Three Festivals now combine to create 16th annual Imagine Arts Festival Waterford
Over 120 acts & performances during 10 day Festival
Three of Waterford’s finest festivals have now been rolled into one, which will take place over a ten-day period from October 19th to 29th 2017. Waterford Writers Weekend along with the John Dwyer Trad Weekend will now also form part of Waterford’s Imagine Arts Festival. In addition, there will be a film premiere in what is set to be part of the City’s planned new Cultural Quarter.
A colourful international programme of events featuring theatre, dance, music, visual art exhibitions, discussion and debate, alongside a strong focus on commissioned work will be announced for the 16th annual Imagine Arts Festival in Waterford City, Thursday September 21st.
According to the Festival Coordinator, Ollie Breslin, the programme for this year’s Imagine festival is the largest and the broadest to date, “Three festivals will be celebrated this year under the Imagine Arts Festival banner over the course of 10 days. Our 2017 programme comprises trad, literary events, music, visual art, dance, workshops, children and family fun events and poetry. We anticipate that Waterford will be transformed into a riot of colour and fun as Artists and companies from Ireland, the USA and the UK join forces to create what promises to be an unforgettable series of the unexpected. We also look forward to unveiling a number of premieres and one-off events commissioned by the Festival.
Journalist, Author, Broadcaster Eamon Keane along with Broadcaster and Curator of the Waterford Writers Weekend Rick O’Shea officially launch the 2017 programme. Speaking about this year’s Festival programme Eamon said ”I am delighted to launch the Imagine Arts Festival, now more than ever we need a festival that celebrates imagination; whether it’s the spoken word, visual, dance or the magic of music, the Imagine Festival is a the heart of giving us new hope, ideas, and joy.”
Amongst the highlights of the Imagine Arts Festival 2017 programme is the unveiling of a new visual art exhibition on October 19th at Greyfriars Gallery by Bernadette Kiely. Kiely is best known for her paintings of river and flooded landscapes based on the themes of the passage of time and the transient, fragile nature of the physical world. Her inspiration is credited to the riverine landscape in which she lives on the river Nore and the river Suir, where she grew up. BEN HENNESSY will open his exhibition ‘BOAT’ at Goma. Elaine Hoey will open ‘Stranger Than Fiction’ an interactive, virtual reality-based installation from October 20th to 29th.
For the John Dwyer Trad Weekend a strong traditional music and dance programme will feature with a gala concert starring John Dwyer (fiddle) and all of the tutors who oversee the masterclasses. Two giants of Irish traditional music will come together for a rare performance; the ‘kings’ of the concertina and fiddle Noel Hill & Frankie Gavin as well as Brian McGrath will deliver a rousing performance that any lover of trad music will not want to miss.
Literary highlights are many and curated by RTE personality Rick O’Shea include a public interview with screenwriters and playwright Stefanie Preissner whilst the ever popular Waterford Whispers news will present ‘Newsageddon’, a topical satire mixing video and live show with Colm Williamson and friends. Best-selling author Judi Curtin will also host a reading with Tony Clayton-Lea. Poet Mark Roper will launch his seventh poetry collection ‘Bindweed’. TV personality, hotelier and now writer Francis Brennan will also take to the stage. Former Minister and author of the novel ‘Laura: A novel you will never forget’ Alan Shatter will take part in a public interview with Rick O’Shea whilst Liz Nugent is set to take part in an public interview to discuss her award winning work. Publishing, poetry and writing workshops take place throughout the weekend.
Comedy will also headline at this year’s Festival with one of the US Comedy industry’s best-known performers, Reginald D Hunter, set to take to the stage at the Theatre Royal on October 20th.
Family fun is on offer with a never seen before ‘Battle of the Blaa’. Clans are invited to gather under the canopy of the Apple Market, drop their shields and swords and pick up the flour for an epic battle display unseen before at ‘BLAA-MAGEDDON’ on Sunday, October 22nd.
A host of theatre productions will be on offer including Blue Raincoat’s Alice in Wonderland at Garter Lane Arts Centre whilst a new piece of original writing will come to life on stage at Garter Lane with the black comedy ‘Will it Fit in the Van?’ by playwright Conor Clancy. Callback Theatre presents Janey Dillis at Central Hall. One of many first’s this year includes a performance of Sophocles ‘Antigone’ in the atmospheric surroundings of the 12th Century undercrofts of Waterford City. This has been described as a ‘must see’ by Festival organisers.
The premiere for the new film ‘Submerged’ will take place at Imagine 2017; based on an original piece by Martin Matthews, an interdisciplinary performance piece written and directed by Natasha Everitt and filmed by Mick Fortune, it will be showcased at 3 / 4 George’s Street, the City’s new Cultural Quarter Arts space. This occasion will also see the space used for the very first time as an Arts venue.
Renowned for its rich musical programme, this year’s Imagine Arts Festival features an impressive schedule including performances by Bill Ryder-Jones founder member of and lead guitarist with legendary indie band The Coral. Other highlights include Martin Stephenson and the Daintees, Kíla and world music from Yorkston Thorne and Khan together. A one off reinterpretation of Lorcan Reidy’s original works will also be on offer with Dime A Dozen.
The annual ‘Booze, Blaas and Banter’ event celebrating the City’s Quayside and maritime heritage will also offer lots of interesting chats and craic with speakers including Liam Cahill, Brid Smith, Jack Butchell and Roddie Cleere.
Join in the fun this October with the Imagine Arts Festival 2017 in Waterford from the 19th to 29th – by visiting www.Imagineartsfestival.com
Imagine Arts Festival would like to acknowledge the support of its principal funding agencies the Waterford City and County Council, The Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland. In addition, Imagine would also like to thank all the local businesses that get behind the Festival and help to make it happen year on year. @Imagine_Fest #Imagine17