TheEmergencyRoom and Galway International Arts Festival in association with Cusack Projects Limited



at The Kennedy Center Washington DC May 26&27 2016

at Sydney Theatre Company
10 March- 11 April 2015

recently played at:

Adelaide Festival Feb/March 2015

BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) as part of the Next Wave Festival 17-20 September 2014

Lewis Center for the Arts, Princeton Sept 2014

and at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, from 28th July - 24th August 2014 as part of the Traverse Festival during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The world premiere of riverrun took place at the Galway International Arts Festival 2013

adapted directed and performed by Olwen Fouéré
through the voice of the river in James Joyce's Finnegans Wake

in collaboration with
composer/sound designer Alma Kelliher
lighting designer Stephen Dodd
costume designer Monica Frawley
co-director Kellie Hughes
Music consultant Susan Stenger

produced by Jen Coppinger

company manager Kate Ferris
production manager Rob Furey
sound engineer Benny Lynch
chief lx John Crudden

Previews and performances in Galway Arts Festival : 18-27 July 2013

Kilkenny Arts Festival: 15-18 August 2013">

Dublin Theatre Festival: 2-6 October 2013">

at The National Theatre, London: 11-22 March 2014


is Fouéré’s adaptation and performance of the voice of the river Liffey ('Life', Anna Livia Plurabelle) in James Joyce’s famous 'book of the night', Finnegans Wake.

Work on the adaptation has been ongoing since 2011 with initial support from Michael Mushalla of Double M Arts and Events, NY; Leanne Donnolley of APA and creative producer Colm O'Callaghan.

Performed readings of the work-in-progress took place in Dublin (June 2011 with Rough Magic), in Paris (at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, February 2013), in Lyon and NUI Galway (Art and Geography conferences in February and May 2013).

In November 2012, riverrun received an Arts Council Project Award enabling production of the work in collaboration with producing partners.

Other artists who have contributed to the development of the work include composers Mikel Rouse and Roger Doyle, designers Monica Frawley and Paul Keogan, directors Tom Creed, Annie Ryan, Sarah-Jane Scaife and choreographer Megan Kennedy.
Composer Susan Stenger joined as music consultant in March 2013.

Support-in-kind during development and production has been generously provided by Rough Magic.

The world premiere performance of riverrun took place at the Galway Arts Festival 2013 on 22nd July.


October 2013

Michael Billington of the Guardian reviews 'riverrun':
“For true astonishment, originality and a touch of genius, one had to turn to a work inspired by Beckett's mentor, James Joyce...the phenomenon that is Olwen Fouéré, who embodies the voice of the flowing, unstoppable river. …Fouéré makes a magnetic figure. And she vocally conveys the wealth of the Joycean soundscape with its allusions to classical myth, Irish topography and to common human experience. This is Joyce made brilliantly manifest in a performance that, originally premiered at the Galway festival, deserves to be seen worldwide.”

Five stars from the the Financial Times:

Joyce McMillan in the Scotsman:
“...masterpieces like Olwen Fouere’s electrifying solo show riverrun, a magnificent 70-minute avalanche of voice, movement and sound based on the final sequence of James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake"

Neil Cooper in Herald Scotland:
“By far the biggest talking point of this year's Dublin Theatre Festival was riverrun, Olwen Fouere's impressionistic look at James Joyce's epic novel, Finnegan's Wake.”

Fintan O'Toole reviews in the Irish Times:
“Standing for the city is what Olwen Fouéré does, almost literally, in riverrun, her astounding swim in the swirling, eddying, endlessly babbling waters of Finnegans Wake. Here there is no questioning of what theatre can do, just a fearless plunge into pure performance. Fouéré has stout supports in Monica Frawley’s costumes, Stephen Dodd’s lighting and Alma Kelliher’s richly layered sound design, but this is still an act of lonely daring. And it is thrillingly accomplished.
The last section of Finnegans Wake, from which she adapts the text, is typically dense and difficult
There is rising and falling: the city waking up, the river rising, the world dying and being reborn. There is the dynamic of male and female – the land and the water – between which Fouéré moves with uncanny clarity. And there is the sensation of flowing: the unstoppable surge of the Liffey, of life, of history, of sensations. Out of these elements she creates a unity that is also full of dazzling variation, a mesmerising coherence of body and word, a flood of sound and gesture.
We do not comprehend everything but we do apprehend – and are apprehended: seized, arrested, captured. We go with the flow and only later, in recollection, wonder at the marvels of courage and technique.
…for me at least, it is the highlight of the festival so far.”

Five stars in

Five stars in Metro Herald

Five stars in Sunday Business Post

July 2013

Olwen Fouéré writes about the creation of 'riverrun' in the Irish Times:

Sophie Gorman reviews in the Irish Independent:

Peter Crawley reviews in the Irish Times:

Patrick Lonergan writes:

Emer O'Kelly reviews in the Sunday Independent:

Sophie Gorman reviews on RTE One Arena arts programme:!rii=9:20228576:1526:23-07-2013: