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Galway Arts Festival 2004

12th July - 26th July 2004

For full programme details, click here ....

"The biggest, most exciting, most imaginative explosion of arts activity this country has". (Irish Times)

The 27th Galway Arts Festival celebrates artistic innovation from around the world, with a programme of theatre, spectacle, dance, visual arts, music, literature and comedy. The celebrations begin on Monday 12th July and continue to Monday 26th July.

Galway Arts Festival 2004 features two world premiere events produced by the Festival, Open Source, a multi media dance performance is a collaboration between artists from Iceland and Ireland; Trad, a new Irish play by Mark Doherty, is directed by Mikel Murfi, with a cast including Frankie McCafferty, Peter Gowen and David Pearse and original music by Jim Doherty.

The Town Hall Theatre is the centre for new writing from the UK and USA this year. The Festival has invited three of the world's leading proponents of new writing, The Bush, The Royal Court and Steppenwolf. The Bush present Richard Cameron's The Glee Club in week one while Steppenwolf and The Royal Court share the venue in week two with Steppenwolf presenting Craig Wright's Orange Flower Water at lunchtime while The Royal Court's production of The Walker's Flesh Wound takes the evening slot.

Galway Arts Festival has teamed up with the China/Ireland Cultural Exchange to bring two of China's most important cultural institutions to Galway. The Beijing Dance Academy features a company of 30 dancers while The China Conservatory of Music perform a programme of Chinese traditional music in the ambient surroundings of St. Nicholas' Church.

Following the success of The Junebug Symphony at last year's Festival, the extraordinary James Thiérrée's Compagnie du Hanneton return to Galway with their new physical theatre spectacle La Veillee des Abysses a wonderful fusion of contortionism, acrobatics, mysterious transformations, music and dance.

Heather Woodbury, award winning playwright and performer who made her Irish debut at Galway Arts Festival 2002, returns to the Festival to present for the first time ever her latest work A Tale of Two Cities, An American Joyride on Multiple Tracks. Also from the USA, author and publisher Dave Eggers makes his first Irish appearance at the Festival where he will read from his latest work and John Lahr novelist, screenwriter, biographer and senior drama critic for The New Yorker will talk on Comedy and Revenge. Also appearing in this year's literary programme are iconic Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko, satirist, critic and award-winning columnist Francis Wheen and one of Ireland's most celebrated writers Colm Toibin.

The continued support of Guinness enables the Festival to present a comprehensive programme of music in venues all over Galway, including, from the USA Beausoleil, Telefon Tel Aviv, Erin McKeown, Burrito Deluxe, from the UK David Byrne, Bill Wyman and The Rhythm Kings, Bernard Butler & Bert Jansch, from Ireland Mozaik (featuring Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny), Bob Geldof, Lunasa, Four Men and a Dog, Scullion, The Undertones, The Saw Doctors and many, many more.

On the visual arts front, Austrian avant-garde sculptor Erwin Wurm makes his Irish debut at Galway Arts Festival with photographs of human sculptures created in Galway this year. These large-scale photographs will be exhibited outdoors throughout the Festival on the facades of the buildings of Galway. Galway Arts Festival and Galway Arts Centre team up to co-present an exhibition of new work by Galway artist Sharon O'Malley, while leading Irish painters Sean McSweeney, Brian Bourke, Graham Knuttel and Jay Murphy are just some of the other artists exhibiting during the Festival.

The very best of Irish comedy is also represented with Barry Murphy's Comedy Circus, Dermot Carmody, Kevin McAleer, Eddie Bannon, Ian Coppinger, Brendan Dempsey, David O'Doherty and Gerry Mallon's Laughter Loft with Des Bishop from the USA and New Zealand's The Flying Conchords completing the programme.

Outdoor spectacle at this year's Festival includes the return of the much-loved Macnas Parade which will feature a cast of over 500 performers, while Australians Strange Fruit present their visual spectacular The Spheres at the Spanish Parade and Snuff Puppets take to the streets as a giant size family and a life size herd of cows.

With over 400 writers, artists, performers and musicians from Australia, Austria, China, France, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, the UK and the USA joining those from Ireland in creating theatre, spectacle, street art, comedy, literature and music the 2004 Galway Arts Festival promises an extraordinary fortnight of cultural activity.

Galway Arts Festival Box Office

Galway Arts Festival Box Office
12 Dockgate
Merchant's Road
Phone: 091 566 577

Online Booking from Saturday June 12th in Person or by Phone from Monday June 21st

Further Press Information/Photos Paul Fahy, Galway Arts Festival Press Office Black Box Theatre Galway Ireland
Mobile 087 246 9971