Thursday, April 30, 2015

Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival (30 April-10 May): music, theatre, dance, talks and cultural sunshine

The sun is shining, the marquee is up, and the 16th Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival is ready to rock’n’roll, dance, talk, entertain and challenge in venues across the city of Belfast until the 10 May.

This year’s CQAF programme has a particularly strong list of theatrical performances.

What lengths will some people go to in order to pull themselves out of dire straits? Lanciatore – The Juggling Man is a credit crunch-hit Medieval Italy street performer trying to negotiate loan sharks, card games, priests, prostitutes and bailiffs to get his family out of the red.

Based on Paul Kennedy’s dark comic script, Rawlife Theatre Company directors Martin McSharry and Patrick J O'Reilly are joined by a fantastic local cast – Roisin Gallagher, Terrance Keely, Michael Liebmann, Julie McCann, Jo Donnelly and Claire Connor – in Belfast Circus School at 8pm between Thursday 7 May and Sunday 10 May. Tickets £12.50. Don’t miss it. PS: After CQAF finishes it's back on Friday 15, Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 May at 8pm in the same venue.

Check out the promo video for Lanciatore and get your tickets booked!
Posted by Rawlife Theatre Company on Wednesday, 29 April 2015

The Dutiful Wife is a new piece of high energy immersive dance theatre looking at the role of ‘the wife’ in politics through the initial highs and later public humiliation of ‘Stepford Wives’ who often suffer the immense personal pain when a charismatic crowd-wooing male politician goes off the moral rails.

An innovative and well-scheduled piece in the run up to Thursday 7th's election, The Dutiful Wife is the brainchild of choreographer Eileen McClory (interviewed below) and performed by Off The Rails Dance company in The MAC on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 May (8.30pm) and Sunday 3 May (3pm and 6pm). Tickets £10. As an unfunded company, they're also crowdfunding support for the costs of performances.

Prepare to be individually admitted to a hospital bed and using eye masks and headphones experience being Reassembled, Slightly Askew. Novel storytelling based on writer Shannon Yee’s experience of falling critically ill with a rare brain infection and her journey through rehabilitation and living with an acquired brain injury. Running in The MAC at 11am, 2pm and 4.30pm and 7pm between 30 April and 5 May. Tickets £10. SOLD OUT.

Three Strikes sees Belfast’s “shiniest and best lubricated” theatre company Shot Glass as they bring three short comic plays out of the theatre and into the pub. The Dark Horse at 8pm on Monday 4 and Tuesday 5 May. Tickets £5.

Other highlights from this year’s bulging CQAF programme

Saturday 2 May

Dramatisation of George Orwell’s social inequality classic Down and Out in Paris and London. Join the characters as they go from “a sepia tinted view of poverty in Paris to the more black and white existence in and around London” in 101 The Redeemer (101 Donegall Street) at 8pm. Tickets £10.

Sunday 3 May

Queen of the psychological thriller Val McDermid will speak about how her crime writing means she’s Killing People for Fun and Profit in The Black Box at 2pm. Tickets £8.

Described as “whimsical and witty, weird and wacky”, The Kiss of the Chicken King is a multi-media performance monologue as Jimmy sits in his rundown 1980s bedsit and escapes from jingoism and Thatcherism into his fantasy and imagination. The Black Box Green Room at 3pm. Tickets £5.

Join New York-based post-religious Reverend Billy and & The Stop Shopping Choir in The Black Box Green Room at 7pm as the “planet criers, gospel shouters and punk disrupters” pursue “the mysterious catalyst that ignites collect knowledge and collective will”. Tickets £6.

Lucy Porter wonders “whether she’d rather be a bewhiskered Victorian explorer, a 1920s Hollywood starlet or Hatshepsut the Egyptian Pharaoh in Me Time in The Black Box at 8pm. Tickets £10.

Monday 4 May

Having moved from Australia to London, comedian Bec Hill wrote a show about how she had never won an award. But the whole premise was ruined when the show won one at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe! The comic, animator and comic creator brings her new show In…Ellipsis to McHugh’s at 8pm. Tickets £8.

Join Kitty (Áine Ryan) for a dark and devastating evening as she sits alone in her kitchen mourning the loss of her brother while her father lies dying in the room next door and she waits for her late (time challenged, not dead!) boyfriend to pick her up for an evening out. Shocking and witty. Kitty in the Lane is in The Black Box Green Room at 7.30pm. Tickets £6.

Wednesday 6 May

Martin Rowson was the first in a long list of cartoonist and caricaturists who’ve failed to be satisfied with the image they’ve captured of me! He’ll being romping through “a 32,000 year old history of visual satire … the power of giving and taking offence” in a timely lunchtime talk in The Black Box at 1pm. Tickets £6.

Expect comedy as well as social and political commentary when Andrew Maxwell takes to the stage of the Festival Marquee at 8pm. Tickets £12/£10.

Thursday 7 May

Owen McCafferty’s play Mojo Mickybo is back to tell another generation about two boys growing up in 1970s Belfast, one from ‘up the road’ and the other fro ‘over the bridge’. 101 The Redeemer (101 Donegall Street) at 8pm. Tickets £8.

Saturday 9 May

Join your host John Lindsay for a morning of 1970s and 1980s classic Saturday morning children’s TV in the Belfast Film Festival’s Bean Bag Cinema at 10am. Tickets £4.

Sunday 10 May

When your only visitors are squirrels and getting rid of them becomes an obsession then maybe it’s time to look at what’s really going on. Phoenix Nights’ Janice Connolly brings Barbara Nice and hew show Squirrel Proof to The Black Box at 2pm. Tickets £7.

The Hackney Colliery Band is east London’s unique take on the brass band and having played at the closing ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, they’re now bringing their acoustic mix of “funk, hip-hop and high-octane rock” to Aether & Echo at 8pm. Tickets £8.

This year Open Source is no longer constrained by four walls and will run its free hour-long sessions around The Big Table on Lower Garfield Street (outside PLACE and Aether & Echo) for a weekend of activity looking at “The Love Economy – Cooperative Alternatives to Free Market Economics”. Their website now lists the full programme of volunteer-led events.

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