Sunday, September 29, 2013

Belfast Festival Preview (17-27 October) #BelFest

The Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s starts in three weeks and runs from Thursday 17 to Sunday 27 October.

Jimmy Titanic is a one man show written by Bernard McMullan. Set between heaven and the ship, Colin Hamell plays over 20 characters on the ship and up above, telling the story of proud shipyard workers coping with the legacy of their ‘Wondership’. Up to now performed in the US, the play comes to Northern Ireland and the Titanic Belfast building as part of the festival. Thursday 17 to Sunday 20 October at 7.30pm (and Sat/Sun matinee at 2pm). £12.50 (over 18s only)

The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets. Coinciding with the launch of his new book which has the same title, Simon Singh investigates the maths math that infiltrates The Simpsons in a way that is both accessible and funny … like when baby Maggie nonchalantly pies up her building blocks to read EMCSQU! The Crescent Arts Centre, 7.30pm, Friday 18 October. £6.

PianOrquestra features two pianos played by sixteen hands using gloves, sticks, picks, nylons, rubber, metal, wood, fabric, plastic and electronics. Inspired by John Cage, composed by Pedro Rebelo and Justin Lang. QUB Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC), 5pm, Sunday 20 October. £8.

Pending Vote is the Irish premiere where the theatre becomes a parliament and the audience have remote controls to vote to decide the future of our community and the evening’s performance.
Voting on relevant issues for the Northern Ireland public without avoiding topics such as health, education, civil liberties and identity. Pending Vote explores our personal and political affinities and questions the nature, benefits and contradictions of our modern democratic process. Do we run the system or does it run us?
Lyric Theatre – Naughton Studio, 8pm, Monday 21 and Tuesday 22 October. £12.

A Secret History of Torture. Drawing on official documents and witness accounts, Guardian journalist Ian Cobain discusses Britain’s secret use of torture in the Second World War, Kenya, Northern Ireland and the War on Terror. Followed by a Q&A chaired by William Crawley. The Great Hall QUB, 7.30pm, Monday 21 October. £6.

Bernard MacLaverty in conversation with Marie-Louise Muir. Author of Cal, Lamb, Grace Notes, on the eve of publication of his new book of Collected Stories. The Great Hall QUB, 7.30pm, Tuesday 22 October. £6.

Sarah Maple’s exhibition in the Golden Thread Gallery promises to be “graphic, witty, controversial and wholly original, simultaneously sincere and tongue-in-cheek” using painting, photography, video and performance to ask what it is to be a woman and a Muslim in 21st century Britain. The first major solo exhibition in Northern Ireland of the “heir to Tracey Emin’s throne” launches on Tuesday 22 October (6pm-8pm) and will remain open Wednesday to Friday (10.30am-5.30pm) and Saturday (10.30am-4pm)

Alternative Ulsters. Mark Carruthers has spent the last 18 months interviewing forty public artists, writers and politicians about for his new book Alternative Ulsters : Who Do We Think We Are?. Chaired by William Crawley, Mark will be joined in The Great Hall QUB by some of his key contributors, Baroness Blood, Joe Brolly, Brian Kennedy and Ian Paisley Jnr to discuss whether identity is fixed or continually changing, and whether more people are embracing a Northern Irish identity. 8pm, Friday 25 October. £6

Rhinoceros is a bilingual adaptation of Ionesco’s tragic farce. A whole town has been struck with ‘Rhinoceritis’ turning all but one of the inhabitants into rhinos. Bérenger remains untouched in a world where no-one else speaks the same language. Does not require an understanding Fench to enjoy! Lyric Theatre – Naughton Studio, Friday 25 (8pm), Saturday 26 (8pm) and Sunday 27 (7pm).

Edit-Point and The Gildas Quartet (website) combine strings and electronics in a programme that includes local man Ed Bennett’s String Factory and George Crumb’s Black Angels. The Crescent Arts Centre, 7.30pm, Saturday 26 October. £10

Some great films showing in the QFT as part of the festival, including three from Switzerland: La Petite Chambre (The Little Room), Hiver Nomade (Winter Nomads) and Jump.

The 51st festival also has its opening and closing concerts, an 11 acre portrait in Titanic Quarter that can be viewed from nearby tall buildings (or the air if you’re flying in or out of Belfast City Airport) and the 132nd annual exhibition of the Royal Ulster Academy (in the Ulster Museum).

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