Tuesday, April 15, 2014

CQAF 2014 // 1-11 May // talk, stories, music, Dr Seuss yoga, drama & noise #cqaf14

Having heard Jon Snow speak before in Belfast, I can strongly recommend the opening event of the 15th Cathedral Quarter Art Festival on Thursday 1 May with the Channel 4 News presenter's lunchtime talk in The Black Box. £8 including lunch.

Six hours later Peter Hain will step onto the stage in the Waterfront Studio. His period as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland between 2005 and 2007 came back to prominence recently with his role in the On the Runs process. Expect him to address that as well as giving his perspectives on South Africa where he grew up, and commenting on Israel and Palestine. £10.

Sunday 4 May

Rubberbandits – Continental Fistfight. The plastic-bag wearing music/comedy duo bring their brand new musical straight from its critically-acclaimed, sold out run in London to Belfast for two nights. The Black Box on Saturday 4 at 7.45pm; The MAC on Monday 5 and 7.45pm. £10.

Monday 5 May

Dr Seuss Does Yoga! A “joyful introduction to the practice of yoga in a relaxed and playful way” with fun yoga postures accompanied by Dr Seuss tales. Flow Yoga Studio in Hull Street at 11am. Admission free (donation only).

Tenx9 is a monthly night where nine people have up to ten minutes to tell a real story from their lives. The theme for this CQAF event is love/hate. The Black Box Green Room doors will open at 7.30pm. Admission free, but limited to first 75 people to arrive. More details on the Tenx9 website or on twitter.

I last heard the Henry Girls back at Out to Lunch 2011 when they performed alongside The Fox Hunt. They’re back with beautiful harmonies and harp, transcending Irish folk and Americana. Beautiful music. The Black Box, 8pm. £10.

An Instinct For Kindness is Chris Larner’s solo performance about assisted suicide and his journey to Dignitas in Switzerland in November 2010 with his chronically ill ex-wife. Upstairs at the Mac at 8pm. £8.

The Unluckiest Arab in Belfast is Mac Premo’s one man play which promises to “look into the tension between life’s looming questions and minute details, told through a series of stories from his own life”. The Belfast Barge (unlicensed, bring your own) on Monday 5, Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 and 8pm. £7.

Tuesday 6 May

North Belfast-born author Bernard MacLaverty talking in The Black Box at 1pm. Lamb, Cal, Grace Notes, The Anatomy School, and more. £6 including lunch.

Wednesday 7 May

Little Howard’s Big Show For Kids sees (human) Big Howard being his animated six-year-old Little Howard off CBBC and into The Black Box at 4.30pm for stand-up, live animation, jokes and songs. Big Haward has been diagnosed as clinically unfunny and there’s a slug in the backstage toilet … and now a sinister figure has arrived so they need a good show to keepo them out of jail. £5.

Comedian, journalist, novelist and activist Robert Newman performs his stand up show New Theory of Evolution in The Black Box at 8pm. He’ll explain why DNA is not destiny while throwing in female buffalo voting and Richard Dawkin’s postman wrestling naked! £10.

Howard Read’s Stand-Up Animator will combine live comedy with animation in The Sunflower Pub at 8pm. £6.

Thursday 8 May

Getting To Know … Duke Special is part of a regular series at the Oh Yeah Music Centre and will “explore the songwriting impulses” of one of Belfast’s most versatile artists. 8pm. Free, but email info AT ohyeahbelfast DOT com to reserve tickets.

Friday 9 May

Formed in Osaka 33 years ago, Shonen Knife visit CQAF on the occasion of the release of their 20th album. An all-female, thrashy, Japanese, girl-punk band who toured with Nirvana. The Black Box at 9pm. £9.

Saturday 10 May

The Kid’s Noisy Cinema – The Red Balloon is back in Belfast at 1pm in the Flow Yoga Studio in Hill Street. It’s a beautiful story of a boy who discovers a red balloon. The young audience will play percussion and add movement to the spellbinding film. Ages 7-11. £4.

CQAF Ride and Seek is a scavenger hunt riddled with magic, music and comedy within the Cathedral Quarter. No bike required. But for most fun, form a gang and win some prizes. Meet at Cotton Court at 2pm. Admission Free. #CQrideandseek for photos and videos.

Two NI film premieres at the one event. Sign Painters (80 mins) captures and craftsmanship of signwriters who hand-letter storefronts, murals and billboards, a trade that’s experiencing a renaissance in spite of die-cut vinyl lettering and inkjet printers. That’s followed by K (16 mins) which documents the relationship, history and influence of hand painted signs in Dublin. Flow Yoga Studio in Hill Street at 3.15pm. £3.

Mark Ellen – Rock Stars Stole My Life in The Dark Horse at 6pm. Working at NME, Smash Hits, Q, MOJO, The Word, Radio One and Whistle Test, Mark will “tell tales and settle scores” and “put a chaotic world to rights and pour petrol on the embers of a glorious industry now in spirally decline”. £4.

Sunday 11 May

Moondance: The Van Morrison Project features “exquisite Irish language versions of Van Morrison’s songs” translated by poets Cathal Póirtéir and Gabriel Rosenstock. Ré-Dhamhsa: Tionsadal Van Morrison is performed by Liam Ó Maonlaí, David Blake, and Hilary Bow, with support from the Brad Pitt Light Orchestra and stunning screen projections of the lyrics created by Margaret Lonergan. A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon in The Black Box. 2pm. £10.

A Better Boy sees Ian McElhinney play the part of William J Pirrie (chairman of Harland & Wolff) in a 1917 interview in England about his nephew Thomas “Tommie” Andrews, the chief designer of the Titanic. Covering the building, the sinking and the inquiries, “his version of events are in conflict with the received notions and judgements still in place a century after”. Upstairs at the Mac, 8pm. £8.

Lots more in the CQAF programme.

In parallel with the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival, the outdoor, often acrobatic and always comical Festival of Fools will be taking place.

Barry Cullen is filling the PS2 space at the top of Donegall Street with sensors and sound making devices for Noise Box V1. You can visit Wed-Fri 1-5pm and Sat 11am-3pm between 21 April and 10 May and help influence the process-based performance by your presence.

So too will be the volunteer-driven un-festival The Open Source which is back in Cathedral Quarter from 1 to 11 May with one hour sessions during afternoons and evenings. More details as they emerge on the website and tagged with #OSBelfast.

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