Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Belfast Children’s Festival – aliens, war, horror, opera and the care system (8-13 March 2019) #bcf19

Belfast Children’s Festival begins on Friday 8 March, with countless events over the weekend and finishing on Wednesday 13. The programme is always a mix of locally and internationally-produced theatre, dance, music and art.

Some theatrical highlights this year include:

Oorlog (War) sees the Dutch company Theatre Artemis tackle the questions children have about war that adults never have answers for. Expect three roller-skating soldiers and props galore to say something sensible about conflict. Friday 8-Sunday 10 March in The MAC. £10. Age 7+ [reviewed]

Northern Ireland’s Cahoots NI wowed the 2018 festival with The Assistant’s Revenge and Penguins. They’re back this year with Milo’s Hat Trick. Milo the Magnificent is under pressure to put past failures behind him and needs to pull a rabbit out of his hat in a performance that adapts Jon Agee’s book and promises magic, music and mischief. Friday 8-Sunday 10 in the Lyric Theatre. £10. Age 3+ [reviewed]

Maiden Voyage Dance are back with The Alien’s Guide to Dance Gone Wrong, which sees some aliens try and get their sophtiscated brains around the old human act of ‘dancing’. Just what are the rules for throwing your arms, feet and body into the rhythm of the music? Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 March at The MAC. £10. Age 4+ [reviewed]

Fionnuala Kennedy often writes theatre about social justice issues. She’s back with Prime Cut Productions and Removed, the story of Adam whose life was turned upside down by social workers, foster homes and life in the state’s care system. Thursday 7-Saturday 16 March in Brian Friel Theatre (behind the QFT). £10/£8. Age 11+ [reviewed]

A relaxed, concert version of Conor Mitchell’s horror opera for children The Musician by Belfast Ensemble. A boy and his mouse ask “Who was the Pied Piper?” and “Why did the rats all dance to his tune?” Sunday 10 March at 7pm in Harty Room, QUB. £5. Age 6+ [reviewed]

NI Opera’s Empowerment will provide an interactive theatre workshop for young people aged 8+, with practical exercises and games to help them discover the techniques singers and musicians use to overcome stage fright and deliver fearless performances. Saturday 9 March in Belfast Cathedral. Free but booking essential. Fully booked.

We Come From Far, Far Away is set inside a Mongolian yurt. A boy who travelled, mostly on his own, from Syria shares what we has brought with him and the reasons for his journey. Based on the stories of 13-18 year old refugees who have travelled alone to seek asylum. Live music, comedy and puppetry in this intimate performance by New International Encounter Theatre (Norway/UK/Czech Republic). Monday 11-13 March for schools. 10+

[Also reviewed: Loo and Expedition Peter Pan.]

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