Belfast Telegraph

International Beckett Festival: 12 days of artistic joy for Samuel Beckett devotees as line-up revealed

By Claire Williamson

Happy days are on the way for Enniskillen as the countdown begins for the International Beckett Festival.

It's one of the largest multi-arts festivals and is the only one in the world solely dedicated to celebrating Samuel Beckett through the full range of the arts.

Founded by director Sean Doran in 2012, this year's programme is full to the brim of top international artists running from from Thursday, July 31 to Sunday August 10.

Officially launched today, the line-up includes appearances from golden globe winning actor and director Klaus Maria Brandauer from Out Of Africa and Never Say Never Again fame, Grammy Award winner Gavin Bryars and local favourite Adrian Dunbar among others.

Adrian told the Belfast Telegraph: "Every year it grows and goes from strength to strength.

"There are different emphasises every year and it's never the same. It's always different."

He added: "I am very excited about it – I think it will be a really good one this year.

"There is a huge amount of really interesting things."

Turner Prize and Academy Award winner Steve McQueen has given his permission for his work to be presented in the festival but hass not yet confirmed if he'll be attending.

The extended 12-day programme runs across two weekends and will take place in more than 30 locations across the lakeland town, where the Nobel Prize-winning literary giant was a student at Portora Royal School.

The festival opening will be a double presentation of Beckett's classic Waiting For Godot in two separate productions – one in French and one in Yiddish.

Internationally acclaimed English composer Bryars will be the festival's composer in residence.

He will present three concerts in three churches across Enniskillen.

The opening concert, Celebrating Godot, will feature his most popular work, Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet, in a special performance by The Gavin Bryars Ensemble with guests Yurodny and The Crash Ensemble.

Four leading visual artists will be featured in the programme.

Antony Gormley's Tree For Waiting For Godot will be installed at Enniskillen Castle; there will be an exhibition of work by Tacita Dean, who has not yet confirmed her attendance; McQueen's Deadpan (1997) restages Buster Keaton's famous film stunt in which a house collapses around him, and Irish artist Gerard Bryne's photographic installation will be shown at Castle Coole.

  • For more information visit www.happy-days-enniskillen.com

Highlights

1. Steve McQueen. The artist's Deadpan (1997) restages Buster Keaton's film stunt in which a house collapses around him – Beckett adored Keaton as an actor.

2. John Cage John Cage's masterpiece Roaratorio: An Irish Circus on Finnegans Wake will be presented as a sound installation in the Marble Arch caves.

3. A new production of Samuel Beckett's one act play Catastrophe (1982), directed by Adrian Dunbar, features the Ceithleann Island Theatre Company.

4. Wartn Af Godot will be presented in an authorised translation. the production attempts to restore 'Godot' to its language of origin.

5. Heiner Goebbels and the Hilliard Ensemble will present the last section of Goebbels' music-theatre work, I Went Into The House But Did Not Enter.

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