Riverdance composer Bill Whelan launches 36th Clifden Arts Festival programme

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy

Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy

Renowned Irish musician, composer, producer and arranger Bill Whelan officially launched the programme of events for the 36th Clifden Community Arts Festival on Monday August 19 at the Clifden Station House Theatre.

Boasting another amazing line up of enigmatic, colourful, performances, literary readings, artistic expression, and visual exploration the annual festival returns with a bang from September 19 to 29.

The 2013 programme looks set to be an even bigger success with music, theatre, film, comedy, literary talks, readings, and a dedicated schools programme each playing an integral part of the festival, promising an event to suit all tastes.

The festival will be officially opened on Thursday September 19 by internationally renowned and innovative theatre director with Druid theatre company, Garry Hynes. Kicking off the festival will be the legendary Mary Coughlan, as well as music from Galway’s newest live party band, Crossfire.

Director of The Clifden Arts Week Brendan Flynn believes: “We have a great diversity of talent at this year’s festival and we are delighted to have long term friend and supporter Bill Whelan here to launch the programme. There are so many performances to look forward to, we hope you’re as excited as we are. The level of community engagement and encouragement is phenomenal and it’s what really sets our festival apart from others - it truly ignites the spirit of the people; it’s really inspirational.”

Friday September 20 will offer performances from the “Gyp-Hop” kings, The Latchikos, button accordion master Mairtin O’Connor with fiddle player Zoe Conway and guitar and bouzouki maestro Donal Lunny, as well as an evening with poet, publisher and novelist Dermot Bolger, and internationally renowned playwright, Bernard Farrell.

On Saturday 21, four times Jacob Award winner and RTE veteran Mike Murphy will conduct a public interview with musician, composer, producer, and arranger Bill Whelan. The Guinness Choir will perform Handel’s Messiah, while Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy will intrigue with musician and actor John Sampson. Author and journalist Kevin Myers will lecture on Commemorations: Ireland’s Fatal Addictions. Fishamble: The New Theatre Company presents their performances of Silent on September 24 and Forgotten on September 25 - one man plays written and performed by Pat Kinevane.

Throughout the week, visitors will see a wide array of talents, including concert performances from Sharon Shannon (September 21 ), Declan Sinnott (September 26 ), the Callino Quartet with Tom Dunn (September 23 ), Cherish the Ladies (September 24 ), Kaleidoscope Camino and comedy from Kevin McAleer (both on September 26 ), and readings from Mary O’Rourke and Diarmuid Ferriter (both on September 28 ).

The local schools will play host to a number of different events which will help to inspire, educate, and encourage local students in appreciating the arts, including workshops, a film festival, specialist talks and lectures over a broad range of topics, musical concerts, and readings from established poets and writers.

The finale parade will take place on Saturday September 28. Ireland’s leading processional and landscape theatre company LuXe pass through Clifden like a familiar constellation marking the changing seasons and opening windows of possibility. Fresh from premiering their new outdoor aerial crane the spectacular Firebirds at the Fleadh Cheoil in Derry, Fidget Feet will perform sections of the show during the parade.

Clifden Arts Festival is supported by The Arts Council of Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, Galway County Council, RTE Supporting the Arts, and AOIFE. A full programme of events and tickets can be found online at www.clifdenarts week.ie. To book call 091-442730 or email:boxoffice @clifden artsweek.ie For further information visit Facebook/ClifdenArtsFestival or follow it on Twitter @clifdenartsweek

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