The ground-breaking, multidisciplinary Footsbarn Travelling Theatre will celebrate its world premiere and revisit the Clifden Arts Festival with its internationally acclaimed production of MidSummer Night’s Dream and Moliere to create an evening of magic and comedy. From the moment you step inside the tent, you are in a parallel universe, a place where fantastical creatures lurk, and the removal of the intrigues of the court and the lovers, allows for a special emphasis on the world of the groundlings and of the supernatural.
Creative Director of the festival, Mr. Brendan Flynn has remarked on how he looks forward to Footsbarn’s return with immense anticipation: “We could not be happier to welcome Footsbarn back to Clifden Arts Week who always bring incredible energy, passion and spontaneity to the festival”. Over the last forty-five years, Footsbarn has produced nearly sixty plays and travelled to the six continents transcending the barriers of language with its unique blend of visual theatre, music, captivating magic and monumental decorations. Footsbarn has become a cosmopolitan, multi-national company, with the techniques and know-how of each integral and valued member.
Footsbarn revisits the Clifden Arts Festival with its internationally acclaimed adaptation entitled “Bottom’s Dream”, based on a Mid-Summer Night’s Dream, to create an evening of magic and comedy where the amateur troupe of rude mechanicals get embroiled in an argument between the King and Queen of the Fairies.
Footsbarn will also present “Mingling with Moliere”, two farces which include ‘The Forced Marriage’ where an old bachelor is seduced into becoming engaged with a money grabbing young woman. He has severe doubts on the wisdom of this marriage and embarks on a personal odyssey, questioning everyone he meets, philosophers, gypsies and friends, who in turn give him incredibly confusing advice.
The second farce features ‘The Jealousy of the Barbouillé’. The main protagonists are wedded but the husband is full of doubts as to the faithfulness of his wife and seeks to lock her out of the house. However, his wily wife turns the situation to her benefit. These innovative and captivating masterpieces offer an incredible palette of truculent characters and tragi-comic situations.
Under a marquee, in a theatre, in the open air, in the streets, the shows revolve around the world where they are mainly recognized for their unusual adaptations of classical works. From its humble beginnings, Footsbarn was born in 1971 in Cornwall, Great Britain. Their performances were then created in a barn belonging to the Foot family. In 1991, an abandoned farmhouse was bought in the heart of Bourbonnais, at the place La Chaussée. Restored and fully equipped by the members of the company, this place is since the rallying point of the Footsbarn as well as a place of reception for all the companies that have chosen the roaming as means of diffusion.
Today, its base is both a fully equipped production centre, complete with workshops, rehearsal space, office & studios, and also a centre for education. At present, plans are being drawn up for a permanent school offering courses to both undergraduates and professionals.
Under the experienced wing of artistic director and comedian Paddy Hayter, these caustic and candid masterpieces offer an incredible palette of truculent characters and tragi-comic situations. The actors possess a multiplicity of talents and theatrical techniques all of which inhabit and enrich every performance. The energy of Footsbarn’s origins has always remained the same. Always the same bubbling desire, riveted to the heart: that of making men dream.
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About Clifden Arts Festival
The longest running community arts festival in Ireland, Clifden Community Arts Week, now in its 40th year will take place from September 13th – 24th and yet again promises to have something to excite everyone in this year’s programme. Audiences can expect a very high quality artistic programme with a superb literary, musical and visual art content which again will have the community arts of Clifden and the surrounding hinterland as a central focus with creative writing, music, theatre, graphic design and film workshops and performances taking place in the local schools for the duration of the festival.