Ahead of the second annual Happy Days International Beckett Festival, director Sean Doran is hoping to build on the success of last year and is ‘extremely encouraged’ by the reaction they have received, both locally and Internationally for the event.
70 volunteers will help with the festival which begins tomorrow and Sean is very excited by this year’s lineup.
“We’re getting a great reaction to this year.
“Last year went extremely well, but this year we are getting a great response both locally and beyond including New York. We have 140 artists from Japan, France, Portugal, Finland, Germany and further. It is definitely bigger than last year.”
Sean feels that this year’s offerings are open to everybody and noted the FAB programme (Fooling around Beckett), being held in the old Regal Cinema, now the offices of the Ulster Unionist Party in Enniskillen.
This offers affordable family fun classic comedy screenings from Rob Reiner’s classic Princess Bride to the top tens from vintage double acts Morecambe and Wise, French and Saunders, Laurel and Hardy, Steptoe and Son and more.
There is also a confiture packed line up of Europe’s very best of clown, mime, comedic and theatre performances.
“The programme is diverse and therefore very appealing, it is about reaching out and these events are a way of including as many as possible. And if you attend a Beckett event you can see how the two worlds connect.”
Learning from last year Sean has also made improvements to the schedule.
“The feedback we got last year from people was that they were trying to get to every event so this year we have been much more precise with our scheduling so people can move from event to event. It’s impossible though to see everything.”
Sean’s personal highlights include actress Miranda Richardson, who will open the festival on Thursday.
In regards to visual theatre Sean recommends ‘Teatro Plastico’ while ‘Wintereisse’, Beckett’s favourite musical, being performed by Florien Boesch is also worth seeing.
Further acts mentioned by Sean include the early morning island visits, which include local actor Adrian Dunbar.
So far tickets sales have been very positive as Sean explained.
“They are going very well, the Marble Arch Caves portion has been sold out about two weeks, all 10 are sold out. We’re actually looking to see if you we can put on some extra capacity.
“The others are doing steady, but we have learnt from last year people leave it to the last minute.
“Last year a lot of people just went to the door and there were queues down the street so we have prepared for that.”
This year the festival will again be graced by the media of the world including Le Monde, The Observer, the Guardian and the Financial Times.
Sean is excited as interest is steadily beginning to grow ahead of tomorrow’s launch.
“It has been a long journey preparing and we’re flat out at the minute, but I think it will build on last year and really help promote Enniskillen. We’re delighted that so many of the local traders are getting involved and this year the likes of the PSNI and the Masonic Lodge have provided a range of different venues. We can’t wait.”
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