Man holding violin

GB18: Ireland’s cultural takeover

17 July 2018
4 min read

With events for GB18: Promoting Irish Arts in Britain now well underway, the works of home-grown artists, performers and creators are being showcased to our nearest neighbours to huge acclaim.

Now over halfway through GB18, Culture Ireland’s innovative year-long promotion of Irish arts in Britain, we take a look at what Ireland’s artists and performers have in store from July to October.

This month, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire will be surrounded by the sound of bow on string as the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention 2018 takes place. With workshops, talks, pop-up sessions and ceilidhs, the festival celebrates the proud North Atlantic fiddle traditions of Scotland, Ireland, Scandinavia and more. While in Haverfordwest, Wales, Chamber Choir Ireland will perform a programme of the best of Irish contemporary choral works from the last two decades.

Throughout the whole of July, the Museum of Contemporary Art in London presents the work of Irish artist Richard Carr. A superb sonic installation, Dumb Listenings converts the museum into an aural space and invites listeners to explore the result of Carr’s unusual ‘listening trips’ to Iceland.

Part of August’s Edinburgh International Festival, Druid’s unrivalled production of Waiting for Godot is set to enthral audiences with Beckett’s powerful, charming, absurd and iconic work. In Stratford upon Avon, fans of intricate pencil drawings can visit Eve Parnell’s ongoing exhibition ‘Truth hath a quiet breast’. Inspired by William Shakespeare and Hall’s Croft, a building owned by Shakespeare’s daughter, Parnell’s work has wowed audiences worldwide.

Waiting for Godot

The National Army Museum in London plays host to the Barrack Room Ballads during August too. This will mark the premiere of Irish composer Conor Mitchell’s work, an impressive installation that sees music hall texts by Kipling performed by young Irish and British talents from The Belfast Ensemble and Youth Music UK.

Also in London that month, the sublime stage adaptation of award-winning Irish author Oliver Jeffers’ How to Catch a Star will enchant children aged 4+ at the Southbank Centre.

In September, sean nós singing steps into the Scottish spotlight as Lorcán Mac Mathúna performs at The Orkney International Science Festival. One of the most revered performers of the genre’s new generation, this Cork singer believes that the music and heartfelt stories of sean nós are indelibly intertwined.

At the Barbican Theatre, London audiences will be dazzled by The Second Violinist, a taut thriller set to the beat of a haunting score. An astounding collaboration by playwright Enda Walsh and composer Donnacha Dennehy, the music will be played live by innovative musical dynamos Crash Ensemble.

This October, Jesse Jones’ renowned Venice Biennale work, Tremble Tremble, brings its reimagining of the witch as a feminist archetype and social disruptor to Edinburgh’s Talbot Rice Gallery. While composer Seán Clancy continues his UK concert dates, touring his large-scale synthesiser-based work entitled Ireland England. The text accompanying Clancy’s drone compositions thoughtfully explore the reasons why Irish people travel to Great Britain.

This is just a mere taste of the Irish artistic excellence on offer across the UK throughout GB18.

Find out what else is happening for the rest of the year at