Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Out To Lunch Arts Festival: Making January Great Again! (until 28 January) #otl18

In its thirteenth year of brightening up the dark month January, The Out to Lunch Arts Festival is well under way in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. The majority of events are hosted in the main space within The Black Box or it’s front Green Room, with a few others in The Duke of York, Oh Yeah Centre and The Empire.

The ticket price of weekday lunchtime events tend to include a fabulous warm lunch. Lots of the events have already sold out, but here are a few highlights of the best of the rest of the programme.

While Wednesday 10 January’s evening with Andrew Maxwell as sold out, tickets are still available to hear the cutting edge comedy and social commentary in Showtime on Thursday 11 at 8pm.

Joanne McNally went on an amazing diet and lost weight, jobs, friends and fellas. Come along to The Black Box at 1pm on Thursday 11 to hear her one woman show Bite Me and how, realising she had lost her mind, she enticed it back to recover her sanity.

The Irish Video Game Orchestra will bring over 30 years of classic video game tunes (including The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros) to life in a concert in The Black Box on Saturday 13 at 2pm.

Robin Ince’s new stand up show Pragmatic Insanity looks at ideas about creativity in science and art, and asks why we believe we see what we see and why we believe what we believe. 1pm and 8pm on Tuesday 16.

Monthly storytelling evening Tenx9 (which now has its own podcast) is back on Wednesday 17 at 7.30pm. It’s free, so turn up early to hear nine ten-minute stories on the theme of “Never Again”.

I last heard Bernadette Morris at Out To Lunch back in 2012. It was a fabulous gig – her first one headlining in Belfast – with her lilting voice and fiddle bringing folk songs to life. She’s back launching her EP upstairs above The Duke Of Work at 8pm on Thursday 18.

Traditional harpist and singer Amy McAllister will entertain a lunchtime audience at 1pm on Friday 19 January with original material alongside traditional airs. Deirdre Galway from Realta will accompany Amy in The Black Box.

Dead Ringers’ Jan Ravens brings her Difficult Women show to The Black Box at 1pm and 8pm on Tuesday 23 with impressions Theresa May, Nicola Sturgeon, Diane Abbott, Hillary Clinton, Kirsty Wark, Lyse Doucet, Fiona Bruce and more. She asks why women are perceived as being ‘difficult’ when they are just being decisive, ambitious and tenacious?

Young comedy talent Alison Spittle – star and writer of RTE sitcom Nowhere Fast – brings her touring show Worrier Princess to The Black Box at 1pm on Wednesday 24.

The Leading Ladies – a trio of songstresses Michelle Baird, Ceara Grehan and Lynne McAllister – will be blending their richly flavoured voices on stage in The Black Box and entertaining the lunchtime audience with their repertoire of stage, screen, opera and swing. 1pm on Friday 26 January.

Iain Lee and Katherine Boyle’s live podcast The Rabbit Hole will be streamed from The Black Box’s Green Room on Sunday 28 January at 7.30pm, rounding off the festival. With interaction from people phoning in as well as those in the room, there’s no way of knowing quite where the conversation will go.

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