Dunbar sees only Happy Days ahead for Beckett festival

‘Line Of Duty’ star Adrian Dunbar has predicted a bright future for a literary festival in his home town after it returned with a bang following the pandemic.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 25th July 2022, 7:13 am

Dunbar, renowned for playing Superintendent Ted Hastings in the hit police drama, has been involved in the Happy Days festival in Enniskillen celebrating the work of Nobel laureate playwright Samuel Beckett since its inception in 2012.

This year he directed one of Beckett’s plays amid ancient monastic ruins on the island of Devenish on the outskirts of the lakeland town in Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

Beckett spent several of his formative years in Enniskillen as a boarding pupil at Portora Royal Grammar School between 1920 and 1923.

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Undated handout photo issued by Cordula Treml of (left to right) Lalor Roddy, Adrian Dunbar and Vincent Higgins on Devenish Island ahead of their performance of Samuel Beckett' play Ohio Impromptu on Friday evening. Directed by TV Star Dunbar, Ohio Impromptu was one of three "made in Fermanagh" Festival productions which returned to mark the 10thanniversary of the Happy Days Enniskillen International Beckett Festival. Issue date: Sunday July 24, 2022. PA Photo

Fifty years earlier another of Ireland’s literary greats, Oscar Wilde, also attended Portora, which is now known as Enniskillen Royal Grammar School.

Dunbar (pictured), who grew up in Enniskillen, joined stage and screen actors from Ireland and beyond for the Beckett international festival’s first outing since 2019.

“The town is a really good size for a festival,” the 63-year-old told the PA news agency.

“It’s got some great places to eat. It’s got some really interesting buildings where we can curate things and it’s very proud of its connections with Beckett, and Wilde of course as well.

“My hopes for it is that it will sustain itself, that people will keep coming from across the world as they do.

“It’s lasted for 10 years, it survived Covid, a lot of things haven’t survived that period, but the festival has and it’s back.”