Happy days for the Potter star at the Beckett Gala in Fermanagh

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One of Britain’s most prolific film actors can’t wait to swap the studio for one of the most unique performances of his career at Co Fermanagh.

Toby Jones has brought characters as diverse as Dobby the House Elf to life in Harry Potter and Percy Alleline by author John le Carré in Tinker Tailor Spy Soldier. Recently, he is best known for his role in the comedy series Detectives.

But, next weekend, he will perform on a boat drifting through the reeds of Lough Erne to read excerpts from one of his favorite playwrights, Samuel Beckett.

Jones will be one of the stars of the Happy Days Enniskillen Beckett festival, which returns to the town of Co Fermanagh for the first time since 2019.

The international multi-arts festival runs from Thursday July 21 to Monday July 25 and will also feature Fleur Barron, Sarah Connolly, Adrian Dunbar, Tadhg Murphy and Liam Ó Maonlaí.

Jones will perform readings in the Breandrum Chapel of Rest in Enniskillen on Saturday.

On Sunday morning he will go out on the Kestrel ferry near Devenish Island and drift among the reeds reading two sections from the end of Krapp’s Last Tape.

He told the PA news agency he was looking forward to his first visit to the west of Northern Ireland and being immersed in Beckett.

“I’m used to working on this kind of program, but what’s fantastic is that it’s Beckett, one of the first screenwriters that I was really drawn to as a teenager,” did he declare.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to familiarize myself with literature in an extraordinary situation.

“At school I loved literature and the game gives you this great opportunity to experience literature in three dimensions and often to experience plays over and over and explore them over and over in performance.

“It’s one of the privileges of the job – you can immerse yourself in things that first enthused you in school, like Beckett, and then you come of age, you can revisit Beckett in three dimensions moving on stage or here on a boat…Who’s going to turn that down? What a fantastic opportunity.”

Samuel Beckett

Beckett was born in Dublin but spent several years in Enniskillen as a pupil at Portora Royal School before continuing his education at Trinity College Dublin.

The festival is the world’s largest celebration of the Irish Nobel laureate, with a plethora of performances inspired by Beckett.

It turns 10 and returns for the first time since the pandemic.

Festival founder and artistic director Sean Doran said he was delighted to return to Enniskillen “after a three-year Covid-enforced silence”.

“It’s a really special festival, attracting not only international names and faces, but also audiences from all over the world,” he continued.

“We are particularly delighted to bring back for our 10th anniversary three ‘Made in Fermanagh’ classics from the last 10 years: Walk to wait for Godot, Ohio Impromptu and Inferno-not me.

“These bespoke productions define this destination festival among other summer festivals.

“Not only are they specific to the Fermanagh site – using the beautiful landscapes of Fermanagh to enhance the experience of Beckett’s plays – they involve experiential travel to the event by the audience, whether on foot for Waiting for Godotby boat to Ohio Impromptu and Inferno-not me is truly unique.”

For more information and the full schedule of events, see: www.artsoverborders.com.

Source: Press Association

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