The 12th Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival kicked off last night with comedian Mark Steel in the Black Box and Abie Philbin Bowman in The Dark Horse. For the next week and a half, Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter will be alive with song, laughter, drama and chat.
If you’re shopping in Belfast city centre over the long weekend (Saturday 30 April – Monday 2 May), watch out for Granny Turismo, the “world’s first (and only) formation shopping trolley dance team”.
The Bank of Ireland on Royal Avenue will be hosting Multiple, a pop-up shop and exhibition of twelve local artists, open between 1pm and 8pm until 8 May. “Expect wry insights into the city as they present art ‘for sale’ as lo-fi commodities, collectables, souvenirs, posters and paraphernalia. Catherine Roberts of Budgie Butlins fame is one of the artists participating.
Other personal highlights include:
Saturday 30 April
noon – Writers Square – The May Day rally and march leaves Writers Square (opposite St Anne’s Cathedral) at 12.30pm after speeches at noon. After the march, Writers Square will host a Diversity Festival between 1pm and 5pm, an afternoon of music and entertainment.
Sunday 1 May
8pm – The John Hewitt – Australian band Wishing Well.
Monday 2 May
1pm – The Black Box – The Silent Picture House “recreating some of the magic” of silent movies with a Buster Keaton / Laurel and Hardy double bill with live piano accompaniment.
5pm – Cotton Court – The Chipolatas are gagging musicians and billed as “a special kind of alchemy which rakes the base ingredients of music, rhythm, juggling and comedy to turn them into a show packed full of sheer joy”.
Wednesday 4 May
9am-5pm – Lagan Lookout – PLACE invites architects, city officials and creative thinkers to its CQ Charrette to work in cross-discipline teams to respond to a design brief and make a contribution to the Belfast townscape.
1pm – The Black Box – Northern Irish poet, Michael Longley.
8pm – Duke of York – On the eve of the Assembly and Local Government elections and the referendum on Voting Reform, join Grimes, McKee and others in the Big Election Comedy Quiz as they “steer you through the (tri-lingual) Vote, Votail, Big Heid Coont”.
Thursday 5 May
1pm – The Black Box – Dramatised readings from the works of Brian Moore.
8pm – Oh Yeah Centre – The 4th Annual David Ervine Memorial Talk. As well as guest speaker and guest artists, awards will be announced for successful applicants to the David Ervine Foundation which supports “educational, training and/or personal/development opportunities to children and young people from socially and economically deprived background”.
Friday 6 May
8pm – The Dark Horse – Poland 3 Iran 2 is part of Polish Cultural Week a conversation between Join Seyf and Dobrowolski about monumental historic events including the eponymous victory of the Polish football team in the 1976 Montreal Olympics.
Saturday 7 May
3pm – Festival Marquee – English folk musician Kate Rusby will be performing a family matinee in the Custom House Square tent on Saturday afternoon. Her 8pm evening show is now sold out.
Sunday 8 May
2pm – The Black Box – More folk music from much recommended local five piece band, The Rapparees.