A Galway 2020 commission
DATE September 2020 to March 2021
Image Colm Hogan

Macnas, the masters of storytelling and spectacle, present a dramatic new interpretation of Gilgamesh, the first ever hero’s journey and world’s oldest story written over 1,000 BC.










The project was originally conceived as a creative programme of large scale public performances in celebration of Galway European Capital of Culture 2020. However Covid-19 has seen Macnas deliver a remarkable reimagined vision, firmly rooted in Galway, with a series of stunning short films; a digital storybook, the Gilgamesh Experience at; plus a collection of large-scale murals unveiled in Galway city centre.

This ancient tale explores contemporary themes of human relationships, love, power and death. It centres on Gilgamesh, a tyrannical young king who rules the city of Uruk. Two thirds god, one third man, Gilgamesh is bored, beautiful and obsessed with fame. A cruel and unjust king, he wants to find the secret to immortality, become a God and live forever. The citizens of Uruk cry out to the Gods for help. The Gods listen and create Enkidu, a wild young warrior sent down from the heavens to rival Gilgamesh and challenge his quest to live forever.  Join Macnas to see Gilgamesh forge battles, wreak havoc on his citizens and meet his match in the wild warrior Enkidu.

The first film features ENLIL as he observes from the heavens a city Uruk (Galway) living under the repressive rule of the young Gilgamesh who wreaks chaos on all around him in his quest for immortality.

The second film is narrated by ENLIL, the father of the Gods. We are introduced to the majestic 12ft tall Gilgamesh. Enlil hauntingly reminds us of the young king’s tyrannical ways “You will gorge on your savage crimes… to the last rotting morsel.”

In the third film, ISHTAR, Goddess of Love, War and Death acts on behalf of the Gods to create the wild young warrior ENKIDU. He is sent down from the heavens to rival the tyrant king Gilgamesh and challenge his quest to live forever.



Lead Creative Team:

Marina Carr – Writer

Noeline Kavanagh – Director

Julian Crouch – Designer

Nick Powell – Composer & Sound Designer

Orla Clogher – Associate Designer

Cherie White – Costume Designer

Colm Hogan – Cinematographer

Anna Maddalena Cingi – Assistant Designer

Artichoke – Executive Producer