Final Week to Join the Opening Ceremony Cast


A community cast will bathe the streets of Galway in firelight this February, kicking off the Opening Ceremony for Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture.

With just over a week left to get involved in this special moment in Galway’s history, we’re asking people of all abilities to register before the 19 January cut-off date. Remaining roles include chanters, costume assistants, fire carriers and fire handlers. Everyone over the age of 18 is welcome, and all levels of accessibility are catered for.

Music Director David Munro says, “Come along, we’ll give you something to chant if you can’t sing. If you want to sing, there’s plenty of singing [too]. We’re putting on an experience that will never be repeated in your life.”

Beginning in Clifden on 2 February, the Opening Ceremony will make its way to An Spidéal, Tuam, Ballinasloe, Portumna and Athenry on subsequent nights, before a climactic spectacle in Galway City on 8 February. Excitement is growing among the cast who dusted off their tools last week and resumed rehearsals after the Christmas break. Teams from Galway City, Clifden, An Spidéal, Tuam, Ballinasloe, Portumna and Athenry upheld the spirit of the City of the Tribes as they met together for the first time – contagious laughter and healthy competition brewing.

“It’s sort of a party disguised as an opening ceremony.”

-Stephen Boyd, Show Director

Show Director Stephen Boyd said, “People who get involved in the casting can expect to have a good time while meeting people they would never meet in regular life, learning new skills, representing their city… The job requires that you introduce yourself and get to know people, and there are always some fantastic friendships that last forever more.”

For those looking to get a toe in the costume design world, Head of Costume Tahra Zafar will give a talk on the specifics of the costume assistant role at Galway Community College this Saturday, 11 January from 10:30am. Doors open from 9am, allowing a sneak peek at morning rehearsals. Zafar’s varied experience spans TV, film, music, theatre and events – everything from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies to the fantastical creatures of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The Opening Ceremony is produced by Wonder Works, a production company renowned for their work with Rio and Pyeongchang Olympics, and international musicians such as Beyoncé, Jay Z and The Rolling Stones. In rehearsals, you will be joined by a diverse team in an uplifting atmosphere designed to get you out of your seat and onto the streets.

Boyd adds, “It’s sort of a party disguised as an opening ceremony. There’s going to be music, fire, fun, chanting, call and response, poetry, boats coming in from the sea… It’s the community coming together, having fun with each other, making art and celebrating each other.”

If you can see yourself carrying a fiery torch through the town in the name of fun, or taking part in a swelling chorus of voices, register online to find out when and where your nearest rehearsal will take place.

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