What a fantastic weekend for Enniskillen and indeed Fermanagh!
The first annual Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival has just taken place to critical acclaim. The main programme ran from 23rd to 27th August 2012 and saw the island town bustling with newcomers who walked the length and breath of the town.
Although I was apprehensive about the number of event sna the numbers required to make the festival a success, my doubts were unfounded and Sean Doran (Festival Director) really lived by the 1989 Film - Field of Dreams - adage "Build it and they will come".
The festival was over a UK bank holiday which was busy anyway but it was great to see many new faces happy with hopefully their new annual pilgrimage. Portora has educated Wilde, Francis-Lyte, myself and many more but it was Beckett who was identified by the organisers of having the best possibility to fill venues in his name.
There were many Visual Arts arts exhibitions including Steenbeckett at the Clinton Centre, The Godot Tree by Anthony Gormley at Castlecoole and the Joesph Karuth UK & Irish Premiere of 'Text (Waiting for -) for nothing' Samuel Beckett, in Play'
The opening a closing concerts were apparently sublime and even the New Your Times has been commenting on them as well as the whole festival.
Robert Wilson's version of Krapp's last tape suffered mixed review from our guests but most seats were filled and people came away looking at Beckett in a different light.
There was some disappointment that more local people didn't attend the events and maybe next year some preceding introductions to Beckett event may be the order of the day.
All in all Fermanagh is a better place for the Festival taking place and we look forward to the Fermanagh Live event in October as well as the return of the Happy Days Festival in 2012.