The star of HBO's lavish new production Game Of Thrones has joined forces with The MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre) to unveil the first sneak preview of the new £18m facility in the heart of Belfast's Cathedral Quarter.
Sean Bean, who spent months filming Game Of Thrones in Northern Ireland last year, said The MAC, which opens its doors to the public in early 2012, would put Belfast and its art scene on a global map.
The six-storey building, which will become the centerpiece of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter, includes two theatres, three major visual art galleries, a dance studio and a range of education, workshop and rehearsal spaces.
Bean, who plays central character Eddard Stark in Game Of Thrones, was so impressed with Belfast he agreed to act as ambassador for The MAC.
In a new promotional video, the star of Sharpe and Lord Of The Rings guides the public through the interior of the new centre. The video includes previously unseen views of the interior, including theatres, galleries and the dance studio. Designed by local architects Hackett, Hall & McKnight, the building combines world-class design with a distinct Northern Ireland feel through the use of locally sourced materials.
Speaking after filming, the Sheffield actor said: “A thriving creative industries sector is key to the success of a modern city. It is fantastic to see Belfast having the vision to create an iconic centre like The MAC, which puts both Belfast and the arts on the world stage.”
Chief executive of The MAC, Anne McReynolds, said: “When completed The MAC will be the only arts and culture facility of its kind in the UK or Ireland and is a testament to the success of devolution. The MAC will cement Belfast and Northern Ireland’s position as an international beacon of arts and culture.”