Belfast Telegraph

Belfast International Arts Festival 2018: Over 120 events unveiled

The Belfast International Arts Festival has launched a spectacular programme of over 120 events from home and abroad, including 12 premieres, running from the October 16 - November 3, at the city’s newest iconic hotel, the Grand Central.

The biggest contemporary arts festival in Northern Ireland, the 56th edition will bring a world class and eclectic fusion of theatre, dance, music, visual art, literature, films and talks to venues across Belfast this autumn.

Hosted by Festival supporters, Hasting Hotels, the official unveiling of the programme was followed by a performance from Olivier nominated actress Josette Bushell-Mingo OBE, star of ‘Nina – A Story about me and Nina Simone’, one of the many critically acclaimed shows to be brought to Belfast as part of the 2018 Festival.

Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Deirdre Hargey said of the festival; “Belfast City Council is proud to invest in the Belfast International Arts Festival. It continues to inspire and energise us through its innovative programming of world-class acts and home-grown talent."

Alongside Josette, this year’s Festival sees a strong star studded female line-up including Italian actress and screen siren Isabella Rossellini with her one woman show Link Link, former Irish President Mary Robinson discussing her forthcoming new book, Climate Justice, and 3 time Grammy award winning singer Angelíque Kidjo playing her version of the iconic Talking Heads album Remain in Light tour.

There will be 120 events to choose from, while highlights include:

  • Stroke Odysseys, a cathartic and colourful show of music and dance, uncovering what it means to live your life after suffering a stroke.
  • Facing the Sea, for Tears to Turn into Laughter is a beautifully sculpted contemporary dance piece from Tunisia and a curious, heart-warming and fun packed show for all the family, Handle with Care, arriving from Catalonia.

Local theatre companies will also present new and exciting work with award winning Marie Jones’ brand new play Dear Arabella staged in the Lyric Theatre, darkly humorous Freak Show taking place in the MAC and Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Muldoon, with his new translation of the greatest love poem in the Irish language The Lament for Art O'Leary with music by members of the original Irish Celtic Rock Band, Horslips, and featuring acclaimed actress, Liz Dwan.

Add to this world class blues music, a unique classical screening in St Anne’s Cathedral and a diverse range of talks to include Conservative MP Dominic Grieve and the curators of the Repeal the 8th Anthology.

"Art has the power to generate ideas, inspire revolutions, and change the way we view ourselves, the world around us and our place in history. Nowhere is this power more clear than in our 2018 programme which brings together artists and audiences, from home and abroad in a genuine celebration of arts and culture,” said Artistic Director and Chief Executive, Richard Wakely.

The Belfast International Arts Festival is supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, National Lottery through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, Tourism Northern Ireland and British Council.

Tickets are available online or via the official Festival Box Office at Visit Belfast.

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