Festival News

With just over a week until Festival’s Opening Night on 9th October, we take a look at this year’s Top Ten Must-See events.

We have brought together a colourful programme of world-class arts and entertainment, featuring 18 UK & Ireland premieres and artists from 23 countries.  From dance to theatre, circus to opera, big band to classical piano, there is something for everyone.

Tickets are already sold out for four major events*, so here’s a Top Ten not to be missed:

  • The Kitchen – a sumptuous visual and sensual spectacle from India, Grand Opera House, 21 & 22 October. A fusion of food, family tradition and rhythmic Indian drums.  The theatre air is filled with fragrant spices as a large copper Indian pot of rice pudding is cooked throughout the show and is shared among the audience as the curtain falls.
  • BBC Big Band – release your inner Strictly-Come-Dancer, as the Ulster Hall comes alive to the much-loved sounds of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing, so grab your partner and your dancing shoes on Friday 23rd October, when the Festival Swing Dancers will show you how it’s done.
  • James Fenton – widely regarded as one of the world’s finest poets, catch James on his first visit to Belfast since 1993, in conversation with Marie Louise Muir at the Lyric Theatre on Saturday 10th
  • HalloSwiss acrobat, clown and choreographer Martin Zimmerman brings his stunning and humorous one-man show to the MAC on 23-24 October. This fast-paced virtuoso performance pitched somewhere between Samuel Beckett and Buster Keaton is a beautiful blend of acrobatics, theatre, comedy with a touch a magic too.
  • To Break – The Window of Opportunity Enter the extraordinary world of Belgian artists, Frank & Robertt, who bring colour and life to otherwise inanimate objects in a strange Americana influenced landscape. Playful, stylish and endearingly charming, these two young theatre makers are making waves throughout Europe with their multi-disciplinary work. (The MAC 20-21 Oct).
  • NosotrosThe Belfast International Arts Festival is thrilled to bring this multi-international-award-winning contemporary dance piece from Mexico to the MAC on 30-31 October. A high energy study of South American masculinity, Nosotros is breathtaking, beautiful and physically dazzling.
  • Lyndee PrickettAmerican journalist Lyndee will reveal how her multi-media fictional work on India’s rape crisis, weareangry.net, sparked an online political movement. Blending the written word with audio, video, pictures, statistics, thought bubbles, cartoons, artwork, music and more, it is also a work that reflects the growing role of technology in the future of mass storytelling, 23rd Oct at Brian Friel Theatre.
  • Chivalry is Deadin the newly adopted home of Game of Thrones, where better to see two of Europe’s top contemporary dancers (Deutinger & Gottfarb) clad head to toe in suits of armour? In this quirky and critically acclaimed duet at the MAC on 14 and 15 October, Deutinger & Gottfarb question the prevalence of knightly valour and blood-spattered fantasy in TV and gaming.
  • Nicholas McCarthythe world’s only one-armed concert pianist plays one night only in Belfast’s Rosemary Street Presbyterian Church on Saturday 10th October.  Nicholas’s new album was recently named as Classic FM Album of the Week.  Playing a repertoire of Left Hand Alone music, this charming 23 year old is inspiring, captivating and undeniably talented.
  • The Animotion Show a FREE event on Sunday 18th October which will see Belfast City Hall become the canvas for a spectacular live art exhibition.  Watch as images are painted and projected stroke by stroke onto the façade, accompanied by world-famous percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie playing a multitude of instruments – a ticketed event not to be missed!


*Sold out events at time of going to press are: Georgie Fame, the BBC Radio Three Concert series, Bell X1, Dawson Stelfox.

Father John Misty; Cara Dillon and The Curious Incident of the Dog & the Night-time and The Animotion Show have limited seats available.