Belfast Telegraph

A Netflix lovers guide to Belfast International Arts Festival

King Lear at Strand Arts Centre
King Lear at Strand Arts Centre

Similar to a well known streaming platform Netflix, you can, more often than not, spend hours shifting through the brochure of the 2018 Belfast International Arts Festival programme without getting anywhere.

Well here’s a selection of critically acclaimed choices on Netflix which will help you explore the 2018 Festival brochure more swiftly.

If you like What happened, Miss Simone? you’ll like this…

Nina – A Story About Me & Nina Simone, The MAC, Fri 19 & Sat 20 October

Almost a companion piece to the 2015 documentary, Nina – A Story About Me & Nina Simone mixes story and song as Olivier Award nominee Josette Bushell-Mingo draws together tales from the life of Nina Simone and her own extraordinary career.

Just like the Netflix film, the show takes in the singer’s political acts as part of the Civil Rights Movement in 1960s America as well as the struggles in Josette’s personal life finding a parallel with the persisting inequality in today’s society, and questions how far we’ve really come.

If you like Ian McKellen in Lord of the Rings you’ll like this…

King Lear, Strand Arts Centre, Sun 21 October

From one iconic performance by Ian McKellen to another, as the esteemed thespian gives an ‘extraordinarily moving portrayal’ (Independent) of King Lear recorded from London’s West End. Jonathan Munby directs this ‘nuanced and powerful’ (The Times) contemporary retelling from the National Theatre of Shakespeare’s tender, violent, moving and shocking play.

If you like Ru Paul’s Drag Race you’ll like this…

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Grand Opera House, Fri 2 & Sat 3 November

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In the spirit of the fiercest competition on Netflix, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (or The Trocks as they affectionately go by) is packed with tutus and testosterone, blush-pink ballet pumps, fierce false eyelashes and prima ballerina attitude.

Established in New York, The Trocks are now loved world-wide for their sassy spoofs and hilarious homages to classical ballet, where 18 dancers each transform into two personas, both male and female! What makes this company extraordinarily special is their immaculate technique, daring physicality, surpassed only by their impeccable comic timing. A closing event not to be missed!

If you like Sister Act you’ll like this…

Harlem Gospel Choir, Ulster Hall, Sun 28 October

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Harlem Gospel Choir
It could be argued that one of the inspirations behind the 1992 box office smash starring Whoopi Goldberg was the world famous Harlem Gospel Choir.

For over two decades they have been America’s premier gospel choir and have toured the globe thrilling audiences with the inspirational power of black gospel music. Their harmonious songs of love, hope and inspiration are sure to touch the depths of your soul, lift your spirit and take your breath away. Get ready to tap your feet, clap your hands and even dance on stage to their high-energy, joyous and exuberant performance.

If you like Rocky you’ll like this…

Rocky Ros Muc, Aras Mhic Reachtain, Mon 22 October

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Rocky Ros Muc
Reality mimics fiction with this critically acclaimed documentary which tells the true story of talented Irish boxer Sean Mannion who emigrated to Boston in the 1970s to pursue a boxing career that led him to Madison Square Garden to fight for the 1984 WBA world title crown.

Rocky Ros Muc is Sean Mannion’s story; his life and boxing career, the ups and downs of both. From the quiet Gaeltacht village of Ros Muc in Co Galway, to the criminal underworld of James ‘Whitey’ Bulger and the mean streets of Boston, this Irish language film (with subtitles) examines spirit inside the ring and troubles outside; the reality of emigration and its impact on identity.

For a full list of events happening during 16th Oct – 3rd Nov visit


From Belfast Telegraph

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