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Foster: Happy Days are here again!

Arlene Foster and Miranda RichardsonTourism Minister Arlene Foster today attended the 2013 Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival, the world’s largest celebration of Irish Nobel Prize writer, Samuel Beckett.

The festival takes place from 22-26 August and will feature a number of well-known stars from stage and screen, who will read or perform Beckett’s work.

Stand-up comedian Frank Skinner, TV personality Clive James, Harry Potter star Miranda Richardson, actress Fiona Shaw and Enniskillen-born actor Adrian Dunbar will among those taking part in the festival, which includes a mix of international theatre, poetry, music, dance and art installations.

Speaking after a reading by Miranda Richardson, Arlene Foster said: “Tonight’s event was my first taste of this year’s Beckett festival and without doubt, the most exciting events in the programme are the productions of Beckett’s own works. The way in which Miranda Richardson immersed herself with such energy into this evening’s performance captured the true essence of Beckett.

“This year’s line-up is indeed steeped in quality and the variety of famous names is testament to the success of last year’s festival. Fermanagh now hosts a world-class cultural event with the potential to attract significant additional visitors every year. I am confident it is going to feature as a top Northern Ireland cultural offering well into the future.

“The Northern Ireland Tourist Board is happy to support events such as this as the Festival greatly enhances Fermanagh’s visitor appeal and offers unique experiences for those who want a slice of authentic Beckett culture. At the same time it offers wonderful opportunities for those who seek adventure in Enniskillen and the County Fermanagh lakelands.”

The 2013 HAPPY DAYS festival features a host of unusual stagings and exhibitions inspired by Beckett’s work. It takes place in various venues across Enniskillen, where the playwright spent some of his formative years. Inferno will be performed in the Marble Arch Caves, Purgatorio in Tully Castle, Devenish Island, and Paradiso at Enniskillen Airport.

The opening event took place at Portora Royal School in Enniskillen, where Beckett was educated.

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