Galway 'Virtual' Fringe Festival 2020

Festival goes online to provide a 'digital space for artists to get on a virtual stage and share their talents'

Fringe fest artists (clockwise from left): Singer-songwriter Shane K Lester; Andrew Carney in Sam, Galway, and the Twelve Apostles; Eve O'Mahony in The Cute Whore - The Life and Times of Peg Plunkett; writer Jim Ward; and Mayhem Mandala.

Fringe fest artists (clockwise from left): Singer-songwriter Shane K Lester; Andrew Carney in Sam, Galway, and the Twelve Apostles; Eve O'Mahony in The Cute Whore - The Life and Times of Peg Plunkett; writer Jim Ward; and Mayhem Mandala.

THE GALWAY Fringe Festival - normally an event on the streets, stages, and venues of the city - is moving online this year to provide "a creative digital space for new and emerging artists to get on a virtual stage and share their talents despite pandemic woes".

The arts have been one of the most severely impacted sectors of the Covid-19 pandemic, yet despite continuing restrictions, artists and festivals have, and continue to, find ways to reach the public - while maintaining social distancing and adhering to Government guidelines.

The Galway Virtual Fringe Festival takes place from Monday September 21 to Saturday 26, with 20 acts from five different countries set to deliver theatre, cabaret, music, prose, poetry, music, and the visual arts. 

On the day of the event, ticket holders can click the link on the digital ticket and sent to their email, follow the unique link through to the Eventbrite platform, where the show will be streamed.

Theatre and cabaret

Come Here I Want Ya! - Stories of Ireland in the Changing Times, with Gerry Conneely, is a hilarious theatrical journey through contemporary Irish history and Ireland’s tentative efforts to come to grips with the modern world (Friday 25, 8.30pm, €12 ).

Andrew Carney Sam, Galway, and the Twelve Apostles

In Sam, Galway, and the Twelve Apostles, Andrew Carney examines the notorious 1983 All-Ireland Gaelic football final between Dublin and Galway and explores the social and political context of the era (Saturday 26, 8pm, €12 ).

The Cute Whore - The Life and Times of Peg Plunkett sees Eve O'Mahony go back in time to look at The Memoirs of Mrs Leeson, where an old, repentant, madam reminisces about her past and wonders where it all went wrong (Saturday 26, 6pm, €12 ).

Forty-five young people living in Ireland between the ages of eighteen and twenty-two were interviewed on the topic of their relationship with alcohol. The Absolute State, by Maya McNair, reveals what they had to say (Thursday 24, 5.30pm, €12 ).

Talking Icons

Writer Tzarini Meyler explores the boundaries of the terms ‘cocoon’ and ‘isolation’ in Talking Icons, involving 24 lives, 24 characters, and 24 Modern day icons, with each representing a different hour of the day (Friday 25, 5.30pm, €12 ).

Words, images, music, come together for My Aunt & I, Carmen Cullen's show about her famous aunt, Delia Murphy, one of Ireland's most popular singers from the 1930s to the 1950s. The show will also feature poetry by Carmen (Wednesday 23, 7pm, €12 ).

Everyone Wants To Love Your Beating Heart by Kelly McMahon of Playlist Seattle theatre company, uses the songs of Temple Of The Dog as a jumping-off point for exploring our connection to music despite time and distance (Tuesday 22, 7.30pm, €12 ).

In All The Way From Italy... Anita Luna, the diva, is back! She is the singer with superpowers. She is an acrobat. She is a mentalist: she can move objects and people using solely the power of her mind (Wednesday 23, 10pm, €10 ).

Jim Ward

Three Quarks For Muster Mark is a line from Joyce's Finnegans Wake and the title of a new play by Galway writer Jim Ward [pictured above], author of the award winning Just Guff. For the Fringe, there will be a rehearsed reading of Three Quarks For Muster Mark, with three actors playing Joyce at different points in time, under the all-seeing presence and occasional input of Nora (Thursday 24, 8pm, €5 ).

Electra and Earwig are two short plays by Arann Blake of Mint Productions. Electra maps the experiences of young women trying to navigate their way through life. Earwig is a lowly government official who listens to recordings of people’s lives. (Wednesday 23, 8.30pm, €5 ).

There will also be rehearsed readings from two of the Galway Fringe 2020 10-minute play submissions - BOHM by Alex Perry and Photo Finish by Shona McDonald (Wednesday 23, 6pm, donations welcome ).

Writers and writing

Batya Weinbaum, the Feminist performance poet from the US, will give a reading from her work on Monday 21 at 7pm (€5 ); In Galway Writers: Stories with Ultan Macken, Macken [pictured above] gives viewers a glimpse into the extraordinary wealth of writers with roots in Galway, including his father Walter Macken (Monday 21, 6pm, €12 ); Over The Edge, hosted by writers Kevin Higgins and Susan Millar DuMars will be online (Thursday 24, 6.30pm ).


The Fringe Fest Band Showcase will host a night of great Galway-based bands including Galway band FRO, featuring guitarist Jack Simnott. The band's influences include Talking Heads, Sonic Youth, The Doors, The Stooges, and Girl Band (Saturday 26, 9pm, €8 ).

The Galway Singer Songwriter Showcase will feature new and original music from Cheryl Kelly, Paul Brohan, Echo Harte, Peggy Trundle, and others. (Friday 25, 10pm, €5 ). There will also be a show by Irish singer-songwriter Shane Kelly Lester (Friday 25, 9.30pm, €5 ).

LL Groove Band is based in Dublin and play original material in the funk, hip hop, and jazz genres (Thursday, Sept 24th, 9.30 pm, 10€, ONLINE ).

Mayhem Mandala are artist/composer/producer Maham Suhail from Pakistan and Michael Lucarelli from Nashville, now both living in Spain. Their show will be an overlap of digital loops with acoustic instrumentation and vocals (Monday 21, 8pm, €5 ).

Tales from Earth Incorporated is a live concert experience by multi-award winning US songwriter Dan Sheehan about the human spirit in the face of greed and its effects on the planet and its people (Tuesday 22, 10pm, €5 ).

Visual art

The festival will host the Galway Art Fair online from September 26 to 28. More information is available on the events page of the Galway Fringe website.

Tickets for all the above shows are available via To become involved in the festival, email [email protected].


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