56th International Arts Festival bringing an eclectic fusion of cutting edge performances to Belfast
There will be world class theatre, dance, visual art, music, film, literature and talks across a range of venues in Belfast.
With over 120 events including 12 premieres, highlights of the 56th edition include Italian star of stage and screen Isabella Rossellini with her new one woman show Link Link, multi Grammy award winner Angélique Kidjo touring her version of iconic Talking Heads album Remain in Light, critically acclaimed Nina - A Story about Me and Nina Simone and American folk and blues legend Eric Bibb. Visit BelfastInternationalArtsFestival.com for more information.
5 Key Events not to be Missed
Link Link with Isabella Rossellini
Grand Opera House – 31st October
Watch as enduring style icon Rossellini transforms herself into Aristotle, René Descartes, a medieval theologian, Harvard Professor BF Skinner and Charles Darwin to explore, in her own intriguing way, what distinguishes humans from animals. Following Rossellini's widely acclaimed theatrical lecture Green Porno (adapted from the celebrated Sundance Channel series of the same name), which explored the sexual behaviour of animals, Link Link addresses the latest scientific discoveries about animal minds, intelligence, and emotions.
Accompanying Rossellini's monologue are projections of her short comic films, home movies, photos, and drawings whilst her dog Pan, an outstanding supporting artist plays various animals assisted by puppeteer and animal handler Schuyler Beeman.
Isabella Rossellini is "Impossible to resist" –The Hollywood Reporter
Nina – A Story about me and Nina Simone
The MAC- 19th – 20th Oct
Taking in the singer’s political acts as part of the Civil Rights Movement in 1960s America as well as the struggles in her personal life, Josette finds a parallel with the persisting inequality in today’s society, and questions how far we’ve really come.
Performed with an exceptional live band, this production peels back the layers to Nina’s songs, which are still as powerful and relevant in today's society as when they were first written.
**** "Josette Bushell-Mingo blows the roof off with this searing look at the life of Nina Simone" – Time Out London
***** "Josette Bushell-Mingo brilliantly channels both Nina Simone's musicianship and anger at racism" – The Scotsman
**** "A searing tribute restarts Simone's revolution" – The Guardian
Angélique Kidjo– Remain in Light Tour
Grand Opera House – 29th Oct
Having partnered with super producer Jeff Bhasker (Rihanna, Kanye West, Harry Styles, Bruno Mars, Drake, Jay-Z) to create 'Remain In Light' - Angélique reclaims rock for Africa, bringing the Talking Heads' legendary 1980 album full circle. A track-by-track re-imagination of the original, considered to be one of the greatest albums of the ‘80s and deeply influenced by music from West Africa, notably Fela Kuti's afrobeat this will be a performance not to be missed.
“Africa’s premier diva” (Time Magazine) promises to bring to the stage euphoric singing, explosive percussion, horn orchestrations, and select lyrics performed in languages from her home country.
"A Breakthrough ‘80s Album Taken Back to Africa” – The New York Times
Lament for Art O’Leary featuring Horslips
The MAC – 2nd Nov
Composed in 1773 by O'Leary's widow, Eileen, The Lament for Art O’Leary tells the story of a young hussar's persecution and murder by a tyrannical landowner, Abraham Morris. In this special event, Muldoon, playing Art’s Father is joined on stage by Irish film, television and stage actress Lisa Dwan as Eileen O’Leary and the wonderful Ruth Smith as Art’s sister.
Featuring original music composed by Jim Lockhart and performed by members of Horslips -- Barry Devlin, Johnny Fean, Ray Fean and Jim Lockhart this powerful presentation of a great eighteenth century poem will make for a simply stunning live performance.
"Horslips opened, for a whole generation, the Aladdin’s cave of traditional music and song" - Fintan O'Toole, The Irish Times
"The most significant English-language poet born since the Second World War"- The Times on Paul Muldoon
"There is no questioning the breathtaking virtuosity of Lisa Dwan" - The Guardian
Climate Justice with Mary Robinson
Ulster University Belfast – 22nd Oct
Holding her first grandchild in her arms in 2003, Mary Robinson was struck by the uncertainty of the world he had been born into. Her mission would lead her all over the world, discovering an irrepressible driving force in the battle for climate justice found at grassroots level, mainly among women, many of them mothers and grandmothers like herself.
Mary Robinson served as the seventh, and first female, president of Ireland from 1990-1997, and as United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997-2002. She is president of the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice, a centre working to secure global justice for those people vulnerable to the impacts of climate change who are usually forgotten – the poor, the disempowered and the marginalised across the world.
For more information and to book your tickets for this years festival visit: BelfastInternationalArtsFestival.com