Belfast Telegraph

It's going to be huge, so pull up chair for opening of city’s new arts venue, the MAC

By Amanda Poole

The countdown is on to the official opening of Belfast’s newest arts venue — the MAC.

On Friday, April 20, the stunning new multi-million pound six-storey building in St Anne’s Square will be throwing open its stylish doors to the public.

The £18m investment in the MAC has been funded by the Department for Culture Arts & Leisure, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Department for Social Development, Laganside Corporation and Belfast City Council, as well as contributions from charitable foundations and the business sector.

And bosses at the Cathedral Quarter venue are confident the MAC’s eclectic mix of music, theatre, dance and art will make it an asset to the creative life of Belfast city.

As part of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board’s, ni2012 ‘Our Time, Our Place’ marketing drive, the MAC’s first season opens with its own production Titanic: Scenes From The British Wreck Commissioner’s Inquiry, 1912.

The courtroom drama by award-winning playwright Owen McCafferty, promises to be full of intrigue, bravery and human frailty and hopes to tap into the neverending fascination with the Belfast-made vessel.

The opening programme also includes visual art exhibitions from Robert Therrion and Nicholas Keogh along with local artist William Conor and LS Lowry’s first display in Ireland.

The MAC will be open seven days a week to bring all kinds of exhibitions, blockbuster performances and experimental works to visitors.

Chief executive Anne McReynolds said the entire team is “extremely excited” as it makes final preparations to open and she praised all their hard work.

“We can’t wait to start welcoming locals and visitors to the MAC next week and really see the MAC come alive,” she said.

“This project has been 10 years in the making and we would like to thank our many public and private sector funders and all our supporters who have helped us get to this stage.

“We are confident that the MAC will add another layer to the cultural offer in Belfast and Northern Ireland and help put this region on the worldwide stage.”

For more details about events call 028 9023 5053, or visit www.themaclive.com.

factfile

The (Metropolitan Arts Centre) MAC by numbers

2 theatres (350/120 seater)

1 rehearsal Space

3 art Galleries

1 dance Studio

3 education and workshop rooms

1 cafe and Bar

1 artist-in-residence studio

4 offices for resident art groups

1 permanent artwork

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