Dublin Theatre Festival 09

29th July 2009 by Maura McHugh

The Irish Times reports that the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival has launched its festival programme. It will feature 221 performances of 26 shows from 12 different countries taking place between September 24th and October 11th.

The festival’s artistic director Loughlin Deegan pointed out the contribution the festival makes to the economy.

“If people are looking for green shoots, I have 221 of them here,” he said, in reference to the number of performances scheduled for this year’s festival, adding that such a programme would inspire confidence as well as galvanising spending.

“It’s what’s going to contribute to driving this city, and this irritating and strangely lovable country of ours back on to the straight and narrow.”

His words were echoed by festival chair Peter Crowley, who called the festival a “good news story”, paying tribute to the “multiplier” effect of its high quality programme on the city and the country. He also said the programme, and continuing quality of the festival even in straitened times “reinforces the importance of having a Minister” for Arts.

Speaking at the programme launch, Arts Council chairwoman Pat Moylan reiterated the link between a thriving economy and a vibrant arts scene.

“If we hope to be a society with a vibrant economy, we need the arts,” said Ms Moylan.

She added that “the role of the arts is to lift and inspire the spirit of a nation”.

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