Crossing the Line: Episode 2: Preparations Begin

Crossing the Line: ‘The Festival that never was, the Celebration that is’

Episode Two: Preparations Begin

With the go-ahead from Crossing the Line partners & Galway 2020 for ‘Crossing the Line – A Pan-European Theatre Festival’ preparations and planning were fully underway.

In January 2017, Blue Teapot were invited to the first incarnation of Crossing The Line Festival, by French hosts Compagnie de l’Oiseau-Mouche in Roubaix. With funding support from Culture Ireland and Galway 2020, they travelled a team of 9 actors and 5 staff to see theatre by Mind the Gap, Moomsteatern and hosts over three days, participating in workshops and to screen the European premiere of Irish feature film‘ Sanctuary’.

The experience was invaluable – what would it be like to travel to Europe’s mainland with people requiring additional support, some of whom had never left Ireland? How was it to work with peer companies, navigate the language barriers of French, Polish, Swedish, Dutch?

From this productive visit, the prospect of bringing a large-scale festival to Galway became apparent and the idea of a ‘Festival Hub’ was born; a casual place to meet friends, chat & stop by before a performance and always, always, good coffee!

Father Burke Park, Claddagh was chosen as the central location for Festival Hub & Theatre Tent. The team reached out to the business community and friends of Galway’s West End. The response was overwhelmingly positive.

To give Galway audiences a flavour of the Festival to come, Blue Teapot programmed the international hit show  ‘Meet Fred’  (by Hijinx, Cardiff) as part of the 2017 Galway International Arts Festival. An instant sell -out, success, it proved extremely useful to Team Teapot , an insight into what it took to bring in an outside touring company to Blue Teapot Theatre.