#GIAF24 bursts onto streets, stages, galleries and venues of Galway from Monday

#GIAF24 bursts onto streets, stages, galleries and venues of Galway from Monday

Next Monday, Galway International Arts Festival will kick off for 2024, bringing to audiences a packed programme of theatre, circus, music, visual art, street art and spectacle, comedy and talks that look at who we are and what concerns us. Dive into what's in store here...

Running from 15-28 July, this year's Galway International Arts Festival will include its biggest music line-up to date, 7 world premieres, a new visual arts Festival commission, exciting new theatre, a vibrant First Thought Talks programme and astonishing street spectacle.

Officially opening the festival on Monday 15th July will be the world premiere of a breathtaking new play Reunion by Mark O’Rowe, who turns his laser focus on the deep currents of family life with biting humour and insight, in a co-production between Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival. A major new ensemble play, it stars a roll-call of Ireland’s finest actors: Ian-Lloyd Anderson, Cathy Belton, Venetia Bowe, Stephen Brennan, Leonard Buckley, Simone Collins, Desmond Eastwood, Valene Kane, Robert Sheehan and Catherine Walker.

Unspeakable Conversations at GIAF24
Unspeakable Conversations at #GIAF24. Photo by Peter Searle

Other premieres include Unspeakable Conversations by Christian O’Reilly (Once Off Productions and GIAF) starring Olivier Award-winning disabled actor Liz Carr and fellow disabled actor Mat Fraser, which thrusts us into the heart of a life and death debate in a provocative, funny and exhilarating new production; The Map of Argentina by Marina Carr, a new play that tunnels deeply into the complicated contours of family dynamics, pushing the boundaries of love, power and desire directed by Andrew Flynn (Decadent Theatre); and a new immersive theatre installation, Dining Room, part of an ongoing extraordinary series Rooms created by Enda Walsh and GIAF Artistic Director Paul Fahy.

At the Festival Gallery, experience the extraordinary work of Australian sculptor Patricia Piccinini. Known for her extraordinary, lifelike, hybrid creatures, this free exhibition, titled We Travel Together, will showcase an incredible body of work at the Festival Gallery, including a site-specific installation, created especially for the Festival.

Jess Glynne will perform at The Heineken Big Top during GIAF24

Next week will also see the first artist taking to the stage of the Heineken® Big Top, Galway International Arts Festival’s iconic live music venue on the banks of the River Corrib in the very heart of Galway City. Kicking off the music will be Passenger (15 July), two days later the legendary Stewart Copeland of The Police with Police Deranged for Orchestra, conducted by Eimear Noone followed by Kneecap, Leftfield, Block Rockin' Beats and Annie Mac all in Week One and then Jess Glynne, Kettema, Gavin James and The Saw Doctors in Week Two.

Galway International Arts Festival’s free Street Art Programme brings the city alive each year and, on Friday 19 and Saturday 20 July, the incredible Planet Vapeur will roam the city’s medieval streets with the spectacular giant winged-horse Pegasus. Each day during the Festival, Guru Duru will bring their ever-popular Silent Disco Walking Tours to town, and the spectacular Les P’Tits Bras’ new aerial show West Wind will bring Eyre Square alive with their breathtaking and jaw-dropping aerial acrobatics (19 & 20 July).

A photo of Planet Vapeur's Pegasus by Caroline Barbitt
A photo of Planet Vapeur's Pegasus by Caroline Barbitt

Other Festival highlights include a new production from Druid of Endgame, Samuel Beckett’s comic-tragic masterpiece, directed by Tony Award-winning Garry Hynes; the sensational Australian circus and acrobatic performers Circa, with the European premiere of the astounding Duck Pond, a reimagining of the classic Swan Lake, at the Festival Theatre, Kingfisher, University of Galway; and from the Lebanon Tania El Khoury’s Cultural Exchange Rate, a unique immersive installation which examines the never-ending story of migration.

The Festival Garden also returns to Eyre Square with food, drinks, occasional DJs and more.

Other visual arts exhibitions include works by Bernadette Kiely, Miriam de Búrca, Brian Bourke, Karen Cox, Brian Ballard, Yvonne McGuinness, Cecilia Danell and Katerina Gribkoff, Seán O’Riordan, Peter Bradley and a site-specific group show featuring seven female artists When We Cease to Understand the World in the incredible setting of Interface, Lough Inagh Valley, Connemara.

The First Thought Talks series is the Festival’s thought leadership platform that interrogates the world around us, exploring the big issues and challenges of the day. Guests will include journalists Marion McKeone and Fintan O’Toole; novelists Colm Tóibín, Andrew O’Hagan, Mike McCormack and Elaine Feeney; academics and authors Diarmaid Ferriter and Pankaj Mishra; philosopher Susan Neiman; actor and activist Liz Carr; tech expert Elaine Burke; climate change adviser Marie Donnelly; barrister Blinne Ní Ghrálaigh; playwright Marina Carr and psychiatrist Brendan Kelly, amongst a host of others.

Galway International Arts Festival would also like to acknowledge the support of its principal funding agencies The Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland; Galway City Council; its Drinks Partner Heineken; and Education Partner University of Galway.

Download the 2024 Galway International Arts Festival programme pdf HERE and purchase your tickets from the Festival Box Office in Eyre Square or via giaf.ie

Keep updated on social media via X @GalwayIntArts, Facebook @GalwayInternationalArtsFest, Instagram @GalwayIntArts.

Banner photo of Duck Pond by Pia Johnson

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