Sunday, August 25, 2013

East Belfast Arts Festival (Wednesday 28 August to Sunday 1 September)

More culture! August started with Féile an Phobail (West Belfast Festival) and finishes with the East Belfast Arts Festival. With events being held in bars, community centres, galleries, a library as well as Belfast Met, last year’s fledgling festival is back for a second run between Wednesday 28 August and Sunday 1 August.

The programme (PDF) is full of gems ...

Wednesday 28 August

Animate the East: open animation workshops in Wheelworks’ ArtCart // 1pm-3pm in Connswater Shopping Centre Car Park // Pop along and use cut outs of famous East Belfast landmarks and faces to make your own animated adventures. No experience necessary. All ages welcome. // Free

Linda Ervine’s Hidden History of the Irish Language // 7pm in Skainos Centre // With a passion for the Irish language, Linda will outline the sometimes forgotten history of Irish as spoken by Protestants. // Free

The Gap in the Hedge: an evening of songs, stories, poems and craic // 8pm in Skainos Centre // £5

The 39 Steps by Kandu Theatre Company // 8pm in Strand Arts Centre (the cinema!) // Boosted by a successful Kickstarter campaign, the cast of six take on the 139 different characters in this “wacky romp of live comedy theatre”, an adaptation of John Buchan’s thriller novel and Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film. PG humour. Additional performance on Thursday 29. // £10 (£8 concession)

Thursday 29 August

Inside Danny’s Box // 6pm in Holywood Arches Library // Rehearsed reading of Derek Murphy’s play by C21 Theatre Company about the day “Marybeth Doyle stumbles into a church to escape a seemingly apocalyptic rainfall … and so begins a series of events that will change the lives of those around her forever”. // £3

The Life and Legacy of Edward Carson, Lord Duncairn // 8pm in Skainos Centre // Arts for All have been working with Tiger’s Bay Historical Society and Men’s Group as well as the Dean Clarke Foundation to explore the work, impact and legacy of Edward Carson. Participants developed this play along with scenes based on Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme. // £3

Generation Gap - fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe, comedy with Alan Irwin and Christian Talbot // 8pm in Belmont Tower // £5

Friday 30 August

Hang in There … // 7.30pm in BMC Tower Street Campus // Belfast playwright Bronagh Diamond’s innovative short play tackles the controversial issue of suicide with humour and compassion. Life affirming and darkly funny, directed by Maggie Cronin and performed by Cathy Brennan-Bradley and Danielle Magennis. Contains emotionally distressing scenes and images. Additional performance on Saturday 31. // £5

Songs of City & Sea with Rachel Austin “stretching the borders of indie and grunge rock” // 8pm in East Belfast Network Centre // £7

Saturday 31 August

Smurphs Movie & Animation Workshop // workshops at 10am and 2pm, movie at 11am; Strand Arts Centre // The staff of Jumping Clay will help participants – aged 4 to 84 – to play with clay and animation before (or after) watching the blue models on the big screen. // £9.50 per person including movie, workshop, popcorn & soft drink

Busking competition all afternoon with the prize a support slot with Brian Houston later that evening // Skainos Square

Brian Houston & Band // 7.30pm in Skainos Centre // £15

Sunday 1 September

Céilí with the Loch Lao Céilí band // 2pm in East Belfast Network Centre // £3

Seo Robert: The Search for Robert McAdam // 7.30pm in BMC Tower Street Campus // “A man born ahead of his time”, Presbyterian Robert McAdam saw the contradiction between loyalty to the crown and encouragement to the Irish language. At a time when strenuous efforts were being made to dumb down all traces of Irish culture he saw the importance of preserving Irish literary treasures, collecting Irish antiquities recording stories and proverbs. One-man play written and performed by Noel McGee, directed by Bríd Ó Gallchoir for Aisling Ghéar Theatre Company. // £5

Throughout the festival cafés bars and restaurants around the Newtownards and Holywood Roads will open their doors to acoustic performances, visual arts and other entertainment. Details will be posted on EBAF’s Facebook page throughout the week.

During the festival, across East Belfast you’ll catch sight of the Art Flag Bunting installations featuring the results of workshops in schools and community groups in the East earlier this year. This is part of the wider Art in the Eastside project that includes "new, positive artworks in non-gallery settings" on 50 billboards and poster sides across East Belfast.


An exhibition of music photographs by Carrie Davenport will be on display in Connswater Shopping Centre.

Each evening from 9pm until late, play Pretty City Ping Pong on the electrified and audio-enhanced table in the Skainos Centre. A visual and auditory treat not to be missed!

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