Thursday, November 17, 2016

C.S. Lewis Festival (Friday 18-Tuesday 22 November)

In a city which has more festivals than weeks of the year, it’s the turn of the C.S. Lewis festival which runs in and around east Belfast between Friday 18 and Tuesday 22 November.

The diversity of Clive Staples Lewis’ life and interests – academic, author, theologian, soldier – gives the festival scope to dip into WW1 as well as celebrate his faith, literature and its many adaptations. Some highlights below. The full programme (PDF) is available on the East Side Arts website.

Friday 18 November

Jon Kennedy will answer the question: How Saintly Was C.S. Lewis? (Spoiler alert: not terribly!) 2pm in Belmont Tower (Belmont Road). Free.

Saturday 19 November

Maria Connolly will perform her story White Witch which explains how Jadis, the evil Queen of Narnia, came to earn her title. Original music played live by Ursula Burns. The programme suggests it’s suitable for daughters of Eve and sons of Adam aged 8+ and their parents! 2pm in Linen Hall Library. £5 adult / £2 child.

Walking on Water: Faith, Art and Risk. An evening of words, music and discussion with singer/songwriter Jamie Neish, cleric and poet Steve Stockman and novelist Jan Carson. They’ll explore how faith and religious experience has influenced their artistic practice. 8pm in Canteen Kitchen Café (Belmont Road). £8 (food can be booked for extra)

Sunday 20 November

St Mark’s Dundela are holding an open service at 10.30am with parish communion and a celebration of the life and witness of C.S. Lewis. It’s the church in which Lewis was baptised. Holywood Road. Everyone welcome.

The C.S. Lewis Nearly True Tour blends the historical fact and hysterical fiction to explore C.S. Lewis during this one hour walking tour with a difference. Fake facts and true stories to shed light on the history of Lewis. Leaving Campbell College at 12.30pm, 2.30pm or 4.30pm. £5 per person or £18 for family of four. Dress for the weather.

Willowfield Parish Church are also holding a special evening service to celebrate the life and witness of C.S. Lewis. They’ll use imagery from The Chronicles of Narnia along with prophetic Biblical writings during the service. 5.30pm. My Lady’s Road. Free.

Monday 21 November

The Inklings (including J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis) met in an Oxford pub. The Monday Club sees Danny sitting alone in the pub in which he used to “put the world to rights in a drunken stupor” with six other shipyard colleagues. A locally made film (review) which remembers Belfast fondly and celebrates the character of its people. Followed by Q&A with director Brian Mulholland and actor Derek Halligan. 7pm in Strand Arts Centre. £5.

This House believes that God is about as real as Narnia. That’s the topic up for debate on Monday 21 November in Union College Chapel behind Queen’s University. C.S. Lewis was president of the Oxford Socratic Society which debated religious and philosophical topics. Rev Chris Hudson, Jennifer Sturgeon, Shane McKee and David Capener, chaired by William Crawley. 7.30pm. £8 (£4 student).

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