Belfast Telegraph

Online feast for culture vultures

To launch Test Drive the Arts NI we have a great selection of events up for grabs, so if you’ve never experienced the thrill of a live orchestra, the emotion of theatre or offbeat cultural film, now’s your chance!

While the new theatre is being built, the Lyric is temporarily showing at Elmwood Hall, opposite the Ulster Museum main entrance. Throughout February you can catch the world premiere of The Absence of Women by leading local writer Owen McCafferty. Film, TV and Stage actors Ian McElhinney and Karl Johnson lead the cast in this gritty, funny play about the lives of two ordinary Belfast men. Get tickets for shows on dates throughout February.

The Ulster Orchestra will be offering hundreds of tickets to their concerts in the coming months, including lunch time concerts at the Ulster Hall and evening concerts at the Belfast Waterfront. First up, on 20 February, you’ll have a licence to thrill with the hit James Bond film sound tracks, from the original Dr No theme through to Casino Royale. On Friday 26 February, the orchestra will be joined by brilliant young Irish pianist Finghin Collins, who will play Brahms’s Second Piano Concerto. This is a thrilling piece, with plenty of dramatic moments.

If you’ve never experienced the intimacy of a chamber concert, you’ll love the Belfast Music Society’s festival. Enjoy a relaxing musical morning with one of the Coffee Concerts or come along to an evening recital. Eimear McGeown, one of Northern Ireland’s young musical stars, plays the flute, and will perform a mixture of classical and traditional Irish pieces on Saturday 20 February. This is just one of several uplifting events available.

Bruiser is a local theatre company with a reputation for fast-paced and funny performances. Their new show, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, is a savagely hilarious allegory of Hitler's rise to power. Six actors and musicians play over fifty characters to bring this powerful story to life at Belfast’s Waterfront Studio on 17 and 18 February. Be prepared to be taken on a whirlwind ride.

If you usually go to blockbuster movies at mainstream cinemas, why not try out the Queen’s Film Theatre for a different type of film experience? Catch Colin Firth and Julianne Moore in A Single Man or view the inspiring documentary The Times of Harvey Milk.

Find out more about these shows and more at . Don’t forget more shows are added all the time, so keep checking the site.

Win film night tickets

Win a pair of tickets to the Ulster Orchestra’s Film Night on Saturday 20th February and one night’s complimentary stay for 2 people in The Merchant Hotel Belfast – an intimate, sumptuous, 5 star

hotel, located in the historical Cathedral Quarter of Belfast's city centre. To enter please log on to

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