The Turner Prize, the return of the Field Day theatre company and the arrival of the All Ireland Fleadh have been revealed as the backbone of next year’s City of Culture celebrations in Derry.
In a preview launch today held in St. Columb’s Hall, invited guests were given a glimpse of what 2013 will bring to the city. However, the preview fell well short of the 100 plus events mooted in the leaked draft proposal a few weeks ago with only 13 events confirmed.
However it is expected the All Ireland Fleadh will draw more than 400,000 visitors to the city when it is hosted between August 11 and 18.
The arrival of the Turner Prize in the city, which is being arranged in conjunction with the Void Gallery, marks the first time the key event will be held outside England. The awards will run through the city from October through to December when the final winner will be announced.
Running alongside this will be a £200,000 fund to commission works from local artists.
The return of the ground-breaking Field Day theatre company is also being hailed as one of the key events of 2013. There will be a “prelude” to the City of Culture celebrations when ‘Farewell’, a short new play by Antrim writer Clare Dwyer-Hogg will be staged this autumn. Next year will see a new play by world renowned actor/ writer and director Sam Shepherd premiered in Derry.
Other events revealed in today’s big launch include The Music Promise, where 7,000 children aged between three and eight will be given the chance to play an instrument or sing. The Music Promise is being heralded as a ground-breaking educational project which will be 100% inclusive of the city’s young people.
Renowned choreographer and dancer Hofesh Schecter will bring his work ‘Political Mother’ to the city in March. As well as performing the full work, the dancer - hailed as one of the brightest and most exciting contemporary dancers in the UK - will work with a group of local young musicians and dancers to put together a citywide performance flagging up the main event.
June 9, the feast of St Colmcille will see an impressive pageant performed in the city - written by award winning author and screenwriter Frank Cottrell-Boyce, the man behind ‘Welcome to Sarajevo’. On the same day ‘Columba Canticles’ - a new oratorio commissioned by Culture Company - will be performed at St. Columb ‘s Cathedral.
Other highlights announced include Music City - where the city will be brought alive with music from all traditions on June 21, the performance of a new cantata ‘At Sixes and Sevens’ in both Derry and London, the arrival of Other Voices to the city and ‘The Conquest of Happiness’ a unique collaboration between theatre companies from Belfast, Mostar, Sarajevo and Ljubljana.
Speaking at the launch, Shona McCarthy of the Culture Company described 2013 as a “game changer” for Derry. “I do not say that lightly,” she said. “We want people to know that they need to get their tickets booked to Derry - it’s the place to be in 2013.”
The full programme of events is due to be announced in September.