This year’s Liverpool Irish Festival is shaping up with a programme of music, film, drama, heritage, literature and lectures.
Highlights include a weekend of free activities down on the Albert Dock, the second Irish Sea Sessions at the Philharmonic Hall, a week of Irish film at FACT, and a short Samuel Beckett season at The Unity.
Festival manager, Jake Roney says: “ This is the ninth Liverpool Irish Festival and we feel that we are taking a big step forward this year with new partners and innovative programming like the internationally renowned Gare St Lazarre Players with two Beckett plays at The Unity. Once more we will celebrate our city and its the significance in its development of Irish traditions, music, literature, theatre and art.”
Regular events that have proved popular over the years like the heritage walks, pub music sessions, ceilihs will all be there again.
Beckett’s First Love and The End will be performed at the Unity Theatre on October 18 and 19 by the acclaimed Gare St Lazare Players. Performer Conor Lovett (pictured below) is considered to be one of the greatest Beckett performers of modern times.
In First Love a man recounts an episode early in his adult life, where having been expelled from the family home he meets a young woman on a bench. His attempts to rid himself of his infatuation lead him to move in with her. A blend of tragedy and comedy, First Love is almost the perfect short story.
The End begins in English and ends in French. In it, a man recounts an episode late in his life, when having been expelled from an institution of care he finds his own way in the world. He meets a variety of characters and situations before finally lying down to let life ebb away. It is described by the festival as “one of Beckett’s most complete, most compelling and most beautiful works”, and is a Gare St Lazare favourite.
An Irish film festival takes place at FACT from October 24 to 28. Cork Film Festival presents two programmes representing some of the best, most creative short films made in Ireland.
For more information on the full festival programme including its extensive music strand, visit www.liverpoolirishfestival.com.