Festival of the Dead at Townhall Cavan

28-30 OCTOBER 2016 


Townhall Cavan will once again open the portal to the other side this Hallowe’en as it presents, ‘The Festival of the Dead: The Otherworld’ from Friday, 28th – Sunday 30th October.


A year since the first annual Festival of the Dead marked Townhall Cavan’s death as a municipal headquarters and rebirth as a vibrant cultural hub, the creative team will once again bring the people of Cavan and beyond on a dark and surreal journey through a weekend when we all feel the icy breath of the ‘other’ on our necks.


On Friday, 28th October at 8pm, cast and audience will engage in ‘Ritual’, as the portal to the otherworld is thrown open and the spectral Apple Queen invades our dreams. From the weird and wonderful mind of two-time RTÉ PJ O’Connor award-winning playwright Philip Doherty, this dark spectacle will feature music, dance, and theatre. Marrying ancient tradition with modern performance art, this one-off piece will captivate and enthral, as the living and the dead embrace the night as one.


Starring Hugh O'Brien, Patrick O'Donnell and Annie June Callaghan, this is a magical and haunting new myth between two lovers from the living world and the underworld. It is darkly comic and mysterious; different to anything else from Philip Doherty, more solemn, more of a spotlight on romance. The Gaelic festival of Samhain is traditionally paganistic, rich & dark, which will be mirrored in this visual spectacle that marries live music with dance, song and storytelling. You will be immersed in the opening of the portal from the spirit world to the living world, don't miss!


Admission is €15, with tickets available from Multisound Cavan on 049-4361312 or


On Saturday, 29th October, the festival will depart the Townhall to a mystery location on the otherside, ‘The Paradise of Fools’. This surreal, macabre musical journey is the follow-up to last year’s sell-out ‘The Ship of Fools’ and promises to be a pulsating, dreamlike experience with over 150 performers. This is no schlock-horror haunted house, but immersive, subversive performance theatre on a whole new level. Shows take place at 6pm, 7.30pm, 9pm, 10.30pm, and midnight.


Tickets are priced at €25 and are strictly limited, so book now at Multisound Cavan on 049-4361312 or'Paradise of Fools' is strictly over 18s only. 


The festival draws to a close on Sunday, 30th October with The Great Wheel of Fire street pageant, a parade of fire, music, and dance through Cavan Town, finishing with a ceremonial ‘burning on the lake’. Let go of the old and celebrate the coming winds of a glorious new year of culture and creativity. This is a free event.


Throughout the weekend, Townhall will host visually and intellectually stimulating art installations, transforming the perspective of the gallery space.


For more information, see


Hugh O'Brien in 'Ritual'. Book here.


19 Oct 2016

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