16 - 29 July 2018

Galway International Arts Festival has been connecting audiences and artists for four decades. Founded in 1978, it has grown into an event with a major reputation where, in 2017 marked the Festival's 40th year of service to the community. Galway International Arts Festival is a not-for-profit organisation committed to providing cultural explorations. In 2017, the Festival had over 210,000 attendees at 200 performances, exhibitions and talks that took place in 33 venues over the course of two weeks in July.

NUI Galway are proud to be Education Partners for the 2018 Galway International Arts Festival. A number of wonderful events will be hosted on NUI Galway's campus during the festival. See below for event and booking information.

Festival First Thought Talks>


Office 33A

It sort of kills me that I’ve allowed the hope of ‘you and me’ to be taken by the work. That the work and what it’s turned into has taken and killed everything.

The voice of an administrator in a waste management company is still heard in his office. He recalls the love he found and how he must keep that love alive.

Office 33A is the fifth in a series of theatre installations by Enda Walsh collectively known as Rooms which toured to New York in 2017.


16–29 July
Sunday - Wednesday | Every 20 minutes from 11am to 6pm 
Thursday–Saturday | Every 20 minutes from 11am to 8pm 
Duration 15 mins approx.



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Deirdre O'Mahoney

Speculative Optimism is the title of the essay film Deirdre O’Mahony produced from research she conducted while artist– in–residence at the University of Reading Museum of English Rural Life in 2017.

Her research began with the proposition: is ‘carbon–neutral’ beef possible? Agricultural research at the University tested the effect of diffferent kinds of forage on animal and soil health and on levels of methane produced by livestock.

Shot in the Museum’s archives, on Reading University Farm, and a farm specialising in the production of heritage seed varieties, this project investigated historical references to forages like Sainfoin and the Museum’s extensive collection of films produced to promote agricultural efficiency.

Deirdre O’Mahony’s work is grounded in collaborative engagements with different rural publics and contexts. Public art projects include X–PO, a defunct rural post–office, re–imagined as a social and cultural public exchange space.



16–29 July, 11am–6pm 
Late opening to 8pm 



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Watch in awe as 10 skilled acrobats literally throw around the perception of what strength is, where it comes from and how it is measured. With jaw-dropping virtuosity and extraordinarily disciplined teamwork and choreography, Backbone is utterly charming, contagiously joyful, and a thrilling high-octane exploration of human strength.


17-21 July, 7pm 
Matinee 21 July, 2pm 
Duration 1 hour 20 mins (no interval)



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They have wowed audiences young and old all around the world and Galway looks set to be no different. Ten astonishing and highly–skilled acrobats take us on a stirring journey of incredible strength while exploring the physical limits of their bodies. The phenomenal Circa question how much we can take as humans with each show pushing the highly skilled acrobats to the extreme.

Created by Yaron Lifschitz, Circa’s reputation for fearless, boundary–pushing circus and physical theatre is borne out in every one of their shows.

One of the most popular companies ever to perform at the festival, Circa make their long–awaited return after an absence of nine years. This is high-octane, heart-stopping physical theatre for children, families and adventurous spirits alike.


24–29 July, 7pm
Duration 1 hour 10 mins approx (no interval)



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A magical experience that combines unsettling themes with spellbinding images, Flight tells the story of two young orphaned brothers who embark on a desperate odyssey to find freedom and safety. With their small inheritance stitched into their clothes, they set off on an epic journey across Europe seeking a better life in London, in a heart–wrenching road story of terror, hope and survival.

Flight brings audiences into this intimate and heartbreaking story in a unique and deeply individual experience. Seated in individual booths, the audience of 25 people each watch the story unfold for them as a carousel of over 100 3D models slowly rotates, with dialogue and music experienced through separate headsets.

Flight draws you into its exquisite, fragile miniature world and allows you to contemplate its gripping story of two children lost in dangerous lands.


19-29 July Various Times
19 July | 6pm, 6.45pm, 7.30pm, 8.15pm
20–29 July | 12.45pm, 1.30pm, 2.15pm, 3pm, 3.45pm 6pm, 6.45pm, 7,30pm, 8.15pm & 9pm
24 July | No show
Duration: Allow 1 hour approx (no interval)



Gardens Speaks

Across Syria, many gardens conceal the dead bodies of activists and protesters who took to the streets during the early periods of the uprising.

As much an art installation as it is theatre, Gardens Speak depicts the human cost of the war by acquainting us with the life and death of 10 ordinary yet remarkable people who were buried in Syrian gardens.

Each story has been carefully constructed with the friends and family members of the deceased to retell their stories as they themselves may have recounted it.

A unique, unforgettable, interactive and immersive experience.


23 - 29 July Various Times
23–25 July, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 6pm & 7pm 
26–29 July, 12 noon, 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, 6pm, 7pm & 8pm
Duration 40 mins approx.



Post-show talks

The above information, images and video courtesy of Galway International Arts Festival Website: www.giaf.ie