Belfast Telegraph

100 events in five minutes... Belfast Festival condensed

By John Mulgrew

‘Well now I’ve seen everything’ could well be the catchphrase at one Belfast Festival at Queen’s event.

Those hoping to a get a flavour of one of Northern Ireland’s largest annual arts festivals may be in luck as one theatre company is planning to squeeze in a glimpse of around 100 events into a single five-minute act.

In what is perhaps the shortest festival of its kind, the show is the brainchild of performers the Big Telly Theatre Company.

In a bid to attract a wealth of visitors from across the country to this year’s Belfast Festival at Queen’s, the troupe are launching their show, creatively entitled The Complete Full-Blown Total 2011 Ulster Bank Belfast Festival at Queen’s In Its Entirety (Abridged).

The show’s artistic director Zoe Seaton hopes the whistlestop tour of Belfast’s culture will help people avoid the rigmarole of hunting through programmes.

“We have designed the show to be the ultimate antidote to festival fever, guaranteed to take the sweat out of poring through festival programmes and making impossibly difficult choices about what to see.”

Taking not only to the street to perform, the travelling advertisement will also be making its way onto both trains and ferries as it tries to entice the public to the full-length events.

Today passengers on the 12.35pm Belfast to Dublin train normally resigned to reading a book will have the opportunity to watch one of the show’s first runs.

The festival, which runs from October 14-30, as usual contains a raft of arts and culture events from classical music and opera to photography and current affairs lectures.

One of those speaking at the festival is outspoken liberal documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, best known for his politically-charged releases such as Fahrenheit 911, Bowling For Columbine and Capitalism: A Love Story.

Those with a penchant for the bespectacled British rock stylings of Elvis Costello can see him in the flesh at Belfast’s Waterfront Hall on October 28.

Anyone wishing to catch a glimpse of what’s to come over the next two weeks can check out the five-minute performance at numerous locations up until Saturday, including:

  • Today at Belfast’s Central Station from 11.30am, the 12.35pm train to Dublin and Connolly Station from 3.30-4.30pm.
  • Tomorrow at Queen’s University from 11am-1pm and at Lisburn Square from 3-6pm.
  • Thursday the show will be at Londonderry’s Guildhall Square from 12-6pm.
  • Friday at the Ulster Bank, Donegall Square East, from 12.30-1pm and George Best Belfast City Airport from 3-6pm.
  • And on Saturday it will be on the 10.30am P&O ferry from Larne to Cairnryan as well as the return sailing at 1.30pm

For more information visit www.belfastfestival.com.

Factfile

Five highlights from the forthcoming Belfast Festival at Queen’s

  • Dervish with Brian Kennedy — October 14, Ulster Hall, 8pm
  • Michael Moore Live — October 16, Ulster Hall, 7.30pm
  • Hamlet — October 26-29, Lyric Theatre, 7.30pm
  • KT Tunstall — October 27, Ulster Hall, 8pm
  • Elvis Costello — October 28, Waterfront Hall, 8pm


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