Derry City of Culture unveils line-up

Michael Quinn
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New productions by Field Day Theatre Company and Hofesh Shechter have been announced as part of Derry/Londonderry’s UK City of Culture celebrations in 2013.

Founded by playwright Brian Friel and actor Stephen Rea, the Derry-based Field Day will partner with the city’s Playhouse Theatre to premiere a new short play by Northern Irish writer Clare Dwyer-Hogg. Rea will direct and perform in the production in November this year. It will also stage a new play by a “world renowned writer/director/actor” in July next year.

Choreographer and musician Hofesh Shechter will devise a piece for more than 30 musicians and 16 dancers in a co-commission between the City of Culture 2013 and the London International Festival of Theatre that is being described as “an experience like no other”. Meanwhile, in a collaboration between Belfast’s Prime Cut Productions, the Mladinkso Theatre from Slovenia and Bosnia-Herzegovina’s East-West Center, Haris Pasovic will direct an international cast in The Conquest of Happiness. The production will also tour to Eastern Europe.

New music offerings include an oratorio by Laurence Roman about the life of the city’s patron saint, Columba, and the premiere of At Sixes and Sevens, a cantata by poet Paul Muldoon and composer Mark-Anthony Turnage, which will be simultaneously performed by Camerata Ireland and the London Symphony Orchestra in the Guildhalls of Derry and London.

Other major events include “the biggest festival of Irish culture anywhere in the world”, which expects to attract 300,000 visitors to Northern Ireland’s second city over eight days, and the staging of the UK’s foremost award for contemporary art, the Turner Prize.

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