Irish artists excelled at the Edinburgh Festivals this year, winning an unprecedented level of awards for their performances and productions, presented over the month of August.
The Edinburgh Festivals are amongst the most important and competitive arts events in the world for artists, with thousands of shows on offer to the 400,000 visitors which Edinburgh attracts each year.
The Beckett productions by the Gate Theatre and Pan Pan Theatre, presented as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, won The Herald Angel Award. Eh Joe, I’ll Go On and First Love were presented by the Gate Theatre and Embers and All That Fall were presented by Pan Pan Theatre.
The Abbey Theatre production of Owen McCafferty’s Quietly, Donal O’Kelly’s solo work Fionnuala, and Deirdre Kinahan’s These Halcyon Days attracted Fringe First awards. Brokentalker’s Have I No Mouth won a Total Theatre Award for Innovation, Experimentation and Playing with Form and Paddy O’Kane won The Stage Best Actor Award for his role in Quietly.
Jimmy Deenihan, T.D. Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, congratulating the Irish participants in the Edinburgh Festivals at a special gathering in their honour, said, “The level of success this year has attracted a heightened interest in Irish arts and has drawn special attention to the creative strength of the Irish. We are very proud of the achievements of our actors, writers and producers at the Edinburgh Festivals. They are wonderful ambassadors – both for Irish arts and for Ireland as a dynamic and creative hub.”
Culture Ireland, operating under the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has presented showcases of work by Irish artists at the Edinburgh Festivals since 2008. The Festivals offer a unique opportunity for Irish artists to gain international critical acclaim and to present their work to the hundreds of festival and venue programmers who attend the Festivals each year in search of new work. This year’s success has already generated significant international touring opportunities for Irish productions, creating employment for Irish artists and enabling them to develop new audiences and increase international interest in Ireland and Irish arts.