13/08/2012 Irish invasion of Edinburgh Festivals begins!

Culture Ireland opens the doors for Irish artists to meet international promoters and presenters
Over 50 of Ireland’s most talented artists gathered in the Irish Consulate in Edinburgh today to participate in Culture Ireland’s annual networking breakfast at the Edinburgh Festivals.  The event is scheduled to take advantage of the hundreds of international promoters who descend on Edinburgh every August to see the latest and the best that the international arts scene has to offer.
This year’s delegation of Irish artists to the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Edinburgh International Book Festival, is led by Jimmy Deenihan, T.D., Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht.
In advance of the networking breakfast, Minister Deenihan met with his Scottish counterpart Cabinet Secretary, Fiona Hyslop MSP. At that meeting, the two Ministers agreed it would be beneficial to enhance cultural co-operation between Ireland and Scotland. They also had a very positive discussion about the issues which will arise at EU level during Ireland’s Presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2013.
Irish and international guests were welcomed to the networking breakfast in the Consulate by Susan Conlon, Consul General of Ireland to Scotland. Speaking at the breakfast, Minister Deenihan outlined the importance of the Edinburgh Festivals:
“Each Summer, Edinburgh is a magnet for festival presenters, promoters and audiences, in search of the best of what the international arts scene has to offer”, said Minister Deenihan. “Culture Ireland’s annual showcase of Irish arts at the Edinburgh Festivals is world class, with Irish companies and artists winning a succession of awards and many of them going on to greater things, presenting their work at key festivals and venues around the world”.
Culture Ireland’s Chief Executive, Christine Sisk said:  “The Edinburgh Festivals offer a unique opportunity for Irish artists to present their work to international presenters, media and the general public. In this, the sixth year that Culture Ireland has presented a showcase  artists at the Edinburgh Festivals we have our most diverse selection of Irish performers to date including circus, dance, theatre, literature and music.
“Audiences will have a chance to enjoy the world premiere of a new score, by Shaun Davey, one of Ireland’s leading composers, for a production of Gulliver’s Travels, which will be directed by the visionary Silviu Purcarete. Taking the extraordinary Swift novel as the starting point, this theatrical journey explores themes of emigration, exile, dreams and solitude. Also included in the Edinburgh International Festival is Shakespeare in a novel format, with The Rape of Lucrece brought to life in an extraordinary re-telling by acclaimed performer Camille O’Sullivan. Original music is played live by Feargal Murray. The theatre programme will also feature Barry McGovern of the Gate Theatre performing specially selected text from Beckett’s Watt”.
Ireland’s finest writers will have an opportunity to shine in a special celebration of the designation of both Dublin and Edinburgh as UNESCO Cities of Literature. The extensive literary programme will feature over twenty authors, including John Banville, Kevin Barry, Eoin Colfer, Anne Enright, Seamus Heaney, Claire Kilroy and Colm Toibín.
Continuing Culture Ireland’s partnership with Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Dance Base there will be a showcase of contemporary Irish choreography. Over recent years, Dance Base’s curated programme has become a cornerstone of the Edinburgh showcase and many of  talented Irish dance artists and companies have received international recognition and success through their presentations at Dance Base.
13th August 2012


Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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