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riverrun: TheEmergencyRoom and Galway Arts Festival

Oct 2 - Oct 6: Project Arts Centre (Space Upstairs)

"...this feels like a significant contribution to the iconography of Irish theatre and culture."


...Soft morning, city! Lsp! I am leafy speafing. Lpf! Folty and folty all the nights have being falling on to long my hair. Not a sound, falling…

One of Ireland’s leading theatre-makers, Olwen Fouéré has been intrigued by James Joyce's Finnegans Wake for many years. Inspired by the extraordinary musicality of the text and by the voice of the river running through it, she has created this powerful new adaptation of Joyce’s famous ‘book of the night’.

A force of constant renewal, the river “Life”, Anna Livia Plurabelle, ALP, becomes a universal call to wake up, surrender the past and confront the betrayals that might lie at the heart of our histories. Together with an exciting creative team, rivverrun will give audiences an opportunity to witness Fouéré’s unique approach to Joyce’s extraordinary ‘sound-dance’.

Production support provided by Rough Magic. Supported through an Arts Council Theatre Project Award.

Talking Theatre: Oct 3, post-show. With Olwen Fouéré.

Duration: 70 mins. No interval.

Press and Reviews

"Fouéré’s command is nothing less than astonishing, and her final facial expression – a moment of suspended awe – is pure physical poetry..." (The Irish Times)

"...a triumphant piece of work, allowing an audience to experience Joyce's mischievous and magisterial prance around language, pun, and mysticism as we are supposed to experience it: a great flood of sound washing over us." (Sunday Independent)

"She is as if possessed by an unearthly energy. Her theatre is without convention, without guidelines, and it is entirely mesmerising." (Irish Independent)

Adapted and performed by:

  • Olwen Fouéré, through the voice of the river in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake


  • Olwen Fouéré


  • Kellie Hughes

Sound Design and Composition:

  • Alma Kelliher

Costume Design:

  • Monica Frawley

Lighting Design:

  • Stephen Dodd

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