Minister for Tourism Arlene Foster joins Sean Doran, Festival Director, and artist Alan Milligan at the launch.

The Happy Days EnniskillenInternational Beckett Festival,  the first of its kind-celebrating the workand influence of writer Samuel Beckett across all the art forms- has launchedthe full programme for its inaugural edition which will take place inEnniskillen from 23-27 August 2012.

Getting underway on Thursday23 August 2012, the five-dayfestival will play host to a diverse mix of Beckett-inspired, world class, international and home-grown talents from theworld of theatre, visual art,music and comedy.

The top class artistic line-upincludes three new highlights: recent work by internationally-renownedconceptual artist Joseph Kosuth featuring rubber floors and neon;Dublin’s Pan Pan Theatre with their groundbreaking production of AllThat Fall, and Irish fiddler Tommy Peoples with a special one-offperformance inspired by Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape.

 Speaking at the launch which took place at Enniskillen Castle, Sean Doran, Founder & ArtisticDirector said:

“Happy Days inthe small market town of Enniskillen is a new addition to the summer calendarof international arts festivals. But more crucially, it arrives at a time ofvigourous cultural renaissance in Northern Ireland. Our aim is to give Beckett loversacross the world an annual home, to gather and celebrate the writer’s geniusand wit”.

Beckett spent his formativeyears in Enniskillen at Portora Royal School, which will be one of the fourmain festival hubs. The festival will take place along the town’s half-mile inmany of the towns historic venues, including the medieval Enniskillen castle,the 18th century Castle Coole, Ardhowen Theatre, and Portora RoyalSchool itself, as well as the Cathedral, churches, and schools.

For those with an interest in music, an eclectic mix of concerts can be enjoyed with performances fromLlyr Williams, Gavin Bryars, Ian Bostridge and local man Duke Special. While theHappy Days talks programme brings together leading writers, poets andartists to draw out themes in Beckett’s life and work including Lady Antonia Fraser, John Banville, Edna O’Brien,Adrian Dunbar and Paul Muldoon among others.

Several performances at HappyDays 2012 are part of the London 2012 Festival, the spectacular nationwidecelebration running from 21 June until 9 September 2012, bringing togetherleading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK. London2012 Festival events include the acclaimed Director Robert Wilson,directing and performing in Krapp’s Last Tape; Antony Gormley’sTreefor Waiting for Godot in stainless steel; Gavin Bryars and Ensemble;and Atom Egoyan’s Steenbeckett, and nightly sessions at MissFitt’s Comedy House from topcomedians including Ed Aczel, Josh Howie and John-Luke Roberts among others.

Family-friendlyperformances and events include Clastic Theatre’s puppet performance of ActWithout Words 1, and a fun, tongue-in-cheek and family-focused sportsprogramme, that will recognize Beckett’s prowess as a sportsman. “Bend ItLike Beckett” will include the Samuel Beckett Muckball Cup;the Beckett Bike-It; the Beckett Skulls Rowing Race, andthe Didi & Gogo’s Sunday Afternoon Crricket – Artists vs Crritics.

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