Arts festival's Ballyturk wows New York critics

The New York Times's describes production as possessing "madcap stagecraft and verbal fireworks"

The Galway International Arts Festival was highlighted in Brooklyn, New York, at an event hosted by Tourism Ireland. Pictured (LtoR): Ruth Moran, Tourism Ireland; Nicholas DeRenzo, Hemispheres (United Airlines inflight magazine); Cat Jordan, Travelzoo; Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland; Jim Higgins, United Stations Radio Networks; and John Crumlish, Galway International Arts Festival. Photo:- James Higgins

The Galway International Arts Festival was highlighted in Brooklyn, New York, at an event hosted by Tourism Ireland. Pictured (LtoR): Ruth Moran, Tourism Ireland; Nicholas DeRenzo, Hemispheres (United Airlines inflight magazine); Cat Jordan, Travelzoo; Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland; Jim Higgins, United Stations Radio Networks; and John Crumlish, Galway International Arts Festival. Photo:- James Higgins

The US premiere of the Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival co-production of Ballyturk, written by Enda Walsh, and starring Mikel Murfi, Tadhg Murphy and Olwen Fouéré, has won rave reviews from New York critics.

The play, which premiered at GIAF 2014, is currently running in St Ann’s Warehouse in New York. The New York Times's Ben Brantley describes the production as possessing "madcap stagecraft and verbal fireworks" and the play as "pure poetry" and an "enigmatic cosmic farce" likely to "take up residence in your thoughts after you’ve seen it".

The newspaper also selected Ballyturk as one of the Top 5 Shows to see in New York in January, saying "Few people fall apart as energetically, or as entertainingly, as the characters created by the Irish dramatist Enda Walsh." Meanwhile Time Out New York called Ballyturk a "smashing play", praising 'its actors "mesmerising portrayals", noting also how Mikel Murfi is "an excellent physical comic".

Among the guests who attended previews and the opening night of Ballyturk were James Bond producer Barbara Broccoli; the Irish Consul General of New York, Ciaran Madden; Orange Is the New Black star Kate Mulgrew; and tenor Tooi Lehtipuu.

Meanwhile, the Galway International Arts Festival was spotlighted at a Tourism Ireland event in Brooklyn, New York, attended by influential American arts and lifestyle journalists, as well as representatives of the travel trade in New York. The festival is one being promoted by Tourism Ireland globally throughout 2018.

"Events and festivals like the Galway International Arts Festival are a really important part of our overall tourism offering," said Alison Metcalfe, Tourism Ireland’s head of North America, "and are a key message in our promotions – particularly to our ‘culturally curious’ audience. We will roll out an extensive programme of promotions again in 2018, to highlight Galway and the island of Ireland here in the United States and elsewhere around the world.”

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