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Thursday 2 October 2014

Galway festival reaping benefits of international switch

Published 17/06/2014 | 02:30

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Artistic director of the Galway festival Paul Fahy

THE GALWAY international arts festival has seen a surge of bookings since going global – with sales rising by almost a third on this time last year.

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The festival changed its name this year, adding International to its moniker, and according to Chief Executive John Crumlish the move is already paying dividends in terms of bookings.

"The proof was always going to be in the tickets, and sales are going really well. We're already 30pc up on where we were this time last year and that's before the booking office had even opened," he said.

While the booking office for the festival only opened yesterday, a number of events are already close to capacity for the festival.

The much anticipated 'Ballyturk', which will see a reunion of the creative team behind one of the festival's biggest ever hits 'Misterman', has already sold out and a number of Big Top events look set to follow suit within days.

"The National and Imelda May are close to selling out and the Corona's are doing very well. The shows are selling really across the board, the decision to change the name to show the international aspect of the festival is having an effect. The economy getting better and the sense of positivity are both factors," added Mr Crumlish.

One of this year's main attractions, 'Ballyturk' was one of the fastest selling shows in the history of the festival.

It marks Cillian Murphy's return to the stage. He will star alongside internationally-acclaimed film and theatre actor Stephen Rea and Mikel Murfi, a long-time collaborator with director Enda Walsh.

Following its Galway run, the play will run at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin and Cork Opera House before transferring to the National Theatre in London. While Mr Crumlish was quiet on long term plans for the play it is expected to follow in the footsteps of 'Misterman' with a US tour.

The festival will see around 190 events take place in 27 venues around Galway.

Irish Independent

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