Thursday, August 13, 2015

Celebrating Brian Friel: Dancing at Lughnasa, words, music, food ... and kites (August 2015)

Boutique festivals, Belfast festivals, and now bio-festivals … not events based around yoghurt culture but a festival that has a biographical connection to the artist being celebrated.

The inaugural Lughnasa International Friel Festival takes that one step further by basing the programme around the themes from a single play from the Irish playwright: Dancing at Lughnasa.

I spoke to festival founder Sean Doran at the launch this morning and he began by explaining how to pronounce Lughnasa (loon-asa, think lunacy!) before going on to describe how the various festival events in Donegal and Belfast link back to Friel’s play.

As well as the signature production of Dancing at Lughnasa that’s running in the Lyric Theatre from 26 August to 27 September, the Philadelphia Belfast Here I Come half of the programme includes rehearsed readings; dancing on the new Lagan Weir footbridge, Lanark Way Peace Wall, Titanic Slipways, Giant’s Ring, and the City Hall; concerts; fine food and kite flying.

Throughout the festival a strand of all-female talks will offer up the thoughts and views of Shami Chakrabarti, Sandi Toksvig and Sinead Gleeson among many others.

More details on the Donegal and Belfast weekends of the festival on their website.

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