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Minister Arlene Foster at launch of Happy Days International Beckett Festival programme, Enniskillen

Samuel Beckett Festival launches world-class, multi-arts programme in Enniskillen

3 July

Samuel Becket makes welcome return to Enniskillen - 100 events, 5 days |  23 - 27 August 2012

The Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival, the first of its kind -celebrating the work and influence of writer Samuel Beckett across all the art forms - has launched the full programme for its inaugural edition which will take place in Enniskillen, Ireland's only island town, from 23 - 27 August 2012.

Getting underway on Thursday 23 August 2012, the five-day festival will play host to a diverse mix of Beckett-inspired, world class, international and home-grown talents from the world of theatre, visual art, music and comedy.

The top class line-up includes the recent work by internationally-renowned visual artist Joseph Kosuth; Dublin's Pan Pan Theatre, Irish fiddler Tommy Peoples, Director Robert Wilson who will be directing and performing in Krapp's Last Tape; Antony Gormley's Tree for Waiting for Godot; music from Gavin Bryars and Ensembleand nightly sessions at Miss Fitt's Comedy House from top comedians including Ed Aczel, Josh Howie and John-Luke Roberts among others.

Speaking at the launch which took place at Enniskillen Castle, Sean Doran, Founder & Artistic Director said: "Happy Days in the small market town of Enniskillen is a new addition to the summer calendar of international arts festivals. But more crucially, it arrives at a time of vigourous cultural renaissance in Northern Ireland. Our aim is to give Beckett lovers across the world an annual home, to gather and celebrate the writer's genius and wit".

Portora Royal School, where Beckett was a past pupil, will be one of the four main festival hubs alongside Enniskillen Castle, Castle Coole and the Ardhowen Theatre. The waterways surrounding the city means that would-be festival goers will also have the opportunity to travel between venues by boat.

For those with an interest in music, an eclectic mix of concerts can be enjoyed with performances from Tenor Ian Bostridge, Soprano Sophie Daneman, Mezzo-soprano Ruby Philogene and local man Duke Special.

The Happy Days talks programme brings together leading writers, poets and artists Lady Antonia Fraser, Pauline McLynn, Will Self, Alice Oswald, Edna O'Brien, Adrian Dunbar and Paul Muldoon among others.

Family-friendly performances and events include Clastic Theatre's puppet performance of Act Without Words 1, and a fun, tongue-in-cheek and family-focused sports programme which includes rugby, rowing, cricket and also a search for Ireland's fastest artist.

To find out more about this year's festival, download the full programme or to book tickets log on to www.happy-days-enniskillen.com.

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