Household names to feature at inaugural ‘Happy Days’ Beckett Festival

Comedy, arts and literature lovers are in for a real treat this month when well known faces, including David Soul (Starsky and Hutch), Booker Prize winner John Banville (The Sea), Pauline McLynn (Father Ted, Shameless) and Adrian Dunbar (Hear My Song), will take to the stage to give talks at the world’s first multi-arts Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival.

The inaugural five day event opens in Enniskillen on August 23 and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) is encouraging fans of art, comedy, sport, music and literature to join in and celebrate the work and influence of Nobel Prize-winner Samuel Beckett with an incredible one hundred events taking place over five days over the Bank Holiday Weekend.

Comedy fans will be rolling in the aisles in an evening with multi award winning Scotsman Phil Kay who has appeared on television with Jonathan Ross, Reeves and Mortimer and many more.

Beckett’s ‘most perfect play’, Krapp’s Last Tape will be performed at the Ardhowen Theatre by Robert Wilson who has worked closely with artists as varied as Gianni Versace, David Bowie, Brad Pitt, Tom Waits, Philip Glass, Lou Reed and Jessye Norman.

Be wowed at the work of world renowned sculptor Antony Gormley who has created a tree specially commissioned by the Happy Days Festival towards a future Australian Aboriginal-Irish co-production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.

The world acclaimed tenor Ian Bostridge, the UK’s most popular composer Gavin Bryars, and Northern Ireland’s own Duke Special will lead a programme of premieres, introducing Beckett’s love of music with an exciting and varied programme.

NITB’s Product Marketing Officer Helen Carey said, “The Happy Days International Beckett Festival is a must for arts lovers and a fantastic opportunity to visit and explore the town of Enniskillen and the surrounding beauty of County Fermanagh.  The festival adds a distinctive cultural flavour to the high quality events embraced so far in 2012 and showcases Northern Ireland’s rich cultural offering, diverse range of talent and impressive artistic history.

“The whole town of Enniskillen is set to get into the spirit. Cafes and bars have created new themed menus, retailers will be dressing their shop windows and hairdressers will even be offering stylish Beckett hairdos”

Those attending the festival can enjoy a short break with plenty to see and do in the area including;

Lough Navar

Enjoy a seven-mile drive through the forest to a magnificent panorama over Lough Erne, stopping off at viewpoints and picnic sites where you will come across Red deer and wild goats along marked trails.  This is a stunning forest with a variety of landscapes and lots of things to see.

Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark

Explore a fascinating, natural underworld of rivers, waterfalls, winding passages and lofty chambers. Lively and informative guides conduct tours past a bewildering variety of cave formations with naturally occurring stalactites and stalagmites visible throughout the tour.

Enniskillen Castle

Situated beside the River Erne in County Fermanagh, Enniskillen Castle was built almost 600 years ago by Gaelic Maguires.  Guarding one of the few passes into Ulster, it was strategically important throughout its history.  This historic site houses two museums, Fermanagh County Museum and The Inniskillings Museum.

With an excellent programme of literary activity, stunning tourist attractions and a fully fledged carnival atmosphere, Fermanagh awaits the Samuel Beckett Festival with great anticipation.

To find out more information about the Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival and things to do in Fermanagh visit  A full festival brochure can be downloaded at