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Magic of Narnia is rekindled for CS Lewis celebration in Belfast

By David Young

Published 18/11/2016

CS Lewis. Author
CS Lewis. Author

Belfast’s magical fourth CS Lewis Festival gets under way today — celebrating the life and work of one of the UK’s most influential Christian thinkers in his native city.

Offering a sparkling series of events and activities including talks, film, theatre, arts, crafts, readings, music, workshops, exhibitions, tours, children’s activities and spoken word events, the festival will honour Lewis’ life and work.

Across five days there will be reflections on the cultural significance of Lewis’s rich legacy, his impact on Belfast, and the strong influence his home city had on his vast body of work.

Highlights of this year’s festival include a new story inspired by the character Jadis, better known as the evil White Witch from The Chronicles Of Narnia, written and performed by local actress Maria Connolly.

She will be joined by musician Ursula Burns at the Linen Hall Library tomorrow at 2pm for a unique staged reading of this new work.

Festival director Rachel Kennedy said: “Not only does the festival celebrate all facets of this literary great, but helps festival-goers step into Lewis’ world and reveal how he had a huge cultural significance on the city of Belfast, especially the east of the city, and how it had an impact on him. Our diverse range of festival events and activities aims to encourage everyone to come, explore and enjoy Belfast’s connections with this extraordinary man.”

Closing the festival this year will be a Connswater Community Greenway event to officially open the CS Lewis Square, located behind the EastSide Visitor Centre, and to unveil seven Narnia-inspired statues.

The CS Lewis Festival is funded by Belfast City Council, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Department for Communities, and sponsored by Hewitt & Gilpin Solicitors, Ulster-Scots Agency and Translink.

The full festival programme is available at www.eastsidearts.net.

You can also follow the Festival on social media at Facebook/CSLewisFestival and Twitter @CSLewisFest

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