailbhe Reddy, Lilla Vargan & Maria Kelly, Something Happens, New Orleans Swamp Donkeys, Liam Ó Maonlai & Brendan O’Regan at Róisín Dubh; Camille O’Sullivan, Beardyman, DJ sets from Kevin Rowland [Dexy’s] and Jerry Dammers (The Specials), Sharon Shannon & Band at Monroe’s Live; Wajahat Khan and Peadar Ó Riada at St Nicholas’ Church; the 90 strong China National Traditional Orchestra and live acts and DJ sets Live @ Electric.
First Thought Talks features a series of interviews, conversations and debate based on the theme of HOME curated by historian and archivist Catriona Crowe. President Michael D. Higgins will launch this series of talks with a meditation on the idea of home. First Thought Talks 2018 features academics, activists, architects, artists and authors with participants including Catherine Corless, Andrew O’Hagan, John Lanchester, Sarah Hickson, Liz Fekete, Roy Foster, Tomi Reichental, Mitchell Joachim, Paula Meehan, Lucy McDiarmid and Diarmuid Ferriter amongst an extensive number of leading international voices and journalists from around the world.
Druid Debuts offer audiences the chance to experience new plays in development while Vinyl Hours hears Festival artists reveal their most treasured vinyl memories at the Festival Garden. Comedy includes Terry Alderton, Danny O’Brien and the much-loved Laughter Loft with MC Gerry Mallon.
Carol McMahon, Head of Business Marketing & Sponsorship, Ulster Bank said: “We are proud to be involved in a programme that connects communities and audiences to a world-class arts festival such as the Galway International Arts Festival. The Festival programme provides such a wide array of events and activities with something for everyone! We are very much looking forward to watching the world of art and creativity unfold and I’ve no doubt that this year’s festival will prove to be the most successful one to date."
Galway International Arts Festival would like to acknowledge the support of its principal funding agencies the Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland, Leadership Partner Ulster Bank, Drinks Partner Heineken and and Education Partner NUI Galway.