Galway in a festive mood for eclectic arts line-up


“CREATIVITY IS contagious; pass it on,” Einstein once said. Galway Arts Festival artistic director Paul Fahy has issued a similar edict.

Fahy was busy last night announcing details of the city’s 35th annual arts festival,

Centre-stage will be Druid Theatre’s celebration of the work of Tom Murphy – which opens for a preliminary run in Galway tonight – along with two Shakespeare productions by Ed Hall’s Propeller Theatre.

The festival is co-producing the world premiere of The Great Goat Bubble, a new play with an “acerbic take on the property boom”, by Julian Gough and Fishamble.

It is presenting Northlight Theatre’s European premiere of The Outgoing Tide by US playwright Bruce Graham.

Scottish artist David Mach’s exhibition Precious Light has been described by Fahy as “one of the most ambitious visual arts projects we have undertaken”.

The festival will again convert a 3,716sq m (40,000sq ft) warehouse in Galway shopping centre into an art gallery, which will also host Brian Maguire’s prison paintings.

The National Theatre of Scotland will present The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart by David Grieg, and Dublin’s Gate Theatre is a first-time visitor with Watt by Samuel Beckett.

Free events will include Lo Monstre, a hungry dragon who may roam the city seeking a home for the early days of the festival.

British composer and artist Ray Lee will present the sound-art project Siren in the Black Box, and the Macnas parade will be among “mid-festival” street events.

New theatre work from Galway will include Last Shot Redemption by Catastrophe Theatre with Chrysalis Dance.

Big top festival music will be provided by The Coronas; James Vincent McMorrow and Lisa Hannigan with support from Elaine Mai; Christy Moore with Declan Sinnott, supported by Four Men and a Dog; and Chic.

Music will also include The Fall, the West Cork Ukulele Orchestra, Fred and Jack L, Damien Dempsey, the Henry Girls, Singapore’s T’ang Quartet and a tribute to playwright Tom Murphy by Classical Links.

The festival is introducing its version of “Ted Talks”, with the New Yorker’s Alex Ross, actors John Mahoney and Rondi Reid, author Jules Evans, and Caroline Casey.

There will also be talks, with former president Mary Robinson in conversation with Irish Times assistant editor Fintan O’Toole; Tom Murphy with Garry Hynes, and Chic’s Nile Rodgers with Irish Times journalist Jim Carroll.

The festival runs from July 16th to 29th. See details at