Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Outburst Arts ... 1 mole, 1 bishop, 4 toilet cubicles and 10 plagues (9-18 Nov)


Specialist festivals bring a focus to specific issues, stirring up the local arts community to create new work as well as the presenting the opportunity to subsidise bringing international work to the local audience.

Outburst Arts festival is now in its eleventh year, running from 9 to 18 November 2017.

Simón El Topo (Simon the Mole) is a theatrical treat for children and adults that encourages understanding of difference. Simón is a mole and lives in a hole tunnel. Events take an unexpected turn, and Simón must gather together his inner strength and find security in being himself despite other people’s doubt and questioning. Performed in the international language of Mole, Outburst festival will be the first time this mole has tunnelled to this side of the Equator. Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 November at 5pm in the Black Box.

Quartered, A Love Story is a piece of promenade theatre written by Dominic Montague and produced by KABOSH Theatre who are expert at site specific works. Informed by interviews with LGBTQ+ people in Belfast, each performance is very personal, combining audio with theatre as the audiences explore the physical and psychological boundaries of the cityscape. 1 hour performances begin at The Dark Horse in Hill Street and finish at The Sunflower Bar on Union Street. With capacity for only four people in each performance, be sure to book. Friday 10, Saturday 11, Sunday 12, Friday 17, Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 November. [Reviewed]

Tactics for Time Travel in a Toilet explores the options facing four teenagers who each step into a toilet cubicle to find a place of solace to contemplate what to do next. What future should they choose? And will their lives really get better? TheatreofplucK combine technology, music and design in their tenth anniversary show to present a radical vision of the future. Saturday 11, Sunday 12, Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 at 7.30pm in The Barracks. (Extra show on Saturday 18 at 5pm.) [Reviewed]

Ten Plagues. For one night only, Mark Ravenhill and Conor Mitchell’s award-winning AIDS polemic is coming to the stage of the Lyric Theatre. Originally performed in London and written for singer Marc Almond, the piece of music-theatre draws parallels between the devastating outbreak of black plague in London in 1665 and the emergence of AIDS in the 20th century, the “gay” plague, and the fight for survival. Sunday 12 November at 8pm in the Lyric Theatre.

There’s a Bishop in my Bedroom. Master story-teller Richard O’Leary presents his new one-man show that promises to riff on the familiar local theme of religiously mixed marriage to address the contemporary topics of same-sex love and equal marriage. Based on Richard’s own life, he’ll take the audience from his early years as a would-be priest in Cork to falling in love with a Protestant minister who would become his life-long partner. Monday 13 and Tuesday 14 November at 8pm in The MAC.

As well as a season of films in Queen’s Film Theatre, the MAC will be screening Alternative Miss World on Friday 17 November at 7.30pm followed by Q&A with Andrew Logan and John Walter. Logan created the pageant that celebrates freedom of expression and the art of dressing up. There’s a prize for the best ‘alternatively’ dressed and an after party with DJ Venus Dupree.

How to Unexplode. Running throughout the festival will be an exhibition of the rich and varied work by illustrator, performer, artist, clown doctor and founding member of Outburst, Patrick Sanders, who died by suicide earlier this year. His illustrations and cartoons documented events, lampooned politics, and above all entertained. A loving tribute to a local talent who is much missed. Launching in Artcetera Gallery on Thursday 9 November at 6pm and running 11am–5pm each day (except Sunday) until Saturday 25 November.

More details on the Outburst Arts Festival programme on their website.