Writer and Director Enda Walsh
Designer Paul Fahy
Lighting Designer Adam Fitzsimons
Sound Designer Helen Atkinson
Master Carpenters and Draughtsman Pete Nelson, Tony Reid
Scenic Artist Ger Sweeney
Carpenters Tony Cord, Ali Kearns
Draughtsman (Room 303) Tom Rohan
Photographers Colm Hogan, Patrick Redmond, Andrew Downes, Paul Fahy
Props Master Ciara O’Reilly
Sound Engineer (Office 33A, Kitchen, Bathroom) Helen Atkinson
Sound Engineer (A Girl’s Bedroom) Nick Sykes
Sound Engineer (Room 303) Joe Birditch
Producer and GIAF Artistic Director Paul Fahy
Festival CEO John Crumlish
Financial Controller Gerry Cleary
Communications and Development Hilary Martyn
Administration Elizabeth Duffy
Presented by the Barbican
With thanks to Pádraig Cusack; Nick Marston; Hilda Reid; Tracey Ferguson; Sinead McPhillips, Fergal McGrath; Toni Racklin, Angie Smith and all the staff of the Barbican, London; Arts Council of Ireland; Christine Sisk and all at Culture Ireland.
About the show
Rooms, written and directed by Enda Walsh, is a series of five short works: Room 303, A Girl’s Bedroom, Kitchen, Bathroom and Office 33A each lasting 15 minutes, presented as an immersive theatre installation. These absorbing new texts by one of Ireland’s most internationally celebrated playwrights with design by Paul Fahy, which feature the voices of five of Ireland’s leading actors Niall Buggy, Charlie Murphy, Eileen Walsh, Paul Reid and Donal O’Kelly are making their London premiere at the Barbican in April 2019.
Each individual room is contained within a 5m x 5m white cube. An audience of six people is invited to step inside to explore these spaces for two minutes before the recorded audio begins and each story is told. Room 303 is set within the musty bedroom of an old seaside boarding house; A Girl’s Bedroom is set in the pink haze of a young girl’s room untouched for some time; Kitchen is set within a long and narrow galley kitchenette; Bathroom is set in a high-end, contemporary designer space; while Office 33A is set an a decrepit, decades old and forgotten room, hidden behind the facade of a modern office suite.
Featuring the voice of Niall Buggy
'Memories disappearing as a larger breath takes them. I look down from this bed into the big space beneath me...'
An old man lies alone, waiting, as his time nears an end. That truth now forgotten. Gone. Completely.
A Girl’s Bedroom
Featuring the voice of Charlie Murphy
‘My walking turns in on itself – it scratches the edges inside and has me turning back and longing for that room.’
At the age of 6, a girl leaves her bedroom and family home and walks. She never stops. Until now.
Featuring the voice of Eileen Walsh
‘When I was a little girl I dreamt of falling in love with someone good and living in a comfortable house with a bright kitchen.’
In a small kitchen, standing by her sink – a wife wills her implosion.
Featuring the voice of Paul Reid
'The line between my birth and here looks like it’s been drawn by some child. It’s there under my feet and dug into the lino. I can hear it. Teasing me.'
A man with a breaking memory tries to stick the pieces together and find some salvation. In a house that isn’t his house – in the bathroom of that house – and staring back from the bathroom’s mirror – is a man he no longer knows.
Featuring the voice of Donal O’Kelly
'It sort of kills me that I’ve allowed the hope of ‘you and me’ to be taken by the work. That the work and what it’s turned into has taken and killed everything.'
The voice of an administrator in a waste management company is still heard in his office. He recalls the love he found and how he must keep that love alive.
Enda Walsh: 'Rooms' at the Barbican
Five poetics stories. One immersive installation.
Writer and Director
Enda Walsh is a multi-award winning Irish playwright. His work has been translated into over 20 languages and has been performed internationally since 1998.
Recent work includes: Grief is the Thing with Feathers adapted from the novel by Max Porter and starring Cillian Murphy produced by Theatré de Complicité and Wayward Productions in association with Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival (Galway and Dublin 2018; London 2019), The Second Violinist an opera written with Donnacha Dennehy, produced by Landmark Productions and Wide Open Opera (Galway and Dublin 2017); The Same, produced by Corcadorca at the Old Cork Prison; Lazarus with David Bowie, at the King's Cross Theatre in London and New York Theatre Workshop; Arlington, produced by Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival (Dublin, New York 2017, Galway 2016); The Twits at the Royal Court; the opera The Last Hotel for Landmark Productions and Wide Open Opera (Edinburgh International Festival, Dublin Theatre Festival, Royal Opera House, London, St Ann’s Warehouse, New York, 2015–2016); Ballyturk, produced by Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival (Galway, Dublin, Cork and London, 2014); Room 303, Galway International Arts Festival (2014); Misterman, produced by Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival in Ireland, London and New York (2011–2012); and several plays for Druid Theatre Company, including Penelope, which has been presented in Ireland, America and London, from 2010–2011, The New Electric Ballroom, which played Ireland, Australia, Edinburgh, London, New York and LA from 2008–2009, and The Walworth Farce, which played Ireland, Edinburgh, London and New York, as well as an American and Australian tour, from 2007–2010.
He has made five theatre installations with Paul Fahy, Room 303, Kitchen, A Girl’s Bedroom, Bathroom and Office 33A which all premiered at Galway International Arts Festival and have toured to Washington and New York and most recently London 2019.
He won a Tony Award for writing the book for the musical Once in 2012, which played for three years on Broadway and two years in the West End.
His other plays include: Delirium (Theatre O/Barbican), which played Dublin and a British tour in 2008; Chatroom (National Theatre of Great Britain), which played at the NT and on tour in Britain and Asia (2006–2007); and The Small Things (Paines Plough), which played London and Galway Arts Festival (2005). His early plays include Bedbound (Dublin Theatre Festival) and Disco Pigs (Corcadorca).
His film work includes Disco Pigs (Temple Films/Renaissance) and Hunger (Blast/FILM4).
In 2014 he received an honorary doctorate from NUI Galway.
Paul Fahy is the Artistic Director of Galway International Arts Festival (GIAF) a position he has held since 2005. Prior to this he worked as a freelance arts publicist and producer from 2000–2005 working with Galway International Arts Festival. Macnas. Baboró. Rough Magic Theatre Company. the Abbey Theatre, the Arts Council of Ireland, and with the Irish actor Cillian Murphy.
He studied art at the RTC Galway (now GMIT).
He programmed and produced the Cúirt International Festival of Literature, in 1998 and 1999 and was one of the key visual arts curators for Galway Arts Centre from 1990–1999.
He was the Consultant Programme Director with Kilkenny Arts Festival from 1999–2003 for whom he also directed and designed a major street theatre spectacle The Art of the Game.
Since being appointed Artistic Director of GIAF the Festival has become a producing-led festival forging close creative partnerships with Irish artists and producers, most notably Enda Walsh, Hughie O’Donoghue, Olwen Fouéré, John Gerrard and Landmark Productions.
GIAF’s theatre productions have toured extensively, most recently to the Barbican, St Ann’s Warehouse and Irish Arts Center, the Abbey Theatre, and Dublin Theatre Festival all during 2017. The Festival has also toured regularly to the National Theatre of Great Britain, London; and to the Next Wave Festival, BAM, New York; Kennedy Center, Washington; Edinburgh Festival Fringe; Adelaide Festival, Perth Festival, and Sydney Theatre Company.
Under Fahy’s tenure GIAF has worked with leading Irish and international visual artists and has designed and built major temporary art galleries in Galway.
Fahy has made five theatre installations with Enda Walsh: Room 303, A Girl’s Bedroom and Kitchen (which toured to New York as Rooms in May 2017) Bathroom and Office 33A.
He received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from NUI Galway in 2017.
Lighting Designer and Production Manager
Adam Fitzsimons is a Production and Technical Manager who also works as a Production Lighting Designer.
He has been Production Manager with Galway International Arts Festival since 2011. Fitzsimons also works as an Event Controller on many festivals, outdoor concerts and events in Ireland and abroad including Macnas and the St Patrick’s Festival since 2007.
As a Production Manager he continues to work with Anú Productions and Macnas, and on the ongoing immersive theatre installations Rooms by Enda Walsh since 2014. He has also worked with Kilkenny Arts Festival, Dublin Theatre Festival, Dublin Dance Festival, Cork Opera House, Rough Magic Theatre Company, Northlight Theatre and Steppenwolf Theater Chicago, and Project Arts Centre amongst many others.
He has toured internationally as a Production Manager overseeing productions to the Kennedy Center, Washington; Irish Arts Center, New York and the LIFT Festival, London.
Helen’s sound designs include: Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Enda Walsh (Galway, Dublin 2018, London, New York 2019); Rooms by Enda Walsh for Galway International Arts Festival (2018); Check Up: Our NHS at 70 by Mark Thomas, Edinburgh Fringe 2018; The Second Violinist (2017) for Landmark Productions and Wide Open Opera which premiered at Galway International Arts Festival; Salomé (2017) for the RSC; Arlington (2016, nominated Irish Times Irish Theatre Award for Best Sound Designer) and Ballyturk (2014, Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards Best Sound Designer) for Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival; Suicide (2016) for the National Theatre; Much Ado About Nothing (2016) for Queens Theatre, Hornchurch; You for Me for You (2015) for the Royal Court; The Last Hotel (2015) for Landmark Productions and Wide Open Opera; The Matchbox (2015) for Galway International Arts Festival); The Edge (2015), 1001 Nights (2013), As You Like It (2012) and Elegy (2011) for Transport Theatre; The Summerbook (2014), ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (2014) and 1001 Nights (2013) for the Unicorn Theatre; Deep Blue Sea (2015), All My Sons (2014) and Of Mice and Men (2012) for the Watermill Theatre; Mr Whatnot (2013) and A Christmas Carol (2012) for Northampton Theatre Royal; Cuckooed (2014) and Bravo Figaro (2012) by Mark Thomas for the Traverse Theatre; Macbeth (2011) for Cheek by Jowl; Mountaineering (2015) and You’ll See Me Sailing in Antarctica (2012) for Non Zero One; Great Night Out (2016), Once Upon a Castle (2015) and Wolf’s Child (2014) for Wildworks Theatre; Peppa Pig’s Surprise (2015) and Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure (2014) for Fiery Light; and One Arm (2015) for Southwark Playhouse.
Ger Sweeney has worked and collaborated with Galway International Arts Festival as both as an artist and scenic painter for more than 20 years.
As well as creating sets and visual artworks for many diverse theatre and film productions, he is an established visual artist, exhibiting in Ireland and internationally, with paintings in many public and private collections in Ireland, Europe and USA.
Recent projects include: The Cripple of Inishmaan (Gaiety Theatre, Dublin); Still Point – solo exhibition (Green Fuse Gallery, Westport, Mayo); Galway International Arts Festival and Enda Walsh's Rooms (Galway, New York); Stations of the Cross – art commission (Knock Basilica, Mayo); European Capital of Culture – spectacle (with the Lantern Company, Liverpool – Aarhus, Denmark); RHA Annual Exhibition – Dublin Invited Artist, Paintings.
Niall Buggy is one of the leading Irish actors of his generation who has worked extensively on the stage and screen in Ireland, the UK and the US. Some of his better known roles include: the lead in Brian Friel’s Uncle Vanya, for which he won Best Actor in the Irish Times Theatre Awards and his role in Aristocrats for which he won a number of awards including the Time Out Award, Obie Award in New York, Drama Desk Award, and a Clarence Derwent Award. He was also awarded the Olivier Award for Best Comedy Performance in Dead Funny. His performance in Juno and the Paycock won him Best Actor in the Regional Theatre Awards.
Other theatre work includes: Furniture, DruidMurphy, Haunted (UK tour, New York, Dublin), After Play, Translations, (Broadway), A Kind of Alaska (Gate Theatre, London), Guys and Dolls (Piccadilly), The Gigli Concert (Finborough Theatre), John Bull’s Other Island (Tricycle Theatre), Mr Nobody (Soho Theatre), An Inspector Calls (Playhouse Theatre), The Weir (Broadway, Duke of York), Give Me Your Answer Do, Song at Sunset (Hampstead Theatre), Dead Funny (Hampstead and Vaudeville), Drama at Inish, The Cherry Orchard, The Seagull (Abbey Theatre), One of Our Own (Gaiety Theatre), The Three Sisters (Field Day Theatre), The Importance of Being Ernest at the Harold Pinter Theatre, and Translations (Sheffield Crucible).
Niall has appeared in films such as Mamma Mia, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again, Casanova, The Butcher Boy, Alien 3, Mr Turner, The Dual and The Playboys. Some of his television credits include: Jack Taylor, Inspector Lewis, Dalziel and Pascoe, Father Ted, The Bill and The Professionals.
A Girl’s Bedroom
Charlie’s feature credits include: To Walk Invisible directed by Sally Wainwright for BBC/PBS, The Foreigner directed by Martin Campbell for STX Entertainment/SR Media, the multi-award winning ’71, directed by Yann Demange for Warp Films, Philomena, directed by Stephen Frears for Baby Cow/Weinstein Company, Northmen – A Viking Saga directed by Claudio Fäh for Elite Filmproduktion, and, most recently, Dark Lies the Island directed by Ian Fitzgibbon and The Corrupted directed by Ron Scalpello.
Television includes: Peaky Blinders for Tiger Aspect/BBC (IFTA Best Supporting Actress), Happy Valley series 1 and 2 for BBC, Rebellion for Element Pictures/RTÉ/Touchpaper, The Last Kingdom for Carnival/BBC, The Village (IFTA Best Supporting Actress nomination) for Company Pictures/BBC, Quirke for BBC/RTÉ, Ripper Street for Tiger Aspect/BBC, Misfits for Clerkenwell/Channel 4, and all five series of Love/Hate for Octagon/RTÉ/Netflix for which she twice won Best Actress at the Irish Film and Television Awards (2013 and 2015).
Stage work includes: for the National Theatre of Ireland/Abbey Theatre, Eliza Doolittle in Pygmalion (Best Actress/Irish Times Theatre Awards), Mark O Rowe’s Our Few and Evil Days; Enda Walsh’s Disco Pigs at the Young Vic, Druid Theatre’s Big Maggie and, also for Druid, The Silvertassie at the Lincoln Centre New York. Other productions include: Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, 4.48 Psychosis, Once a Catholic, This Is Our Youth, Anatomy of a Seagull, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, The Colleen Bawn, Arlington by Enda Walsh at the National Theatre of Ireland and St Ann’s Warehouse, NY, and most recently the Michael Grandage production The Lieutenant of Inishmore by Martin McDonagh at the Noel Coward Theatre, West End, London.
Eileen Walsh recently played the role of Bessie Burgess in The Plough and the Stars at the Abbey Theatre (also Irish tour and the Kennedy Center, Washington). Previous work at the Abbey Theatre includes: The Playboy of the Western World, Terminus (also at the Edinburgh Festival and in New York; Winner of Best Actress Irish Times Theatre Award), Saved, Portia Coughlan, Ariel, and Macbeth.
Other theatre work includes: The Unknown (Royal Court); The Tempest (Improbable/Northern Stage); The Same by Enda Walsh (Corcadorca 2017; Best Actress Irish Theatre Awards 2018); Little Eyol (Almeida), The Tempest (Improbable Theatre Company), Image of an Unknown Woman (Gate, London), The Believers (Tricycle Theatre), Teh Internet Is Serious Business (Royal Court), Liolá (National Theatre, London), Request Programme, The Merchant of Venice, and Phaedra’s Love (Corcadorca), Conversations, Whistle in the Dark, Famine and The Gigli Concert (Druid), Medea (Siren Productions), Mary Stuart (National Theatre Scotland/Royal Lyceum), The Drowned World and Splendour (for Paines Plough at the Traverse), Troilus and Cressida (Oxford Stage Company), Boomtown and Danti Dan (Rough Magic), The Entertainer (Liverpool Playhouse), Sand and Crave (Royal Court), Crestfall (Gate Theatre), Hamlet (Young Vic), and Disco Pigs (Bush Theatre and the West End, London).
Television work includes: Melrose (Sky Atlantic) On the Headline (RTÉ); Catastrophe (Channel 4) and Pure Mule (RTÉ). Film work includes: Gold, Snap, The Ballad of Kid Kanturk, Triage, The Maid of Farce, Eden (Winner IFTA Award for Best Actress; Tribecca Film Festival), 33X Around the Sun, Nicholas Nickleby, Magdalene Sisters, Miss Julie, and Janice Beard.
Paul was most recently cast as Stan in Finding Joy, the comedy TV series created by Amy Huberman and directed by Kieron Walsh. Prior to that he filmed the role of Ed in Ivanagh Kavanagh's Never Grow Old alongside Emile Hirsch and John Cusack, and the part of Captain Shakespear in Born A King, a feature directed by Agustí Villaronga.
He played role of Robert alongside Rafe Spall in David Bruckner's feature The Ritual, the role of Aonghus in We Ourselves directed by Paul Mercier, and the role of Mannel in the History Channel's Vikings, all in 2017. Also he shot Stevie Russell's short film The Rain opposite Niamh Algar, and Jason Connery's feature film Tommy's Honour, in which he plays the role of George Atwood alongside Jack Lowden.
His most recent theatre credits include: the role of Martyn Wallace in the Corn Exchange's revival of Dublin By Lamplight, directed by Annie Ryan at the Abbey Theatre, and the part of Triletsky in Chekhov's First Play directed by Ben Kidd and Bush Moukarzel for Dead Centre, with performances at the Bristol Old Vic and TnBA Bordeaux.
Further screen credits include: the RTÉ series Rebellion, in which he played Stephen Duffy Lyons opposite Charlie Murphy, Tile Film's Wrecking The Rising directed by Ruán Magan (TG4), the TNT pilot Will directed by Shekhar Kapur, Boy Eats Girl directed by Stephen Bradley, Every Second Sunday directed by Stephen Hubbard, After directed by Seán Branigan, 7 Sins directed by Vincent Gallagher, Glassland directed by Gerard Barrett, London Irish directed by Tom Marshall and Love Is the Drug, The Clinic and Raw, all for RTÉ.
Further theatre work includes: his one-man show Man of Valour, which he created with director Annie Ryan and writer Michael West for the Corn Exchange Theatre Company, Philadelphia, Here I Come! directed by Lyndsey Turner with the Donmar Warehouse, the musical Alice in Funderland directed by Wayne Jordan with the Abbey Theatre, the title role in David Bolger's musical Macbecks, with performances at the Olympia Theatre Dublin and Cork Opera House, the role of James Ceaser in Finborough Theatre's production of John Ferguson directed by Emma Faulkner, Dublin By Lamplight, again with the Corn Exchange Theatre Company, directed by Annie Ryan, Metamorphosis directed by David Horan and Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Anna Karenina and A View from the Bridge, all at the Gate Theatre, Dublin. He also recently played the role of Valentine in You Never Can Tell directed by Conall Morrison for the Abbey Theatre and the role of George Wickham in The Gate Theatre's production of Pride and Prejudice directed by Alan Stanford and performed at the Hong Kong Arts Festival.
Donal O’Kelly’s solo plays include: Edinburgh Fringe First winners Catalpa and Fionnuala, also Bat the Father Rabbit the Son, Jimmy Joyced! and Hairy Jaysus. He wrote and acted in Jimmy Gralton’s Dancehall that inspired the Ken Loach film Jimmy’s Hall now an Abbey Theatre stage adaptation with Donal in the cast.
Francisco, which he also directed, won Best Radio Fiction Prix Europa 2013 and the Gold Medal in New York Festival Radio Awards. His radio adaptation of Fionnuala about the Shell-Corrib gas project was Norwegian broadcaster NRK’s entry in Prix Italia and Prix Europa.
He performed in Fishamble’s production of his play Little Thing Big Thing winning The Stage Best Ensemble Edinburgh and Best Production First Irish Festival New York. It had productions in Winnipeg and Nova Scotia Canada winning several awards, and in Washington DC and St. Louis.
He acted in his own play The Cambria about Frederick Douglass’s refugee journey to Ireland in 1845 that played New York, Los Angeles and Harare as well as Ireland.
Catalpa toured internationally including New York, Washington, London, Toronto and Melbourne.
Other plays include: Vive La, The Dogs, Asylum! Asylum!, Judas of the Gallarus, Operation Easter and the Dublin City Council/San Jose 1916 Play Commission winner, The Memory Stick. He was in Aosdána once upon a time.
His music-theatre piece Running Beast, music by Michael Holohan, will be released on CD during the Fleadh Cheoil Drogheda in August. He has recently toured Ireland with Bat the Father Rabbit the Son in Oct–Nov 2018 and Jan–Feb 2019.
Donal hugely enjoyed recording Office 33A with Enda Walsh.
Galway International Arts Festival
Galway International Arts Festival is a major cultural organization, which produces one of Europe’s leading international arts festivals; develops and produces new work that tours nationally and internationally; and presents a major discussion platform, First Thought Talks. The Festival takes place each July in Galway, Ireland with attendances in 2018 in excess of 250,000. The 42nd edition of GIAF takes place from 15–28 July 2019.
The Festival tours its own productions and exhibitions nationally and internationally, and with its co-producing partners has recently toured to London, New York, Edinburgh, Chicago, Adelaide, Sydney, Hong Kong and Washington.
Recent work includes: Incantata by Paul Muldoon (a co-production with Jen Coppinger); Enda Walsh’s Office 33A; and a new production of Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, an Irish National Opera, GIAF and United Fall co-production, all of which premiered at GIAF 2018. Woyzeck in Winter by Conall Morrison (a co-production with Landmark Productions) which premiered in Galway in July 2017 and played the Barbican, London and Dublin Theatre Festival; Arlington, (a co-production with Landmark Productions) which played Galway, Dublin and New York; and Bathroom (GIAF production) both written and directed by Enda Walsh.
GIAF has enjoyed a long relationship with Enda Walsh. His first play Disco Pigs starring Cillian Murphy and Eileen Walsh, a Corcadorca production, played the Festival in 1997 while his most recent play Grief is a Thing with Feathers adapted from Max Porter’s novel and starring Cillian Murphy, produced by Complicité and Wayward Productions in association with Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival, premiered in Galway in March 2018.
Other notable productions include: Ballyturk (co-produced with Landmark Productions), starring Cillian Murphy, Stephen Rea and Mikel Murfi, which won Best Production at the Irish Theatre Awards 2014 and played Galway, Dublin and London; Misterman (co-produced with Landmark Productions) also by Enda Walsh starring Cillian Murphy played Galway, New York and London. The Festival’s productions of Enda Walsh’s Room 303, A Girl’s Bedroom and Kitchen under the collective title of Rooms toured to New York in 2017. Bathroom, the fourth in this series premiered at GIAF 2017. Arlington and a new production of Ballyturk starring Mikel Murfi, Tadgh Murphy and Olwen Fouéré, were the opening productions of the first season of the new directors of Ireland’s National Theatre, the Abbey, in Spring 2017. Ballyturk toured to St. Ann’s Warehouse in New York in January 2018.
TheEmergencyRoom and Galway International Arts Festival’s production of riverrun, in association with Cusack Projects Ltd, by Olwen Fouéré, played Galway, London, Edinburgh, New York, Adelaide, Sydney and Washington. The same team produced Lessness by Samuel Beckett, also starring Olwen Fouéré, which premiered at the Barbican’s International Beckett Season, London in 2015.
GIAF is led by Chief Executive, John Crumlish and Artistic Director, Paul Fahy.